Realistic Expectations For Tyrod Taylor

By Bob Gaughan

 

Full disclosure; I’m a fan of Tyrod Taylor. I’ve seen horrible offenses during the playoff drought and I can tell you the last two years the Bills offense was far from terrible. The Bills were 12th in points and 13th in yards in 2015. In 2016 after 15 weeks (Tyrod was benched in week 16) the Bills offense was 7th in points and 11th in yards. That is far from horrible.

Is there that much of a difference between Tyrod and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys? The Bills lost six games last year where they scored 24 or more points. The Cowboys during the regular season only gave up 24 or more points twice. Prescott had a great defense and the best offensive line in football to play behind. Tyrod had the Ryan brother’s defense helping him out.

Tyrod completed 64 percent of his passes in 2015 and 62 percent in 2016. Over the last two years he has accounted for about 250 yards per game. This includes his rushing yards, and I believe you need to include his rushing stats. He’s averaged nearly 25 TD’s and 6 interceptions over the two years.

Tyrod’s passing game needs to improve, but it would help if the Bills didn’t give him one of the worst receiving groups to throw to. Without Sammy Watkins, the group Tyrod had to throw to last year was disgusting. Sammy wasn’t healthy at all. That’s the major reason he is no longer here. Now go out and have a top passing offense. Sure, that’s realistic! Let’s remember Tyrod had the Bills 7th in points and 11th in yards with one of the worst receiving corps. Not bad in my eyes! The Bills averaged the most yards per game in 2016 since the late 90’s. Again, this is far from horrible.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Bills offensive line as the 31st best pass protecting offensive line. So, Tyrod last year had the second worst line to throw behind and the third worst receivers to throw to yet he still produced the 7th most points and 11th most yards in the league.

You can’t just give all the credit to the Bills offensive success to LeSean McCoy. McCoy has been great, but you have to give Tyrod some credit for the Bills ground game.

If you think that it’s playoffs or bust for Tyrod, then I think that’s unrealistic. The Bills over/under total is around six. Asking Tyrod to take this team to the playoffs is a joke. I heard that’s exactly what Tyrod would need to do to win over part of the fan base.

What is realistic? Improve his passing game and total yards per game from 250 to 300 yards per game. It’s realistic to ask him to improve his touchdown to interception ratio from 25/6 to 33/10. It’s realistic to ask Tyrod, like last year, to have an offense that is around 10th in the league in points and yards. It’s realistic to ask Tyrod to cut down on the sacks he is responsible for.

The nice thing about this season is you will be able to gauge Tyrod against some of the best QB’s in football. Here’s a list of the top QB’s the Bills play this year: Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck and Tom Brady.

There is sure to be an argument each week between the Tyord fans and the Tyrod haters. We need to agree from the start what defines realistic success.

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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