ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — E.J. Manuel made his case to reclaim the Buffalo Bills starting job by going 7 of 8 for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-19 preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.
Manuel started the game by engineering two scoring drives — including a 67-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charles Clay — on Buffalo's first two series. And the third-year player then re-entered the game in the third quarter, and hit Tobias Palmer for a 37-yard touchdown pass.
For Pittsburgh (1-3), Michael Vick showed no signs of rust in making his preseason debut four days after signing with the Steelers.
Taking over for Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter, Vick completed a 63-yard pass up the right sideline to Martavis Bryant on his first play from scrimmage. Vick finished 4 of 5 for 116 yards and was sacked once in two series spanning the first and second quarters.
Vick is competing with Landry Jones for the No. 2 job after backup Bruce Gradkowski sustained a season-ending injury to his left hand in 24-19 win over Green Bay last week.
The three are in the midst of what's been an offseason-long competition for the starting job. And all three got an opportunity to play with the first-string offense on Saturday.
Taylor, who spent the previous four seasons as Joe Flacco's backup in Baltimore, went 12 of 13 for 122 yards, and also scored on a 20-yard scamper to open the third quarter. Matt Cassel came into the game next, and went 6 of 7 for 38 yards in two series.
In three preseason games, Manuel has gone a combined 20 of 30 for 355 and four touchdowns.
Bryant had three catches for 136 yards for Pittsburgh. DeAngelo Williams scored on a 1-yard plunge.
Bills veteran kicker Dan Carpenter was inconsistent. He missed wide left on a 53-yard field-goal attempt, and also pulled an extra point attempt wide right.
Injuries hit both teams, who already entered the game with depleted lineups.
Bills starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore did not return after hurting his right shoulder while tackling Marcus Wheaton on a 20-yard catch at the Buffalo 1-yard line. And Buffalo lost yet another receiver after Marquise Goodwin sustained an injury to his ribs after a 19-yard reception in the second quarter.
The Bills started the game without five receivers, including starters Sammy Watkins (gluteal muscle/hamstring), Percy Harvin (hip) and Robert Woods (tightness), plus Chris Hogan, who hurt his ankle last week.
The Steelers lost another kicker to an injury. Garrett Hartley did not return after hurting his right hamstring during a kickoff in the first quarter. Pittsburgh had just signed the seventh-year player on Aug. 11 after Shawn Suisham sustained a season-ending injury to his left knee in the Hall of Fame game against Minnesota.
Rookie first-round pick Bud Dupree did not return after hurting his right foot. It's believed to be minor.