Can Bills' dink-and-dunk offense succeed with QB Tyrod Taylor?
One of the most eye-catching results from Week 1 was the Bills large margin of victory over the Colts. A key component to Buffalo’s success was the performance of QB Tyrod Taylor (+0.4 overall grade).
When he wasn’t under pressure, Taylor was nearly perfect, with an NFL QB Rating of 142.8. Just as surprising was his effectiveness when under pressure. The Bills might have one of the worst offensive lines in the league; Taylor was under pressure on 45 percent on his drop backs against the Colts. He ran the ball twice, and completed five of his eight passes for 74 yards.
Part of Taylor’s success can be contributed to his high number of short passes. 16 of his 22 throws had a depth of 5 yards or less (which all starting NFL quarterbacks should be accurate on). What made his performance more impressive were quality throws on his rare deep passes; he was accurate on half of these attempts, including a completed pass thrown 51 yards in the air to WR Percy Harvin.
A big part of Taylor’s game is running the ball. He had a few designed runs, as well as a few scrambles. He wasn’t as impressive as he had been in preseason play, with only one really effective scramble where he was able to get by a missed tackle for a first down. A fumble also put a damper on his ground performance.
At this point, it’s too early to start considering Taylor as one of the better quarterbacks in the game. He is nowhere close to showing he can consistently make passes beyond 5 yards in the air, as the sample size of six attempts is too small. The Bills are a run-first team with short passes, so the deeper passes aren’t as expected. At some point this season, the Bills will be losing in the fourth quarter and will need to pass to try catching up. When that time comes, we’ll have a much better idea of just how good Tyrod Taylor can be.
Until that point, Bills fans can be pleasantly surprised that Taylor did everything he was asked to do to a high level.