Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel shine in latest Bills auditions

Bills general manager Doug Whaley said earlier this month that his team was "almost in quarterback purgatory." It didn't look that way on Saturday against the Steelers.

Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel each delivered their best performances of the preseason in a 43-19 win, giving coach Rex Ryan plenty to think about with Week 1's opener against the Colts just 15 days away.

But he doesn't plan on thinking too long. Ryan told reporters after Saturday's game that he will make a decision on the starting position Sunday but will not announce it publicly.

Manuel started the game and relieved, finishing 7 of 8 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores came on accurate downfield throws, a 67-yard hookup with tight end Charles Clay in the second quarter and a 37-yard connection to wide receiver Tobais Palmer in the third.

Manuel could have woken up Sunday morning as the surprise favorite in this QB competition if not for another promising effort by Taylor. Taylor was greeted with cheers from the Ralph Wilson Stadium faithful as he entered the game in the second quarter and did nothing to shake his favorite status, immediately leading the Bills on an 80-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 1-yard scoring run by Ricky Seale. Taylor went 7 of 8 for 78 yards on an 11-play march that covered five minutes.

Taylor began the second half with another long drive, this time covering 78 yards and capped by a 20-yard touchdown scramble by the quarterback. That's all Ryan needed to see. The coach put Manuel back in the game for two full series before Matt Simms finished the day. Bills passers finished the day 30 of 33 for 395 yards and three touchdowns.

One name you won't hear in the starting mix next week? Matt Cassel, who failed to generate points for Buffalo in two uninspiring series. The most memorable aspect of Cassel's day came on a third-down scramble that ended with one of the least effective juke moves in recent times.

One last note: Ryan sent out all four of his signal-callers as captains for the opening coin toss. You think he's enjoying all the attention on his supposedly doomed quarterback room?

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