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Tyrod Taylor to Start in His First NFL Playoff Game

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tyrod Taylor’s season started off turbulently. The Bills started the year with a shock, trading away a favored Taylor target, wide receiver Sammy Watkins (and Buffalo’s sixth round pick), to the L.A. Rams for a defensive back and the Rams’ second round pick. That was just one of several trades that occurred during the 2017 NFL Draft and early season which indicated that the Buffalo Bills were in full rebuild mode. They did sign Anquan Boldin, but two weeks later Boldin announced his retirement, leaving Tyrod with few passing weapons.

Regardless, Tyrod didn’t get the memo, and led the Bill’s to a surprising 5-3 record during the first half of the season, firmly placing Buffalo in the playoff hunt. The second half of the season didn’t start as well for the former Hokie signal caller. After a lackluster performance against the New Orleans Saints, first year head coach, Sean McDermott, inexplicably decided to bench Tyrod – even though the Bills were very much in the playoff hunt – in favor of rookie, Nathan Peterman. The young ‘un from Pittsburgh went 6-14 for 66 yards and a horrific five interceptions in the first half, the first of which was a pick-six, before he was benched and Tyrod came back. By that time the hole was too deep, and Taylor was unable to engineer a comeback from a 7-37 deficit. The Bills eventually lost 24-54. Taylor was back in the starting line-up again the very next week and brought Buffalo back to winning ways, defeating Kansas City, 16-10. The following week the injury bug bit Taylor and he went down against the New England Patriots. Taylor remained down the following week against the beleaguered Indianapolis Colts, but LeSean McCoy exploded for 156 yards and a TD, carrying the Bills to an OT victory and keeping the Bills’ playoff hopes alive.

The Buffalo Bills finished the season 9-7. After the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens, during week 17, they secured a Wild Card playoff spot.

Let’s look at How Tyrod performed during the 2017 regular season. Taylor played in 15 games and started 14 of them. Of the games he started he finished with an 8-6 record. During 2017 he went 263-420 (0.63), 2,799 yards, 14 TDs, and only four INTs. On the ground he added 427 yards, on 84 attempts, for a 5.1 yard per carry average and four more TDs.

Today, the Buffalo Bills will face the Jacksonville Jaguars (MY JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS), in Jacksonville, Florida for one of the two AFC Wild Card Playoff games. Tyrod Taylor will be facing one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Jaguars have the No. 1 passing defense and are the only team to allow less than 3000 yards in the air (2718 yds). The Jaguars have only allowed 17 passing TDs (tied for third), lead the league in passing yards allowed per game (170), and are second in interceptions with 21. The Jaguars are also fantastic at pressuring the QB, sacking opposing passers 55 times (No. 2 in the NFL). In addition to the 21 interceptions the Jaguars have also forced 17 fumbles (tied for No. 8) and lead the league in first downs allowed with only 257. Jacksonville carries the No. 2 overall defense with 4578 total yards allowed and 286.1 yards per game allowed. Only the Minnesota Vikings have better numbers in yards allowed and yards per game allowed. The lone defensive statistic the Jaguars are pedestrian in is that of rushing, where they are ranked No. 21. Unfortunately, for the Bills, LeSean McCoy is questionable for the game against the Jags, after being carted off the field during their week 17 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Not having McCoy could spell doom for the Bills offense. Not only is he their leading rusher he also leads the teams in receptions and is their No. 2 receiver, regarding total yards.

The Bills are 8.5-point underdogs going into Jacksonville. Without the ability of LeSean McCoy on the field, or even if he is limited, Tyrod and the boys from Buffalo could find themselves in a world of hurt. Regardless, it is extremely exciting to see a former Hokie signal-caller in the NFL postseason for the first time since Michael Vick took the Philadelphia Eagles into the playoffs back in 2010.


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