FOXBORO, Mass. — E.J. Manuel wasn’t expected to be the first quarterback taken in this year’s NFL draft, but in retrospect, it makes sense. The read option is the latest craze in the NFL, and Manuel was the best athletic quarterback of his class.
The Patriots haven’t had tremendous success against running quarterbacks in the past, and the first-team defense didn’t face many read-option looks in the preseason. That’s why signing Tim Tebow for the summer may have been a good move.
New England’s defense was able to see Josh McDaniels‘ version of the option in practice. The defense also saw some of those looks when they were practicing against the Eagles down in Philadelphia. It probably won’t be a game-changer against Buffalo, but it will help.
It may still take some adjustments to face off against Manuel, since the Patriots don’t have much film on him, but Chandler Jones and the pass rush should be able to put enough pressure on the rookie to rattle him. To hear more about how the Patriots match up against the Bills, watch NESN.com Patriots writers Doug Kyed and Luke Hughes tackle the matchup in the video above.