Ignore Armchair GMs about Tyrod Taylor

Stats and analytics both support that Tyrod Taylor has played well in his first two games with the Buffalo Bills, yet some people are already giving up on the QB.

Love me today, hate me tomorrow…

When it comes to Tyrod Taylor, perhaps the quote should be ‘Love me one Sunday, hate me the next.’ On Sunday, armchair GMs took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the Buffalo Bills quarterback. Not all of these quotes come from Bills fans, but here are some gems I found about Taylor during and following Sunday’s game.

Tyrod is not THE GUY… Please put in EJ!! Seriously…

Where's E.J. Manuel??? Tyrod is not a starting NFL QB.

Ive seen enough of tyrod taylor to know he is not a starting QB in the nfl

From a Big Fan a Season Ticket Holder.Tyrod Taylor's QB play Today.Proves he is NOT Ready to be an NFL QBThrow the AFC Away

Tyrod Taylor does not look like a capable NFL QB. Bills need to find one before worrying about winning.

Step away from the keyboard, folks. First of all, where were these opinions in Week 1? You know, when Taylor helped lead the Bills to victory over the Indianapolis Colts. No one was openly claiming that wasn’t an NFL QB after he completed 14-of-19 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown.

Yes, Taylor was sloppier with the ball in Week 2. His fumbles doubled in Week 2 and he threw three interceptions. There were also times when Taylor looked nervous standing in the pocket. Last, he also held the ball too long at times. There were negatives to his game. Plenty of them in fact. However, the overreactions above are ridiculous because there were also plenty of positives to Taylor’s game on Sunday.

First, Taylor once again completed over 70 percent of his passes. He’s proven that he has pretty good overall accuracy. He takes what’s given to him but also shows a willingness to throw down the field (See: Harvin arm bar PI and Watkins touchdown). Taylor needs to stretch the field more, but he’s shown some success in two weeks. His athleticism also shouldn’t be overlooked on the field. The offensive line in front of Taylor hasn’t performed well and the quarterback has kept many plays alive by moving around in the pocket. Not only can Taylor’s athleticism give him more time to find receivers, but it also allows him to take off with the ball. In both starts, Taylor has rushed for over 40 yards. According to the Bills Media Relations Department, only Taylor and Doug Flutie have done this as Buffalo Bills.

Overall, here’s a look at Taylor’s first two games:

37-of-49 (75.5%), 437 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT, 14 carries, 84 yards (6.0 YPC), 1 TD, 3 fumbles

All rankings are based upon where Taylor fell entering Monday night.

Among QBs who have started both games this season, Taylor is currently fourth in completion percentage behind Philip Rivers (81.2%), Aaron Rodgers (76.8%) and Kirk Cousins (75.9%). Pretty good company.

In terms of yards thrown, Taylor is 20th in the league.. Rodgers (438) and Nick Foles (447) have thrown for a few more yards than Taylor but the quarterback finds himself above the likes of Alex Smith (434), Peyton Manning (431), Jameis Winston (417) and some other notable young QBs.

Four passing touchdowns has him tied for sixth in the league along with Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Matthew Stafford. As for his three interceptions, only Sam Bradford (4) has thrown more. That said, Taylor has as many INTs as Joe Flacco, Rivers and Stafford. I highly doubt any of their fan bases are clamoring for a QB change.

In terms of QB rushing stats, Taylor is fourth in the league behind Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Good company for the mobile QB.

These are just basic stats, but it’s not like Taylor is floundering. He has some pretty talented quarterbacks around him in just about every category.

Besides the basics, Taylor is also tied for second in terms of 20+ yard plays (9) and ninth in the league in terms of quarterback rating (103.3).

The analytics side with Taylor as well. Pro Football Focus’ signature stats has Taylor sixth in regards to accuracy percentage. Quarterbacks aren’t penalized for drops, throwaways, spikes, batted passes or plays where the QB was hit. This is simply a measure of how accurate is the QB when he gets his passes off. Through two games, he’s done very well.

How about deep passing? PFF has Taylor tied for second place with Flacco. According to the site, Taylor has connected on four of nine deep passes for 134 yards. Three of Taylor’s four deep pass completions have resulted in TDs. No other quarterback on the qualifying list has more than one. It should be pointed out that Taylor leads the NFL in deep pass INTs (2) currently, but Brees, Flacco and Roethlisberger are all one away from the QB.

And under pressure, only Rivers has been better through the first two weeks. When pressured, Taylor has completed 13-of-18 passes and two of the incompletions have been credited as drops.  

PFF does note that Taylor holds onto the ball the longest among QBs through two weeks. It’s definitely something Taylor needs to work on, but what quarterback doesn’t have things to work on after two NFL starts (Technically one as Matt Cassel was under center on the first snap vs. Indianapolis)?

Simply put, the overreactions by some fans right now are laughable at best.

Could Taylor ultimately fizzle out and join the likes of failed Bills QBs like Todd Collins, Alex Van Pelt, Rob Johnson, J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Trent Edwards and so many others? Absolutely. Time will tell but that’s what Taylor deserves, time as Buffalo’s starting quarterback.

Thinking Manuel or Matt Cassel could have done better than Taylor in the first two weeks is asinine. Manuel has done nothing to prove that he can carry the Bills. There’s a reason he is Buffalo’s third string quarterback. And Cassel? There’s no reason to believe that a quarterback who lacks mobility would perform well behind this offensive line.

Taylor is going to continue to make mistakes for Buffalo. He’s inexperienced as a starting quarterback and that’s what inexperienced quarterbacks do. That said, you need to take the bad with the good and through two weeks, we’ve seen more than enough good play out of Taylor.

 

 

 


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