Tyrod led a solid offense the past two seasons
Even with his limitations as a passer, Taylor helped the Bills offense to finish in roughly the top third of the league in total points scored in 2015 and 2016 which was reflected by his QBR that finished in the top 10 among quarterbacks in both years.
In 2015, Taylor had a better QBR and the same passer rating as Cam Newton, the year in which he won MVP and took the Panthers to the Super Bowl. So, although “good quarterbacks” have traditionally been thought of as pocket passers, the mobile alternative that Taylor and Newton represent has been proven to work if they have a decent supporting cast and a respectable defense.
Let’s not forget that the Buffalo defense was dismantled by the Ryan brothers in those two years after Jim Schwartz had constructed an elite unit which certainly didn’t help Taylor’s cause.
It is no coincidence then that because Taylor’s rushing attempts have been down this year that his QBR has plummeted and the offense as a whole has struggled underneath Dennison. I also don’t think it’s coincidental that Taylor’s best year as a passer (according to his QBR and passer rating) was also the year he averaged the most rushing attempts per game. The numbers may suggest that the threat of him taking off on the run forces defenses to spy Taylor and actually helps him as a passer.
Peterman under center is probably the right move
Unfortunately for Taylor, Dennison has proven to be rigid and is committed to using his offensive scheme which demands a traditional 3 step drop pocket passer who can make reads and hit receivers in stride over the middle.
This may very well prove to be a more effective form of offense than what is possible with Taylor’s style of play, but it is evident the two do not go together. Taylor is being asked to do something he’s proven to be incapable of which has driven him to be particularly unsuccessful this season.
Though it was only a small sample size in the Saints game, Peterman showed that he appears to be the better fit for the offensive scheme, so I agree with the move as it gives the Bills the best chance to win if Dennison won’t alter his play design.
Additionally, since management has made it clear they want to move on from Taylor, Peterman’s performance will help answer some questions on how to spend picks in the upcoming draft.
However, should Peterman be worse than Taylor for whatever reason, it’ll certainly make Beane and McDermott look foolish for sabotaging the Bills’ chances of making the postseason for the first time in 18 years. (And because the run defense has been horrendous since the Marcell Dareus trade)
I’m rooting for Peterman to succeed and I think he’s the Bills’ best chance for success in Dennison’s scheme. However, I do feel bad that Taylor was put in the situation that he was. It was evident that the coaching staff never had confidence in him despite saying otherwise.
I also respect him for being a true pro and handling all this with class which shows the type of person he is and is why his team made him a captain. As such, I hope his benching does not disrupt the locker room too much either.
I am fearful, for the Bills’ sake, that Tyrod will eventually be successful for a team who is committed to utilizing his strengths, won’t force him into being a prototypical pocket gunslinger, and will give him a decent supporting cast.
Taylor can be effective enough to be a legitimate starting NFL quarterback if he has plays designed around him and a stout defense.