Thad Lewis – making his second consecutive start in place of injured starter EJ Manuel - threw for 202 yards and an interception in the Buffalo Bills’ 23-21 victory over the Miami Dolphins, the first pro victory for the former Duke Blue Devil.
The game was a homecoming for Lewis, who grew up next to Sun Life Stadium in Opa-Lacka, Florida. While it wasn’t nearly as impressive of a performance as last week’s 216 yard, three-touchdown (2 passing, 1 rushing) outburst, he made a few impressive plays. The biggest one came at the 3:45 mark in the third quarter, with the Bills down 21-17.
Under pressure, Lewis stayed in the pocket and delivered a strike to WR Steve Johnson, taking a big hit that resulted in a roughing-the-passer penalty in the process. The fourth-year veteran hopped up – his helmet laying off to the side – and emotionally pumped his fist in celebration.
Lewis was a four-year starter at Duke, where he set the school record for career passing yards, career passing touchdowns and most consecutive passes without an interception. In forty-seven starts as a Blue Devil, he went 697-1,170 for 10,065 yards and 67 touchdowns. He also added nine rushing touchdowns.
While it is unlikely we’ll ever see Lewis as a full-time, starting quarterback in the NFL, he is beginning to establish himself as a very reliable backup, something that plenty of guys have made a career out of.