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Comparing Tyrod Taylor’s passing history to games against Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Is Tyrod getting better?

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of weeks ago, we took a look at how Tyrod Taylor fared against bad, not good, good, and elite defenses as the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback. Teams ranked 1-8 are in an elite category, 9-16 good, 17-24 are not good, and 25-32 are bad.

Here were the averages in those categories back then:

“Bad” defenses: 18/29 (65%) for 229 yards 1 TD 0 INT and a rating of 104.

“Not good” defenses: 16/23 (71%) for 173 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT and a rating of 81.

“Good” defenses: 16/26 (61%) for 202 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT and a rating of 97.

“Elite” defenses: 19/30 (63%) for 190 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT and a rating of 89.

Over the past two weeks, the Bills played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who entered this week 29th in defense, and the Oakland Raiders, who came to Buffalo as the 25th-ranked defense. Both of those qualified as “Bad” defenses in my breakdown. Here are Taylor’s stat lines for the past two weeks:

  • Tampa Bay: 20/33 (60.6%) for 268 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, and a rating of 96.5
  • Oakland: 20/27 (74%) for 165 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, and a rating of 101.6

The Bills had 173 yards rushing against Tampa and 166 yards rushing against Oakland. The resurgence of Buffalo’s run game, which coincides with offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s decision to shift his blocking scheme to what the Bills had so much success with last season, has taken pressure off of Taylor to the point that he threw only one pass in the final quarter of the Oakland game.

While Taylor’s yards were uneven the past two weeks, they average out to 216 yards. That’s right in the ballpark of the 229 yards he has averaged against “bad” defenses. His completion percentage of 66% the past two weeks is right in line with his long-term average of 65% against “bad” defenses. His single passing touchdown and no interceptions this week and last is exactly what we’d expect. His QB rating is a shade lower than we’d expect against bad defenses based on his history; about 98 compared to his average of 104.

Over the next six weeks, Taylor will face New Jersey the New York Jets (26), New Orleans Saints (21), Los Angeles Chargers (19), Kansas City Chiefs (30), New England Patriots (32), and Indianapolis Colts (31). It’s reasonable expect Taylor to perform about as well as he has the past two weeks in many of these games and expect something of a drop off against the Saints and in Los Angeles. Will that be enough for the Bills to win at least four of those games to (seemingly) clinch a playoff spot?

It most likely depends on how much help Taylor gets help from the run game and the defense.

But you already knew that.