Former Florida State Seminoles starting quarterback EJ Manuel made his NFL regular season debut on Sunday for the Buffalo Bills. After having to undergo minor knee surgery following the second preseason contest of the year last month, Manuel was back in time for Sunday’s opener and ready to begin his career as a starting QB in the NFL.
His first test was set to be a difficult one, as Manuel and his Bills squad were set to face off against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the three-time Super Bowl winning, division rival New England Patriots.
While EJ and the Bills would end up dropping the season-opener by a score of 23-21, the Bills showed that they may indeed have their man in the former Seminoles’ star.
Manuel began his career by going 18-of-27 for 150 yards with two touchdowns. His presence leading the Bills offense this afternoon had to have the entire Buffalo fan base optimistic about where this franchise is headed with EJ as their starting quarterback.
The first of the two TD strikes came in the second quarter when Manuel found fellow rookie Robert Woods in the end zone for an 18-yard score. The second was also an 18-yarder, this time to Bills veteran receiver, Stevie Johnson.
Manuel also carried the ball three times for 23 yards.
Overall, this debut could be considered a success, even in defeat. Manuel has a lot of doubters to prove wrong who didn’t agree with his high selection in this past April’s draft.
More performances like today, coupled with the team progressing as well, will do a lot to help that cause.