Inside The Bills

ESPN metrics analyst bullish on EJ as starter

Posted by Chris Brown on June 7, 2013 – 3:31 pm

Only Doug Marrone and his offensive staff will determine whether or not EJ Manuel proves himself worthy of being the starting quarterback for the Bills as a rookie, but there is an ESPN statistical analyst who thinks if Manuel does start right off the bat that Buffalo’s offense should improve from a year ago.

Well respected number cruncher K.C. Joyner cites specific metrics when making the case that with Manuel in the lineup the offense will improve from that of a season ago. In fact in Joyner’s words, “the metrics show there is a good chance Manuel could help the Bills field a top-10 offense in 2013 if he is the starter.”

Joyner in his write up cites Buffalo’s stout run game, which ranked first in the league in good blocking rate on run plays. C.J. Spiller was also sixth in the league in good blocking yards per attempt with a mark of 9.1 yards.

Add in EJ Manuel’s yards per attempt figure of 8.76 last year in college, which ranked sixth in the nation and was superior to that of Geno Smith and Matt Barkley despite having fewer weapons to throw to and an anticipated up tempo offense to make use of Manuel’s athleticism if nothing develops downfield and Joyner believes the offense could find its way to being significantly more productive.

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