Over the course of the past week, talk has really centered around Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and his future with the franchise past the current season. Taylor and the Bills imploded against the Oakland Raiders, blowing a 15-point lead in the second half on the way to a 38-24 defeat.
Fans and media alike have called into question what Taylor has presented himself to be as the starting quarterback of the team, as the Bills have the worst passing offense in the entire league. The Bills have to decide by the beginning of the new league year whether to pick up Taylor’s option, which would guarantee him $30 million automatically.
The Bills, when asked for comment, didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement for their quarterback.
Appearing on WGR Sports Radio 550 on Friday morning, Bills general manager Doug Whaley said they have yet to make a decision as to whether or not they will pick up the option on Tyrod Taylor.
“We're going to give him this whole season and after that we'll sit down with the coaches, the ownership group and make that decision.”
Since the Raiders game, Bills head coach Rex Ryan was lukewarm about Taylor in the first two times he met with the media, and then on Wednesday, he changed his tune and called the player an “outstanding quarterback.”
The Bills take on the Steelers on Sunday at New Era Field, and at 6-6, likely have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs.
Joe B’s Take
This was one heck of a way to kick off the Friday ahead of one of the team’s biggest games this season. There is little doubt that the Bills are unsatisfied with where they are in the standings, given both the talent that exists on the roster and the specific chances for victories this season that they’ve spoiled (see: Baltimore, Miami, Oakland).
The Bills want Taylor to succeed, because that means the quarterback has helped them solve a question that has plagued the franchise for the entirety of the playoff drought. However, his deficiencies as a throwing quarterback are clearly defined and now well-established, making this a complex ordeal for the Bills in the offseason.
Given the fact that the GM of the team — one of the main men that will have a voice in the immediate future of Taylor — did not throw any water on the fire that currently surrounds the quarterback, that means that at best, the Bills still haven’t come to a decision on his future.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Taylor’s done in Buffalo, but it most certainly means that these next four games are crucial for him and his future with the franchise.
That said, this leads me to one conclusion: Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers is the biggest game of Tyrod Taylor’s career to this point.
It’s all about the stakes: the Bills playoff hopes, his future with the Bills past this season, his hold on being a starting quarterback in the National Football League — it’s all there.
The Bills GM was also quick to point out that he’d prefer if Cardale Jones not see the light of day this season, which means this is Tyrod Taylor’s show the rest of the way. However, the stakes won’t be bigger than what he’ll see on Sunday.
The Bills’ playoff hopes are hanging on getting a victory in this game, over a team that they’re battling with over the final spot in the playoffs, and at home no less. The Bills have yet to get a win this season over a winning team that wasn’t using their injured third string quarterback as its starter.
That’s what makes Sunday such an enormous event for Taylor. Will he rise up to the challenge?
It’s totally up to him.
|Breaking News Alerts, Live video, and your hour-by-hour forecast - download the WKBW app|
|News, forecast and Bills newsletters delivered to your e-mail inbox|