This week, the Buffalo Bills will turn to Thaddeus Lewis at the quarterback position against a stout Cincinnati Bengals defense. Lewis, who spent the beginning of the year on the practice squad, has only started one game before in his NFL career.
Last year, while a member of the Cleveland Browns, Thaddeus Lewis started a week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the time, Pittsburgh had the best defense in the NFL, although Thaddeus Lewis played fairly well against them. Lewis went 22-32 with 201 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. However, the Browns still lost the game, and if the Bills plan on upsetting the Bengals Lewis will have to play even better.
Thaddeus Lewis graduated from high school ranked as the number 65 quarterback in the country. Afterwards, Lewis continued his football career at Duke University, and became possibly the most successful quarterback in school history, setting school records for passing yards and passing touchdowns. The Blue Devil was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award in his senior year, which is an award given to the nation’s top quarterback. Although he didn’t win, his qualification proved to the country that he was talented enough to make it in the NFL. Thaddeus Lewis had a great career at Duke University, which one could tell by his stats.
|2006||Duke Blue Devils||12||106.9||340||180||52.9||2,134||11||16||99||-74||1|
|2007||Duke Blue Devils||12||125.7||360||199||55.3||2,430||21||10||96||-148||2|
|2008||Duke Blue Devils||11||123.0||361||224||62.0||2,171||15||6||69||96||2|
|2009||Duke Blue Devils||12||134.5||449||274||61.0||3,330||20||8||86||48||4|
After Lewis’s career at Duke, he went undrafted and was eventually signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free-agent. Lewis’s time at St. Louis was short and unimportant, seeing as Lewis never got a chance to play in an NFL game. However, his career turned for the better when the Cleveland Browns claimed him off waivers from the Rams. As a member of the Cleveland Browns, Thaddeus Lewis finally got a chance to make his first career start due to injuries to Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy. As stated before, Lewis played fairly well in his NFL debut, or at least well enough to entice the Detroit Lions’ interest. The Detroit Lions claimed him off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on May 28th this offseason.
After Lewis was signed by the Lions, he began competing with undrafted free-agent quarterback Kellen Moore for the third quarterback slot on the roster. However, Lewis’s season was thrown for a twist when he found out he was traded to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Chris White. The Bills initially traded for Thaddeus Lewis because they were doubtful that E.J. Manuel would be ready for week 1 and wanted a backup for Jeff Tuel in case he had to start. However, Manuel was recovered in time for week 1 and the Bills demoted Thaddeus Lewis to the practice squad.
Until now, Lewis has remained on the practice squad since then. However, he must have been very impressive on the practice squad because when it came time to name a starter for the Bills’ game against the Bengals this week, Doug Marrone chose Lewis over Jeff Tuel, who was on the active roster for the entire year. Thaddeus Lewis will have to perform well if he wants to retain his starting role during Manuel’s hiatus, but that will be tough against a Bengals’ defense who has not allowed a 300 yard passer in 19 straight games.
Thaddeus Lewis will likely get help from a running game that is currently on a hot streak, thanks to C.J. Spiller’s and Fred Jackson’s recent success. Also, Lewis has had an extended period of time to prepare for Sunday’s game because the Bills played on Thursday night last week. Although a win for Lewis in his second career start may seem unlikely, it is still very possible and if all goes well, Lewis will increase his record as a starting quarterback to 1-1.