Bills vs Steelers: Stock Up, Stock Down
Tyrod Taylor: All throughout camp and preseason, Taylor has shown that he is deserving of winning the starting job, and he continued that on Saturday going 12-13 for 122 yards and a very nice 20 yard rushing TD. No throw that Taylor made yesterday turned heads, or particularly stuck out in any way. But he went through all of his progression and took what the defense gave him, leading two efficient touchdown drives.
We will soon find out if Taylor’s efforts have been noble enough to win him the starting QB spot. It will be well deserved if he does win the job, and a robbery if he does not. Taylor offers the Bills a dangerous homerun threat with world class mobility, the dimension that Matt Cassel does not offer. Taylor can do everything that Cassel can do, plus more, and for that reason alone he deserves to win the job.
The Bills have been swinging for the fences ever since the trade up for Sammy Watkins, and starting Tyrod Taylor would continue this trend. Choosing the safer option in Matt Cassel would go against everything that the Bills have built over the last few years.
Tyrod Taylor has won the job, and hopefully he will be rewarded accordingly.
Total Snaps: 22
PFF grade: 2.4
**Editors Note: Tyrod Taylor has been announced as the starting QB for week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Corbin Bryant: The preseason dominance continued for Bryant on Saturday. The man pegged to replace Marcell Dareus week 1 is showing that he more than capable of that, and more. Bryant was consistently making plays, including a sack of Ben Roethlisberger. Bryant made his presence known rushing the passer and also stuffing the run. Corbin Bryant could start for a fair amount of teams around the NFL, and will get a lot of playing time for the Bills during the course of the year. It’s a great story for Bryant, who started on NFL practice squads and worked his way up every single year, and now is a contributing member of one of the best defenses in the league.
Total Snaps: 32
PFF Grade: 4.2
Richie Incognito: Incognito has shown out nicely during the preseason and camp. That trend continued on Saturday afternoon for the Bills starting guard. Incognito continually beat his name one on one in the running game, and opened up some nice gaps for the running backs. It’s an encouraging sign that the offensive line looks greatly improved, assuming they will stay true to their ground and pound philosophy. The guard position was a dumpster fire one year ago, and now looks to be fortified with Incognito and Miller.
Total Snaps: 47
PFF Grade: 3.9
Honorable Mention: EJ Manuel, Marcus Easley, Seantrel Henderson
Ronald Darby: It was a rough outing for the rookie cornerback. Penalties and poor ball recognition culminated and ugly day for Darby. Two big pass interference penalties, granted one was questionable, lead to two Pittsburgh scoring drives. The worst play of the day, by far, was on a play down the sideline where Darby was covering Martavis Bryant. Darby was in good position up until the last second where he ran outside of Bryant, allowing him to catch the ball for a huge gain. Ball recognition is the name of the game, and will determine how successful Darby’s NFL career can be. He is often times in position to make a play, but gets beaten at the last possible moment because he can’t locate/make a play on the ball.
Total Snaps: 33
PFF Grade: -3.4
Marquise Goodwin: Goodwin got the start yesterday due to all of injuries at the WR position, and made a few very nice plays with his time on the field. Goodwin, however, just cannot stay healthy and that is why he finds himself on the Stock Down list. You have to feel for Goodwin, as it seems every game he finds himself being tended to by the trainers. It is tough to make significant contributions over a sustained period of time if you cannot maintain your health. This is unfortunatley a summation of Goodwin’s career thus far, and may ultimately be his demise in terms of a roster spot. The wide receiver battle rages on with no new clarity.
Total Snaps: 21
PFF Grade: 1.5
Matt Cassel: Going 6/7 and not making any mistakes generally isn’t a way to land yourself on the Stock Down portion of an article, but in the case of Cassel it is a little more complicated. 5.4 yards per attempt shows a reluctance to take any real chances in the passing game, and instills fear of another Captain Checkdown at the helm in the Bills offense. Cassel winds up on the Stock Down list because, frankly, he does not deserve to be the starting quarterback. He has been outplayed by Tyrod Taylor, and it was even more obvious yesterday than ever before.
Total Snaps: 17
PFF Grade: -0.5