Last week the Buffalo Bills completely revamped their franchise in a pair of big trades. Buffalo shipped off superstar young wide out Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams before dealing their star cornerback, Ronald Darby, to the Philadelphia Eagles. Buffalo received a few pieces back, including some nice draft picks, but the big news from the deal was thus: the Buffalo Bills leadership were already giving up on 2017. That news did not make embattled starting QB Tyrod Taylor very happy and it showed in his first game action this past week.
Buffalo traveled to Philadelphia for Week 2 of the NFL Pre-Season. Buffalo and Philadelphia figured, before their trades, to be two teams on the same wave length. After Buffalo’s lopsided and unpopular trades they are anything but. Getting back to the game, Buffalo came out of the gate struggling big time and starting QB Tyrod Taylor was just abysmal as he went 8/18 for 53 yards and a pair of interceptions. Taylor looked restless in the pocket, incapable of finding his receivers, and inaccurate when he decided to take the chance of putting the ball in the air. To put insult to injury, Taylor was intercepted by his former teammate Ronald Darby who returned the ball 48 yards in the other direction.
It’s hard to base a whole lot on the work of a starting QB in the NFL Pre-Season but fans reading the tea leaves back home cannot be happy with what they saw from Taylor and what they’ve been seeing from executive leadership within the franchise. Common thought going into the 2017 Pre-Season was that QB Tyrod Taylor would finally get to gel with star wide out Sammy Watkins while one of the best backs in the league, LeSean McCoy, returned to full health to lead the charge out of the backfield. Now, Watkins is gone and both Taylor and McCoy have been notably displeased within the media. On the field the Bills reflected this discontent, turning the ball over and accruing a staggering 12 penalties in the first half of the game.
Still, despite these huge struggles and the albatross currently hanging around Buffalo’s collective neck there have been reasons for optimism. Buffalo, by all accounts, had a strong draft this past off-season. Newcomer Tre-Davious White, picked in the first round, has already looking the part of an every down NFL cornerback. White has showed well in practice and has even gotten work in as a kick returner. On the other side of the ball youngster Zay Jones is going to be given an immediate chance to win the starting outside receiver job. Jones has gotten high marks from the coaching staff and he’ll look to cement himself as an every game starter before the pre-season is over.
No matter what the NFL is driven by quarterback play. Despite a host of offensive talent, even in the wake of Watkins’ departure, Buffalo needs to win with QB Tyrod Taylor. This will be Taylor’s ultimate test. Will he prove himself to be worthy of a contract extension this offseason?
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