The 2010s began as the worst doldrums of a sad-sack Buffalo Bills franchise, saw drastic coaching and front office upheaval, and even a passing of the baton from the Wilson family to the Pegulas. The decade ended on a hopeful note, with the team breaking its long playoff drought and returning to the Wild Card round two seasons later.
It’s crazy to think about, but this blog is old enough that we’re now assembling the second-ever “All-Decade team” on Buffalo Rumblings. Here’s a link to the first one, written by today’s Editor-in-Chief, Matt Warren. When building this list, we’re looking at the total body of work, not a flash-in-the-pan. That doesn’t mean we’ll ignore a brief stint of greatness, but discount it accordingly when considering that you’re measuring against a full decade. Consider the options and cast your vote!
Fitzmagic, The Amish Rifle, “the Harvard QB”—whether or not he was the best Bills passer of the past decade, he definitely lives in memory as a folk hero, both for this team and for the league as a whole. During the decade, no one started more games (45) or threw more touchdown passes (71) than Fitzpatrick, but he also had far more interceptions than anyone else (54). Fitzpatrick played for some terrible Bills teams, and had a 16-29 record during the decade.
Overall stat line: 914-for-1515 (60.3%), 10,232 yards, 71 TDs, 54 INTs, 76 sacks, 6.75 YPA. 127 carries, 625 yards (4.9 Y/A), 1 TD.
The surprise winner of a legitimate roster battle against EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel, Taylor suddenly led an offense for the first time in his fifth season, after initially joining the league as a sixth-round pick. He was the field general of the team that broke the playoff drought, though that season carried an asterisk because Taylor was benched for rookie Nate Peterman midseason, in a decision that backfired spectacularly for one game. Taylor’s tenure was marked by two qualities—careful treatment of the football, and elusive running. He played in 44 games, threw 51 touchdowns and added 14 on the ground, only threw 16 interceptions, and only fumbled 17 times (Fitzpatrick had 23, Josh Allen had 22). Taylor had a 22-20 record with the Bills, and one playoff appearance.
Overall stat line: 774-for-1236 (62.6%), 8,857 yards, 51 TDs, 16 INTs, 124 sacks, 7.17 YPA. 283 carries, 1,575 yards (5.6 Y/A), 14 TDs.
He only started for two seasons in the decade, but he’s still the third-most prolific passer from the options (as if you wanted to consider EJ Manuel or a 12-game sample from Kyle Orton). In his 28 games played, Allen showed major ups and downs, but led the Bills to a playoff appearance in his second season. He finished the decade with a 15-12 record. Throughout his young career, the one constant has been his big-play running ability, with 17 touchdowns and 5.8 yards per carry that easily lead the pack among quarterbacks. After a hapless passing season as a rookie, Allen improved across the board in his second season.
Overall stat line: 440-for-781 (56.3%), 5,163 yards, 30 TDs, 21 INTs, 66 sacks, 6.61 YPA. 198 carries, 1,141 yards (5.8 Y/A), 17 TDs.
Place your vote: who was the best quarterback of the past decade?
Buffalo Bills 2010s All-Decade team: QB
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