Skip to main content

Bills Today: Receivers syncing up with EJ


1 – Receivers syncing up with EJAfter two full days of practice, E.J. Manuel is starting to redevelop some chemistry with his wide receivers.

While Manuel has worked with receivers such as Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins and Marquise Goodwin in the past which helps with familiarity, he hasn't started a game in almost 14 months.

"I think it's just playing the game fast," Watkins said. "You know he's going to be a little more jittery and he's going to throw it out there further. By not having timing I told him I'd rather have you over throw me than underthrow me. So I think he's going to be prepared. He's going to gun it. He's going to go out there and throw the ball and whether he throws a pick or two he's going to throw those chancy balls. That's what you look forward to those 50-50 balls."

Lynn said that the timing between Manuel and his wide outs was much better in the second full day of practice.

"I'll tell you he (Manuel) looked good (Thursday)," Lynn said. "(Wednesday) he was a little tight. (Thursday) he was more relaxed. He looked a lot better."

Sunday's game will be the first time since Week 7 of last season that somebody other than Tyrod Taylor started at quarterback.

Lynn also indicated on Thursday that Cardale Jones would most likely be backing up Manuel on Sunday, but said that all three quarterbacks could be active for the first time all season.

Jones has been working with the second-team all week and at various other points this season, which has also helped his reads with receivers.

"He had a slow beginning, but he's really come on and he's gotten stronger," Lynn said about Jones. "He's never seen a receiver not open. He can throw it all over the place. Him learning the offense, I've been really impressed with his knowledge of the offense without getting any reps. That's why I've been impressed with him. When he's in the position where he can get some reps and go out and play I think he's going to be a pretty good one."

2 – A likely start for SeymourRookie Kevon Seymour is in line to start Buffalo's final regular season game at cornerback.

Stephon Gilmore is still in the concussion protocol after being injured in overtime last week against the Dolphins, and hasn't practiced all week.

Seymour has started two other games this season, most recently in Week 13 when Ronald Darby was out with a concussion.

"He's getting better," interim head coach Anthony Lynn said. "It seemed like every week and even though I was on the offensive side of the ball before I became the head coach, you notice guys on the defense that stand out, and especially on scout team when they're covering your receivers, and he's done a heck of a job all year, and he's had a great week of practice so far."

On the season, the sixth-round pick in last year's draft, has 12 tackles and three passes defensed in 14 games.

"He can play across the board," defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said earlier in the season. "He's a talented young man, and he's played well for us when we've given him opportunities."

The Jets have the 27th-ranked passing offense in the NFL, but have two talented receivers in Quincy Enunwa and Brandon Marshall. Combined they have 1,564 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.

3 – Record setting opportunitiesWhile the Bills will be focusing first and foremost on getting to a .500 record on Sunday, they will also be looking to set a few records in the process.

In addition to the running records detailed on Tuesday, guys on both sides of the ball have a chance at some personal and franchise accolades.

Charles Clay has been Buffalo's most reliable target in the month of December, and a touchdown catch this week would make him the first tight end in Bills franchise history with four consecutive games with a touchdown.

Elsewhere in the passing game, Robert Woods needs one reception to reach 200 for his career; he would become just the fourth player in franchise history with 200 catches in his first four seasons. Also, Sammy Watkins is looking to get 72 yards on Sunday to reach 2,500 for his career. He would become the third Bill with at least 2,500 yards receiving in his first three seasons. Watkins is close to achieving the feat despite playing in only 36 games so far in the NFL.

On the defensive side of the ball, Preston Brown needs three tackles to reach 125 on the season. If he reaches that mark, Preston and Zach Brown would become the first Buffalo linebacker duo since London Fletcher (133) and Takeo Spikes (126) in 2003 to record more than 125 tackles in a season. Seattle is the only other team in the league this season with two linebackers close to that mark.

Finally, the Bills have a chance to finish off what has been one of the most impressive statistics in the NFL this season. As a team, Buffalo has only committed nine turnovers. If they stay at that mark on Sunday, the Bills would break New England's previous record of fewest in a season (10) set in 2010.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.