The biggest question for the past two offseasons - even more important than the head coach - has been “Is Tyrod Taylor a franchise quarterback?” The Buffalo Bills fan base and apparently the decision makers inside the building have ebbed and flowed on the question, but Football Outsiders and their analytics haven’t.
“Look, I never would have expected Tyrod Taylor to be as good as he’s been the last two years,” says Aaron Schatz, Head of Football Outsiders. “But now he’s been that good, can we all accept it? He was top 10 in DVOA in 2015, and last year, without Sammy Watkins for most of the year, he was 19th, which is passable.”
After each of those seasons, Taylor received a new contract from the Bills with short-term options for the Bills to cut bait. Schatz looks around the league and doesn’t understand that desire.
“On the other hand, what’s a franchise quarterback? Do you mean a guy who can lift the team on his back and carry them through the playoffs? Or do you mean a guy who can be league-average, a bit better than that in his good seasons, and can take you to the playoffs if you build a team around him? Tyrod Taylor is the second guy, not the first guy,” Schatz answers of his own questions. “But so is Andy Dalton, and so is Joe Flacco, and at this point so is Eli Manning. Tyrod Taylor is not turning into Russell Wilson next week, but he’s not the problem in Buffalo right now.”
The Football Outsiders Alamanc is available now on their website with a chapter written on the 2017 Buffalo Bills by Greg Bedard.