Tyrod Taylor is correct choice as Bills' starter
The Bills’ Tyrod Taylor is the No. 2 quarterback in our grades so far this preseason, and it looks like head coach Rex Ryan has finally stopped weighing up his chance to succeed against that of Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel, who between them had a -18.1 grade last season in just eight games of playing time. To put that into perspective, over a full season that would have been vying with Blake Bortles for the worst QB grade in the NFL in 2014.
In four seasons to date, Taylor’s career is just 128 regular-season snaps old, so anyone claiming they know what he can and can’t do under fire is kidding themselves, but what he has shown this preseason is that he has more to his game than either of the other two Bills QBs.
This year he has improved in each preseason game and has earned positive grades across the board. Based on that alone, he has earned the chance to prove whether he can or can’t get it done when the action starts for real.
And there are some reasons for optimism that Taylor will be able to get the job done, given the talent elsewhere on the roster. The Bills will enter this season with an elite-looking defense and a running back who can be extremely productive. They are set up for a quarterback to succeed with help around him, especially if their starting offensive line remains healthy.
Moreover, while none of these three QBs have really distinguished themselves as passers throughout their careers, Taylor’s running ability is the one elite trait that any of the three can bring to the table. Taylor is the highest-graded rushing quarterback in the league this preseason, with designed carries earning him 44 yards, and scrambles another 40. He has also turned busted plays into positives to the tune of another 24 yards over his three games of action.
He has 108 total yards and a score from 11 rushes, averaging almost 10 yards every time he carries the football whether by design or improvisation. That X-factor adds a level of stress defenses aren’t used to dealing with.
Manuel and Cassel by contrast have carried the ball a combined six times and gained nine yards total on those plays, fumbling once in the process.
Taylor has far more upside than either of the other options, and has the ability to do things like this. He is the correct choice as Buffalo’s starting QB.