QB Thaddeus Lewis, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 215, Born: 11-19-1987, College: Duke, Drafted: ---
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Thad Lewis did very well in relief of the injured EJ Manuel last season, especially for a former undrafted free agent. BuffaloBills.com says that the team is "very high" on Lewis and he is reuniting with his former quarterbacks coach, Todd Downing. Manuel isn't a surefire fantasy quarterback, so having his backup isn't a crying need, but if for some reason you have to rely on Manuel, having Lewis is a wise move.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 6 - Everything Jeff Tuel wasn’t in injured relief last Thursday, Thaddeus Lewis was for the Bills on Sunday. Wasting little time, Lewis set the tone and ensured the Bengal defense would be on their heels throughout with his first throw. Coming on the team’s first 3rd down and only the third snap for the offense, Lewis threw a perfect 47-yard bomb to TJ Graham. The speedy wide receiver did his part to get behind a pressing Adam Jones and the throw couldn’t have been better as the helping safety could do little more than push Graham out of bounds after the catch was completed. A mere taster, Lewis finished the drive off using another one of his weapons, his legs. After scrambling for a short gain, the offense picked up another huge chunk of yards as Vontaze Burfict was tagged with a personal foul as he hit Lewis late on his slide. After a short swing to Tashard Choice took the offense down to the Bengal two-yard line, Lewis scored on the very next play on a QB draw. Lewis took a back seat to the rushing attack on the following drive as he only threw twice despite the offense going on a 16-play pilgrimage to the goal line. The drive ultimately stalled, however, as the running game couldn’t muster two yards in three plays and Lewis was dropped short of the end zone on a great play from James Harrison on 4th down. Confidence still beaming, Lewis opened the next drive with completions on his first two throws. After a well designed screen to CJ Spiller went for seven yards, Lewis connected with Robert Woods for the first time two plays later to convert the 3rd down. Two more completions and some shifty moves on a five-yard scramble, Lewis was eventually done in by a drop by Chris Hogan on a slant. The throw was high, but one Hogan needs to make. Lewis’ last drive of the half was forgettable to say the least, as the Bengals snuffed out a screen attempt before Lewis took a sack and missed a connection with tight end Scott Chandler. His lone glaring mistake, Lewis continued his late 1st half struggles as the team opened the 2nd half. After missing on two throws, Lewis scrambled out of the pocket on his third. Torn between running to the sticks or flipping it to Fred Jackson in the flat, Lewis never tucked the ball away. The indecisiveness clearly mentally froze the quarterback and he was stripped from behind by Carlos Dunlap. A badly missed pass interference call compounded by another sack lead to the second three and out for the Buffalo offense. Lewis showed some zip on the following drive, but the 14-yard completion was the team’s lone 1st down of the drive. Faced with a tight window, Lewis split the LB and the corner and Graham did a nice job hauling the throw in despite probably never seeing the ball until it was already in his hands. Down 14 and time running out, Lewis saved his best for last. After opening the drive with a nine-yard strike to Graham, Lewis hit Marquise Goodwin for 11 yards three plays later. Not to be deterred by a bad sack, Lewis read the coverage perfectly on 4th down resulting in a shockingly easy 22-yard touchdown pass down the seam to Chandler. By far Lewis’ easiest throw of the day, the genius was in the quick read. After a quick three and out, Lewis and the offense had one more shot to knot the game. Starting at their own 14-yard line, Lewis hit Woods for six yards on the drive’s second play. After taking a sack, Jackson caught a short toss out of the backfield and turned it into a first down. Two plays later, Lewis had forever in the pocket and eventually found a wide open Chandler over the middle for 20 yards. A reeling Bengal defense brought pressure from the corner on the following play, but Jackson easily picked the blitz up. Lewis spotted a streaking Goodwin and delivered another beautiful bomb for the game-tying 40-yard TD pass. Lewis would get one more throw, coming in OT, but the pass to Chandler fell incomplete as the Bills ultimately fell to the Bengals. Lewis was seen wearing a walking boot post-game, but reportedly x-rays were negative.
Week 7 - Rarely pretty and often boring, Thad Lewis and the Bills passing offense made just enough plays to notch their first win in Miami since 2010. After opening the game with a forgettable first drive that included a sack and two incompletions, Lewis found some rhythm on the next drive. Starting on the Miami 44-yard line, Lewis connected with both tight ends on his only passes of the drive to get inside the 10-yard line before the running game took over and punched the ball into the end zone. Up 14, the coaching staff was content to play it safe and Lewis’ throws certainly reflected that. After a quick seven-yard out to Woods, Lewis went short again the following throw to Stevie Johnson on another out for 13 yards with Johnson doing all the heavy lifting. The drive stalled after consecutive horribly executed plays and a screen to Jackson that was well short of the first down. Lewis continued to play it safe as the offense went three and the out the following drive, with a lone completion to TJ Graham on a shallow crosser on 3rd and eight that only picked up six yards. After a nice completion to Johnson on a quick slant picked up 10 yards, Lewis made his first big (and only) mistake of the game. Dropping back to throw, the pocket collapsed and Lewis’ arm was hit just as he was throwing. The ball fluttered into the danger zone and S Chris Clemons made a diving interception. Lewis responded well, however, the following drive with his longest completion of the game. Graham ran a corner route and Lewis perfectly dropped the pass between the coverage for a 30-yard gain. After a short toss to Jackson on a swing picked up four yards, Miami was able to get to Lewis on consecutive drop backs and force a FG try. Consecutive three and outs bookended halftime before Lewis and the offense got things going again. Facing 3rd and six, Lewis went to favorite target on the day Johnson as he again ran a quick out. Again Johnson did the heavy lifting to keep the drive going as he picked up a tough seven yards. Lewis picked up eight yards the following play, keeping on the read-option, but those yards were immediately wiped out with a sack on the following play. An injured Jackson didn’t have the mobility to pick up the pressure and Lewis went down immediately. Not to be deterred, Lewis made his toughest throw of the game on the following play, again to Johnson. LB Jelani Jenkins came through the line free and had the QB sized up while Lewis waited for Johnson to come out of his break on the dig. Throwing almost blind, Lewis delivered a strike to Johnson for 17 yards just moments before Jenkins crushed him. The hit was hard enough to knock Lewis’ helmet off and draw a roughing the passer penalty. Two plays later Lewis connected with Robert Woods for 11 yards before the drive eventually stalled at the Miami three-yard line and a FG try. Lewis completed four of his next six throws spanning two drives, but none went for longer than 12 yards and the offense only picked up one first down. Fittingly, Lewis’ final completion looked every bit as safe as his first pass as he checked down to Woods for six yards. The Bills would have one more drive, but consisted of six runs before Dan Carpenter kicked the game-winning field goal.
Week 8 - Making his 2nd straight road in one of the league’s toughest environments, Lewis could not have possibly started Sunday any worse than he did. Going read-option on the first play, Lewis kept and ultimately followed Jackson through the hole. Unable to keep his balance, Lewis stumbled through the line of scrimmage and never had a chance to protect himself as David Hawthorne came flying in on Lewis’ blindside. Hawthorne delivered a brutal shot to the quarterback’s midsection, the ball shot out and New Orleans recovered. Despite lying on the turf for several minutes, Lewis showed tremendous toughness as he returned to the field on the following drive. Despite taking another hit on his first dropback, Lewis completed his first throw of the game showing nice velocity on the 11-yard completion to TJ Graham. The following drive, Lewis again found himself on the wrong of a hit whilst holding the ball. After faking the handoff to Jackson, Lewis pumped just moments before Cameron Jordan got his hands on him and jarred the ball loose. Despite two lost fumbles in three drives, Lewis remained resilient as the offense took the field on their fifth drive. Opening with a play fake, Lewis threw a tad high to Stevie Johnson on a quick slant but Johnson made a nice catch on the play for 17 yards. After losing three yards on another high throw to Johnson on a bubble screen, Lewis delivered a nice ball to a sitting Johnson for 15 yards. Five plays later, Lewis and Johnson connected again for a 13-yard touchdown. With Johnson running down the seam, Lewis elevated the throw just enough to beat the underneath coverage and Johnson again made a great play on the ball for the touchdown grab. Lewis continued the solid play on the following drive despite getting blindsided, and fumbling, on his first dropback. Tight end Scott Chandler badly missed the blindside protection and Lewis never sensed the hit as Junior Galette knocked the ball loose. The Bills were able to recover the loose ball and Lewis made sure to take advantage, picking up 22 yards on a throw to Chandler the next play. This time Lewis did a much better job sensing a collapsing pocket and slid right before delivering a strike on the move to Chandler. The throw allowed Chandler to turn up field and turn the short pass into a much bigger gain. Two plays later, Lewis went back to his tight end and picked up 15 more yards on another quick out. The two just missed a touchdown three plays later, but Chandler wasn’t able to make the circus catch. After back-to-back scoring drives, Lewis and the offense sputtered over the next two drives as the team went without a 1st down. Needing points in the worst way, Lewis and the offense found some consistency after the consecutive punts. Three straight completions had the offense flying, but again Lewis took a shot due to Chandler’s negligence. Going play action, Lewis was able to find TJ Graham deep down the sideline. The safety badly misplayed the ball, completely whiffing on the attempt on the throw and Graham easily walked into the end zone. Frustratingly, the touchdown was called back as Chandler was flagged for holding. Two plays later, Lewis was smacked again, but this time illegally as he drew a roughing the passer penalty. Lewis took advantage of the penalty and immediately on the next play connected with Marquise Goodwin for 26 yards on a beautiful throw and catch. Again working off play action, Lewis perfectly led Goodwin and he made a tremendous fingertip grab. Three plays later, Lewis again found himself on the wrong end of a hit and again drew another roughing the passer penalty. The offense eventually got into the end zone but all the shots clearly had an effect on Lewis as the game finished out. After a laser to Johnson on a quick slant picked up 11 yards, Lewis struggled to get his throws down and would eventually pay for it. Lewis badly overthrew a wide-open Goodwin on a hitch, but it was the 3rd down throw that really cost the Bills. Again trying to hit Goodwin, Lewis’ throw sailed and DB Keenan Lewis was able to centerfield the ball for the INT. Beat up physically and mentally, the former Blue Devil continued to struggle with sailing passes as Buffalo made its final gasp. Goodwin made another tremendous catch for 20 yards on a high throw from Lewis to kick the drive off, but the Bills ultimately were forced to turn the ball over on downs as Lewis missed on 7 of his last 10 throws. Showing an immense amount of heart and grit, Lewis didn’t have enough consistent offensive production to keep the Bills in the contest.
Week 16 - Doing his best EJ Manuel impersonation, Lewis was far from spectacular on Sunday, but made enough throws after a rough start to compliment the spectacular effort from the defense. After missing his first three targets on the opening drive, Lewis opened the second drive with a 57-yard completion to Robert Woods down the left sideline. Noticing the man coverage, Lewis slightly underthrew the pass allowing Woods to make the adjustment Nolan Carroll couldn’t. The drive stalled after, however, after Lewis and Graham couldn’t connect and the QB badly overthrew an open Chris Hogan down the seam. A quick three and out followed, but Lewis found his rhythm two drives later. Maybe his best throw of the game, the former Duke Blue Devil threw a beautiful back-shoulder dart to TE Lee Smith as he ran down the seam for 24 yards for the first of five completions on the Bills lone TD drive. Lewis continued to dissect the Dolphin pass defense on the following drive, completing four of five passes before his lone mistake ended the drive near midfield. It appeared there was some sort of miscommunication between QB and WR as Lewis expected Marcus Easley to continue his route inside. Easley stopped and the wobbly throw sailed right into the arms of a diving Nolan Carroll. After two forgettable drives to open the 2nd half, Lewis, with the help of an ill-timed Miami penalty, found some of his 1st half rhythm to lead the offense on a backbreaking drive. After a short toss to Hogan immediately after the penalty, Lewis kept on a read-option and picked up another 1st down. Three plays later, the QB connected with a curling Hogan over the middle for an important 3rd down conversion. The completion streak continued as Lewis play-faked and hit Scott Chandler on quick pop pass for 16 yards as the offense moved into Dolphin territory. Lewis picked up eight yards with his legs; including another keep on an option that directly impacted the following 3rd down. Because Lewis had kept twice already, the DE couldn’t collapse on the RB and Jackson picked up 6 yards on 3rd and 2. Lewis ultimately missed on what was his final throw of the drive and game, but the damage was done: 19 plays, 91 yards and 9:16 off the clock. Lewis led two more scoring drives, but never did more than hand the ball off as the rushing attack salted the rest of game away.
Week 17 - Solid, but far from spectacular in his 2nd consecutive start, Thad Lewis was able to consistently move the offense between the 20s but ultimately couldn’t make enough throws to overcome the lackluster performance from the surprisingly rickety Buffalo defense. After a shaky first throw to the flat that was nowhere near completion, Lewis used a tremendous effort from rookie Marquise Goodwin on his first completion to the pick up 22 yards on the Bills first 3rd down. Goodwin worked the sideline and Lewis did a nice job dropping the throw between the zoning cornerback and safety playing over the top. Although, the drive would stall three plays later on what would be the first of many coverage sacks that saw Lewis waiting too long to make a decision. Waiting and then waiting some more, the former Duke Blue Devil finally decided to escape the collapsing pocket but couldn’t hold on to the ball as he did and ultimately fumbled it out of bounds. Lewis again kicked off the next drive with another pretty throw down the sideline between the coverage as he connected with Robert Woods for 27 yards. The drive stalled, however, shortly thereafter as Lewis missed on his next two throws with the latter being a bad drop from his TE on a perfectly delivered pass. Limited in opportunities, Lewis and passing offense only completed one more throw in the 1st half as both running games took the game over. Lewis did have a sneak opportunity on 4th down, but received absolutely no help from his offensive line and was lucky to get back to the original line of scrimmage. Working off play action right out of halftime, Lewis again completed a pass of 20+ yards as he hit Chandler dragging over the middle of the field for 27 yards. The drive promptly stalled and the following drive was even worse as the Bills went three and out. With the game getting away, Lewis delivered probably his best throw of the game on the next drive and more importantly was able to finish with a TD. With TJ Graham behind the coverage and streaking down the sideline, Lewis lofted a beautiful pass through the driving rain for a 41-yard gain. Graham had to do little more than stretch his arms out as the ball dropped perfectly into hands for the huge gain. Three plays later the Bills appeared to be facing another stalled drive despite the 41-yard gain, but were saved by a questionable New England penalty and Lewis made sure to capitalize two plays later. Facing another collapsing pocket, the QB was able to escape to his left and manipulate the defense as the coverage made a break for Lewis as he appeared headed for the end zone via his legs. Initially blocking, Graham peeled off and slipped uncovered towards the end zone making for an easy 12-yard TD pass. Lewis continued to produce the following drive, hitting three of four throws and for the fifth time in eight drives completed another 20-yard pass in the process. With New England bringing pressure, Lewis correctly identified DE Michael Buchanan locked up with Fred Jackson and took full advantage. Jackson ran an arrow route and Lewis put the throw right on him allowing his RB to catch the pass in stride and pick up 37 yards on the play. Lewis opened the next drive with two more completions, but was badly let down by TJ Graham on 4th down. Looking off the coverage as he stared down his TE in the flat, Lewis quickly progressed to a wide-open and slanting Graham. The throw was exactly where it needed to be, but the target let the throw get into his body and ultimately dropped what should have been an easy conversion. Lewis followed the disappointing turnover on downs with three straight completions on the next drive, including a brilliant throw on the run to Chandler for 19 yards, but again was felled by a coverage sack on 3rd down. Lewis and the Bills had one more drive, but the QB was only able to complete one of three throws before an incompletion on 4th down ended the game.