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Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor's Targets through 7 Games

The key to Tyrod Taylor's early passing success? He's targeting his playmakers.

Tyrod Taylor has started in five games with the Buffalo Bills this season. Over this course of time, the Bills hold a 5-2 record with wins over the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins (2), Tennessee Titans and New York Jets. Taylor has been efficient with the ball, completing 70.5 percent of his passes. One big reason why Taylor has had so much success is that the Bills haven’t asked the quarterback to do too much as a passer. In fact, through seven games the quarterback has only passed the ball 176 times. That averages out to 25 attempts per game. Buffalo wants to run the football and protect the ball on offense and thus far, Buffalo is doing well in both categories. The team currently has the No. 1 rushing offense and Taylor has only thrown four interceptions on the year.

Why has Taylor been so successful? He’s targeted his playmakers. Through seven games, here’s a breakdown of Taylor’s targets and a breakdown on the percentages.

Player

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 9

Week 10

Total Targets

Sammy Watkins

3

8

2

--

--

8

7

28

Robert Woods

2

3

5

5

2

1

7

25

Chris Hogan

--

1

4

5

3

--

--

13

Marcus Easley

--

--

--

1

--

--

--

1

Denarius Moore

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

0

Charles Clay

4

5

7

13

3

1

6

39

Matthew Mulligan

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

1

Chris Gragg

--

--

--

1

--

--

--

1

LeSean McCoy

4

4

3

--

--

2

5

18

Karlos Williams

--

3

--

4

--

--

1

8

Anthony Dixon

--

--

--

3

3

--

--

6

Boom Herron

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

0

Jerome Felton

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

1

Percy Harvin

5

5

8

8

4

--

--

30

Marquise Goodwin

--

--

--

--

2

--

--

2

MarQueis Gray

--

--

--

1

--

--

--

1

Cierre Wood

--

--

--

1

--

--

--

1

Italicized players are out for season

Percentage of Targets

Player

Target Percentage

(Rounded)

Sammy Watkins

16

Robert Woods

14

Chris Hogan

7

Marcus Easley

1

Charles Clay

22

Matthew Mulligan

1

Chris Gragg

1

LeSean McCoy

10

Karlos Williams

5

Anthony Dixon

3

Jerome Felton

1

Percy Harvin

17

Marquise Goodwin

1

MarQueis Gray

1

Cierre Wood

1

(Rounded totals bring amount to 101 percent)

Charles Clay has been Tyrod Taylor’s No. 1 target this season, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that Clay hasn’t missed a game in 2015. Robert Woods has also been active in every game played with Taylor, but until Week 10, Woods never saw more than five targets. It’s encouraging to see that Taylor targeted Woods more on Thursday Night Football.

At receiver, Taylor’s two favorite targets have been Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins. The obvious bad news for Buffalo is that Harvin is out for the year due to hip and ankle injuries. Besides Clay, no one had more targets over the first five weeks than Harvin. Without Harvin, those targets need to go elsewhere. The best place for the majority of them to go is at Watkins. The second year player is Buffalo’s best receiver and needs to be targeted as such. Over the last two weeks, no player has seen more targets than Watkins. This is good news for Bills fans and fantasy football owners. While Taylor doesn’t sling the ball, Watkins should continue to be the team’s most targeted player on a week to week basis. Chris Hogan, the team’s No. 3 receiver, hasn’t been involved much in the offense this season.

Besides Watkins, Taylor should look to get his backs more involved in the passing game, especially LeSean McCoy. On Thursday Night Football, we saw signs of this with McCoy receiving five targets in the passing game. McCoy is one of Buffalo’s best playmakers so getting the ball in his hands more often should lead to positive results.

 

 


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