Tyrod Taylor’s chances to start for Bills

The Bills' starting QB competition appears to be a two-man race. Is Tyrod Taylor's running ability enough to push him past Matt Cassel?

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

Tyrod Taylor’s chances to start for Bills

With the quarterback situation in Buffalo still undecided, Tyrod Taylor will get the start when they head to Cleveland to take on the Browns next Monday night. The closer we get to the beginning of the season, the more this feels like a straight battle between Taylor and Matt Cassel to start in Rex Ryan’s maiden season in Buffalo, with EJ Manuel less of a realistic competitor for the job.

Cassel was efficient but unspectacular as a passer in their first preseason game, completing seven of the eight throws he attempted for 45 yards, with the only incompletion coming in the form of a dropped pass. He attempted only one pass of 10 yards or longer, with the other seven all coming in that 0- to 9-yard range.

Taylor was similarly efficient, but all five of his completions came on passes either behind the line of scrimmage, or throws of nine yards or fewer. The three throws of 20 yards or more that he attempted all fell incomplete, albeit with one coming as the result of a drop.

Where Taylor does have the ability to add big plays, however, is with his legs. He had a 20-yard run on Saturday night against the Carolina Panthers, and finished the night with six carries for 47 yards and one missed tackle forced.

Taylor has only really seen significant action in one regular season game in his career, a Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012 when he was Joe Flacco’s backup quarterback in Baltimore. In that game he was dynamic with the ball in his hands and forced four missed tackles from nine carries.

It’s clear that we still need to see more from him when it comes to throwing the football, but his ability to make things happen could be just what’s needed for a Bills team that should have one of the best defenses in the league in 2015. Whether it’s Taylor or Cassel who starts, a dynamic downfield passing attack isn’t likely in the cards for the Bills this season.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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