– Evan Sally
Tyrod Taylor looked as bad as he’s ever looked for large parts of Sunday, which is odd to say in a game in which made some great plays, including an inch perfect 62 yard pass to Sammy Watkins, a really nice touchdown pass to the immortal Justin Hunter into a tight window and rushed for his other touchdown making a play only a handful of quarterbacks in the NFL can make. How can a quarterback be terrible and spectacular, incredibly frustrating and uniquely gifted, all at the same time? Therein lies the essence of the Tyrod Taylor conundrum.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been more frustrated with Tyrod than I was during the first half of Sunday’s game. Perhaps it was because the running game was being shut down early because of Jacksonville’s utter lack of respect for the Bills passing game. Maybe it was because of how terrible the opponent was, or how much the Bills needed this game to stay alive in the race, or some combination of each, but Tyrod had the kind of performance that made you want to put your head through a wall.
He was reluctant to throw to the multitude of open Bills receivers that were running through the Jacksonville secondary and when he did throw it, he was inaccurate. He was skittish in the pocket, held the ball too long and kept taking hits that he should’ve been avoiding. The Bills had 9 total yards for god knows how long. It was the kind of half that makes the fan base sit up and have a collective “this guy ain’t the guy” moment. Then the second half happens and as I “oohed” and “ahhed” every special play he made to help get the Bills the win, memories of the first half faded slightly. Look I’m pretty sure most Bills fans, even the most ardent of Tyrod supporters, know in their heart of hearts that Tyrod Taylor isn’t going to be the guy to lead this team Super Bowl glory and I’m right there with you. He’s too flawed, he’s too frustrating, he’s too inconsistent. But those highlight plays he makes, those plays that make you fistbump in your living room, they can make things more confusing.
“You know if he only had better receivers…”
“You know even if he improves just a bit going over the middle we might really have something here…”
“You know if the defense was better maybe Tyrod is good enough to for us to make the playoffs and do some damage. Trent Dilfer did win the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning wasn’t very good last year either…”
These thoughts float through your head, some more embarrassing than others, as you wonder of what could be. We see these flashes of the spectacular every week, the occasional beautiful deep pass or incredible juke that are like a siren’s song luring us to the rocks of QB mediocrity again. We all know the truth. Even the good version of Tyrod doesn’t take enough advantage of receivers in 1 on 1 coverage and avoids throwing crossing routes like the plague. But we also all want so badly for him to become great, and don’t want to be the team that looks like fools if he goes somewhere else and flips that switch. You know his contract situation by now, financially it makes the most sense to bring him back for another year. But the weekly Tyrod Taylor roller coaster can be a bit much at times. Tyrod has become one of the most maddening and confusing yet fascinating players of recent Bills history. You can only hope that games like Sunday become mere footnotes as Tyrod leads the Bills back to the postseason. For now it’s another entry into the murky file that is Tyrod Taylor, starting Bills quarterback, and we’re left hoping that the next 5 games provide the level of clarity that we so badly crave.
– Evan Sally (Twitter)