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DEC 09 - DEC 17, 2014

No Quarterback, No Playoffs for Sad Sack Bills

By Tony Farina

December 09, 2014

E. J. Manuel, a most foolish mistake.

The game is long over and the Broncos took care of the Bills rather easily on Sunday despite another poor outing by Peyton Manning who passed for a mere 173 yards and tossed in two interceptions along the way. If you can believe it--and you all know it by now--Manning's passer rating was 56.9 and he looked tired and old doing it.

But the truth is Manning didn't have to be great against the Bills to get the "W," and that's what the game was all about for the Broncos. It was a killer for the Bills who pretty much had to win out to break the league's longest playoff drought and they crumbled at the thought.

Kyle Orton confirmed what we've been saying for weeks: he's not an elite quarterback and when facing a big game he plays like he doesn't want to be there. Sure, he passed for 355 yards and threw a TD pass, but most of his aerial damage was done when the game was over. He's not the Bills answer at quarterback and neither is EJ Manuel.

The fact is the Bills have no answer for the future at quarterback, and despite a decent defense and some good receivers, they lack the talent and leadership at quarterback to be a serious playoff team. That's it in a nutshell. No quarterback, no playoffs. Heartbreak Hotel is the name of this team, and the Broncos (who know Orton) knew all they had to do was pound the ball, save Manning's energy for another day, and they would walk away with a win. That's what they did.

The Bills couldn't beat a weary Manning and will not beat Aaron Rodgers on Sunday or Tom Brady in the season finale. And of course Oakland may pose a threat in the middle game. Let's face reality: it looks like the Bills will watch the playoffs on television like the rest of us for the 15th straight year. It is a streak of futility that is unmatched and without a quarterback there is no end in sight.

Buffalo had the slimmest of hopes going into the Denver game, but surely any veteran football fan knew that it would have been a monumental upset for the Bills to beat the Broncos. This franchise owns the "what if" slogan like no other. Whatever the reason, the Bills don't get it done and no relief is in sight.

This franchise (before Terry Pegula) gambled the future on EJ Manuel and now they are pretty much toast as a playoff team. How many top quarterbacks will be available at number 20 in the draft? Probably not any and there's little reason to believe that the brain trust that has missed the playoffs since 1999 can find a Tom Brady somewhere in the draft when they missed so badly on their number one pick with Manuel.

We can all watch them play out the string the last three games, pack their bags, and head into another off season with the old wait 'til next year cry coming from One Bills Drive. It is time for wholesale change, Mr. Pegula, if you want a playoff team. But even that is unlikely to end the drought in the near future. The franchise needs a quarterback and none are in sight.





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No Quarterback, No Playoffs for Sad Sack Bills

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Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
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