Week three of the 2015 NFL Preseason is nearly upon us! This week is arguably the most interesting. Normally fans have the opportunity to see the starters play in their longest stints during the penultimate preseason matchups. The first half of the game is often considered a dress rehearsal for the start of the regular season. With teams required to make initial roster cuts on September 1 the game is also one of the last opportunities for players looking to make the squad to show off their talent.
A game of particular interest, for Hokie fans, will be played between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. With the Steelers acquiring Michael Vick this past week, the Hokie faithful have an opportunity to watch two Virginia Tech quarterbacks meet for the first time since the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-23 in 2012. In that game Tyrod Taylor did not play, but Michael Vick tore the Ravens apart passing for 23-32, 371 yards, throwing one TD, and rushing for another score.
In 2014 Vick signed with the Jets. The last game he played in was also against the Bills, and Buffalo decimated the New York Jets, 38-3. Vick’s performance in the match was mediocre at best. He was 7-19 for only 76 yards, and had two rushes for three yards. He finished the game with an abysmal 4.8 QBR. Interestingly, the game previous to the Bills blowout was against his current team, and represents Vick’s best performance during his time with the Jets. New York beat Pittsburg, 20-13. Vick completed 10-18 for 132 yards and two TDs. He tacked on an additional 39 yards rushing on eight attempts. As Vick just recently signed with Pittsburg he has yet to see any action in the preseason, but that is certainly something that is expected to change as he works to learn the Steelers’ offense.
Tyrod’s performance and competition for the Buffalo starting QB job has been covered extensively by Gobbler Country. Taylor has played well in training camp, and was named the starter of the Bills’ second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. Taylor’s complete preseason stats have him completing 12-18 for 114 yards and 10 rushes for 88 yards. He has been praised for his ability to remain calm, improvise, and keep plays alive with his legs.
The QB situation in Buffalo is receiving a significant amount of coverage, and for the third time in the preseason Coach Ryan has named a different starting QB. Cassel and Taylor received the nod for starting in week one and two, respectively, and now last year’s embattled starter, E.J. Manuel, will start the Bills’ third preseason game against Pittsburg. That being said, the NFL Network has reported Rex Ryan stating that all three QBs will get playing time with the first team.
Hokie faithful will have a rare opportunity to see two former Hokie standout QBs matchup against one another. Tyrod will continue to make his case for the starting job, and Michael will be making a case that he still has what it takes to play at the professional level.
The NFL Network will be televising the Bills – Steelers game live, on Saturday, at 4 PM eastern standard time.