Why Tyrod Taylor Should Be the Guy in Buffalo

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Tyrod Taylor /
ORCHARD PARK, NY – NOVEMBER 27: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY – NOVEMBER 27: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Tyrod Taylor is the first Buffalo Bills QB to make the Pro Bowl since Drew Bledsoe in 2002. Despite two consecutive playoff-less seasons with Tyrod at the helm, the Bills need to make Taylor their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Tyrod Taylor was never supposed to be an elite starting quarterback. He was always supposed to be an afterthought.

At Virginia Tech, Tyrod had to live up to the hype of fellow Hokies star, Mike Vick. Vick took the country and NFL by storm with his highlight reel plays (NSFW language in link) using both his arm and his legs.

Taylor, like Vick, is a mobile QB, making for an easy comparison but difficult expectations to live up to.

Despite having those high expectations, Taylor had a nice career at VT and was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, one of the NFL’s most successful franchises.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – FEBRUARY 03: Tyrod Taylor /

On the Ravens, Tyrod backed up Joe Flacco. Flacco is arguably the best QB in franchise history, leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl championship and countless playoff appearances.

Through all that, all Taylor could do was watch and wait for an opportunity. However, he never got one in Baltimore.

Flacco was the guy and Tyrod was never needed. Garbage time and preseason work are all he will be remembered for in Baltimore, but that is okay.

Tyrod Taylor signed a three-year, $3.35 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

It must have been difficult for Tyrod to come to the Bills in 2015. Just look at the mess he walked into.

Kyle Orton, the first not terrible QB the Bills had in over a decade, randomly retired at the end of the season.

Tyrod was lucky the Bills even gave him a chance. Still, the only chance they gave him was in a QB competition.

Let us not forget that this is two years after Thaddeus Lewis, THADDEUS LEWIS, started regular season games for the Buffalo Bills.

Tyrod came into an absolute mess. Rex Ryan had just taken over for Doug Marrone, who also randomly quit, and Taylor had to come in and fight for the starting job.

ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 24: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 24: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

As history shows, Tyrod earned the job. Not just because he was going up against lackluster talent, but because he was flat-out good.

Tyrod Taylor was finally a starting QB in the NFL. This time, he had nothing to live up to. No Vick. No Flacco.

All he had to live up to was J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, Kelly Holcomb, Ryan Fitzpatrick, E.J. Manuel (who Tyrod beat in the 2015 QB competition), and Thad Lewis. Clearly, that is not a list of future Hall of Famers.

After following that group, even mediocre play would have satisfied Bills fans. All he had to do was not be a terrible NFL QB, although obviously, he has done much more.

One reason why Tyrod Taylor should be the guy in Buffalo is that he survived the Rex Ryan era.

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The once fabled defensive coordinator was given a second head coaching chance (after the New York Jets) and Buffalo felt like the perfect fit.

After “winning the offseason” but failing to make the playoffs yet again for a second straight season in 2016, the Rex Ryan era is over. Thank god.

Tyrod Taylor, with a bad head coach and two different offensive coordinators, still managed to play stellar in his two seasons at the helm.

According to NFL.com, in 2015 Taylor started 14 games, threw for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns, had only six interceptions, and rushed for 568 yards.

He followed that up with a 2016 campaign where he started 15 games, picked up 3,023 passing yards, racked up 17 TDs, threw just six more picks, and picked up 580 yards on the ground.

In both seasons with Buffalo, Tyrod has thrown at least twice as many touchdowns as interceptions and adds a rushing dynamic that few other QBs in the NFL can. He is more than worthy of being given at least one more year as starting QB and 2017 is that year.

OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 04: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 04: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Yes, Taylor has flaws. He is not always the most accurate thrower, sometimes missing receivers badly. And yes, he might not always pull the trigger and scramble around too much.

But being an NFL QB is hard. Doing it while having to learn new offensive systems under a joke of a regime is even harder.

Tyrod still managed to barely turn the ball over, which is crucial in the NFL. He also has the ability to make plays with his feet if there is nothing going on in the air.

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The Bills have missed the playoffs the two years Tyrod Taylor has been getting a majority of the snaps. However, it is not solely his fault, in fact, the opposite is true.

The defense has been underwhelming, the front office is constantly changing, the relatively new ownership group is settling in, and being a good NFL QB takes time.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was given three years to be the guy.

Why? Because of one good four-game stretch and because there was no one else. That’s exactly why.

Tyrod has earned his third year. He just restructured his contract to stay with Buffalo but still has the potential to be a very rich man.

Unless 2017 draft pick Nathan Peterman is the next Aaron Rodgers, Tyrod will be the starter next season. He should be. He earned it.

Missing the playoffs has been out of his control. With new Head Coach Sean McDermott and new GM Brandon Beane taking over, Tyrod is the only guy who is safe from the Rex era.

As a lifelong Bills fan who has never been alive to see his team win a playoff game, Tyrod Taylor is the only thing in a long time that is safe. That is encouraging. That is not a bad thing.

2017 will be the integral year in deciding if Tyrod Taylor is the Buffalo Bills franchise QB or not. I don’t think anyone expects playoffs. This year is about showing signs towards a brighter future. He just needs to be solid.

If he puts up similar numbers to his past two seasons, he will be.

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Tyrod Taylor has the talent and leadership skills to be the Buffalo Bills’ forever-elusive franchise quarterback.

Tyrod, the only hype you have to live up to now is your own.