2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills' Manuel, Jets' Smith ready for showdown

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-18 18:29

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - EJ Manuel and Geno Smith were two guys with big arms and even bigger dreams when they first met at a football camp in South Florida a few years ago.

They kept in touch with occasional text messages through high school and then college, where Manuel starred at Florida State and Smith at West Virginia. By the time the draft rolled around in April, both quarterbacks were considered first-round possibilities.

Manuel went to Buffalo at No. 16, a bit higher than some projected.

Smith, once mentioned as a possible No. 1 pick, slid all the way to the Jets in the second round at No. 39.

``I stood up,'' Smith recalled Wednesday of his reaction when Manuel was drafted before him. ``I congratulated him and that was it. I was happy for him. I was happy for every single guy that got drafted.''

Smith, however, went through the embarrassment of having television cameras focused on him as each pick was made in the first round - without hearing his name.

``I'm past that now,'' Smith said. ``I hate to talk about it because I'm focusing on what we have here, which is a great opportunity, (a) good team and we've got a tough matchup coming up on Sunday.''

That's when the attention will again be on the first two quarterbacks drafted, when the Bills (1-1) and Jets (1-1) square off. It's the 106th game in the series, and the first featuring a pair of rookie starting quarterbacks.

``To be compared to EJ, I'll take it,'' Smith said. ``EJ's a great guy. He's accomplished a bunch in his career and I think the world of him. He's also my good friend, so it's good to compete against a guy like that.

``But when it comes down to Sunday, there are no friends on the field. We're out there competing for our teams and that's all there really is to it.''

Both Manuel and Smith have already led their teams to fourth-quarter comeback victories and are considered the potential future of their respective franchises. Sunday's game also will put the winner in a respectable position in the AFC East at 1-1, while the loser will fall to 0-2 in the division.

``We know this is a huge game for us,'' Manuel said. ``One, it's on the road, and, two, it's a divisional game and it's definitely a game we need to win. We both lost to the Patriots and early on you don't want to get behind in the season.

``It just adds even more urgency to this game.''

Both quarterbacks were heavily scouted by the Bills and Jets during the draft evaluation process.

``You notice the physical (size), when he walks in the door he fills up that doorway,'' Jets coach Rex Ryan said of the 6-foot-4, 237-pound Manuel. ``He was really a tremendous person and you can see why Buffalo's excited about him.''

Manuel's ability to come through in the clutch was evident last week when he connected with Stevie Johnson on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds left to lead Buffalo past Carolina 24-23. It capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive as Manuel became the fifth quarterback in NFL history since 1960 to record a fourth-quarter comeback in either the first or second game of his career.

The fourth quarterback? Well, that was Smith, who did it in the season opener while leading the Jets to the winning field goal with 2 seconds left in an 18-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

``He's always been able to make every throw, he's always had a high level of accuracy,'' Bills coach Doug Marrone said of Smith. ``I see him going through progressions and I see him talking with protection. You're seeing that he's developing into a fine quarterback. He's going to create some challenges for our defense.''

Smith was the first quarterback to overcome a deficit of at least nine points in his NFL debut since St. Louis' Ryan Fitzpatrick did it against Houston in 2005. Meanwhile, Manuel is the first quarterback since 1960 to post a passer rating of 89.0 in each of the first two games of his rookie season.

Both the Bills and Jets fell just short against New England: Buffalo was edged 23-21 in Week 1, and New York dropped last Thursday's game 13-10. Manuel was solid against the Patriots, going an efficient 18 of 27 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Smith threw three fourth-quarter interceptions at New England.

``Both players were poised, I thought,'' Ryan said. ``I'm not lumping them together, but EJ was impressive. I thought Geno was for the most part, as well.''

As for trying to prove whether the Bills or Jets got the better quarterback, both Manuel and Smith insist that can be for everyone else to debate.

``No, I think that mindset would be selfish,'' Smith said. ``It's about this team. It's about all of us going out there and getting a win for each other.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 11:43p

The Washington Redskins are planning on benching QB Robert Griffin III for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts in favor of QB Colt McCoy. However, Griffin still [ More ]

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 04:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was named the starter for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 24, by head coach Jay Gruden, but he left open [ More ]

Michael BushNov 25 04:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Michael Bush (Bears) and cut RB Kerwynn Williams Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Brandon McManusNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos waived PK Brandon McManus Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Connor BarthNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos signed free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 25, after waiving PK Brandon McManus, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 25 03:13p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he'll be ready to play Thursday, Nov. 27, after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury.

Latavius MurrayNov 25 02:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will undergo baseline testing for his concussion Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to a league source. He is feeling good, but he must go [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 25 01:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer was never in danger of being benched in favor of QB Johnny Manziel in the team's Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according [ More ]

Blake BortlesNov 25 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles went 15-for-27 for just 146 yards and an interception in the team's Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he hasn't tossed a [ More ]

Matthew StaffordNov 25 01:23p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford had the worst completion percentage in his career in Week 12 against the New England Patriots at 39.1 percent), and the Lions haven't rushed [ More ]

Brodrick BunkleyNov 25 12:03p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (quadriceps) is believed to have torn his quadriceps in the team's Week 12 game Monday, Nov. 24, but he'll undergo an MRI exam [ More ]

Jordan CameronNov 25 11:53a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) is expected to play in Week 13.

Michael VickNov 25 09:53a

New York Jets QB Michael Vick (calf) is expected to start in Week 13 if head coach Rex Ryan is still calling the shots and Vick's calf is healthy.

Andre SmithNov 25 09:23a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) will miss the rest of the year with a torn triceps that will require surgery.

Justin ForsettNov 25 12:13a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett ran for 182 yards and two scores in a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints Monday, Nov. 24.

Latavius MurrayNov 24 08:13p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) remains a question mark heading into Week 13 against the St. Louis Rams. Head coach Tony Sparano said Murray hasn't passed the league's [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 24 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is unsure when he will return from his knee injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians. We still don't know anything about Larry, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group