Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson said the team benefited from veteran Kyle Orton taking over the starting quarterback job. Orton, 31, replaced EJ Manuel as the team's starter and led the Bills to a 17-14 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 5.
Orton, 31, replaced EJ Manuel as the team's starter and led the Bills to a 17-14 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 5. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 308 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his first start of the season.
In four games as the starter this season, Manuel completed 58 percent of his passes for 838 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Jackson said Orton had a better command of the huddle than Manuel, who is in his second season after being the team's first-round pick in 2013.
"[Orton] did a tremendous job for us in the huddle," Jackson said. "Definitely good to have a veteran out there, telling us what he was seeing on defense. He made some plays and put some guys in a position to make plays.
"I mean … it's one of those things where you definitely want to make your coach right. He said what he was going to do and we all got behind him, including EJ. It's definitely not a position he wants to be in. No one likes to be sat down and told they aren't getting the job done.
"But at the same time, this is about the team and we want to do whatever we can to get us a victory. And that was putting Kyle in at quarterback."
Jackson, who had 107 combined rushing and receiving yards against the Lions, said he reached out to Manuel about staying positive despite his benching. Jackson has remained a key contributor despite the fact the team has drafted running backs Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Spiller during Jackson's time in Buffalo.
The Bills have started the season 3-2 and host the New England Patriots on Sunday with first place in the AFC East on the line.
- Paul Palladino