Film Room Breakdown: Tyrod Taylor Week 1


My high school football coach used to call the tall camera that was placed in the back of the end zone between the field goal posts ‘big brother’. It preyed on its victims from 30 feet up, revealing all the mistakes they make during each game.

After a win, you couldn’t wait to get to Saturday morning film, but after a loss…not so much. In week one, the Bills likely enjoyed a pretty upbeat film session on Monday morning.

In my first film evaluation of Tyrod Taylor this season, I’ll highlight what was a pretty consistent game for the third year Bill. He made several nice plays and even showed a little bit of growth in an area of the field he’s historically struggled in: the middle of the field.

Vick who?



From the end zone view, maybe Taylor committed to run too early. I think a case could be made that the play to make here is to wait an extra second and deliver a strike to Zay Jones crossing the field. But in week one, I think I’m all right with this play.

Listen, there is going to be a serious learning curve for Taylor and this mismatch receiving corps. He played his first meaningful game snaps with his top three receivers last Sunday, and managed to emerge with a win. I think while that chemistry builds, Taylor can use his feet more. He can literally buy himself and the offense some time while the receivers get up to speed. We’ll see how effective that plan can be against better competition, but plays like this should be celebrated. I think that, as fans and evaluators, we should stop holding Taylor’s running ability against him. Positive yards are positive yards, after all.

Nice hands, feet



Only because I think Taylor knew he was going to Charles Clay from the snap of the ball, I think he could have helped his tight end out a little by throwing this ball as he was making his break. If he’s able to hit Clay as he’s making the break, then Jamal Adams never gets over to hit Clay as he tries to make the catch, and it’s likely an easy touchdown.

But I’m not letting Charles Clay off the hook on this one. He’s has to help his quarterback out here. It’s not one of those “if the ball hits your hands” things when it’s really not a catchable ball and you just blame the receiver. It was an accurately thrown ball; Clay has to make a play for his quarterback there in the end zone.

It’s always Shady in Buffalo



A lot of quarterbacks are envious of Tyrod Taylor. Not many of them around the league can say they have LeSean McCoy. On this play, the defense takes a collective step forward with the play action fake. The play call was meant to put the linebackers in a bind, and it was run to perfection. When two players step up to take Patrick DiMarco, it’s an easy read to a wide-open Zay Jones. These are the sorts of plays you can expect to see a lot of from Rick Dennison and this offense. What you like to see from Taylor is quick decision-making and, again, an accurate ball over the middle of the field. These kinds of play action plays are easy ways to get his receivers involved in the game plan, but it’s also a way to combat throws being batted down at the line of scrimmage.

More play action


Tyrod’s deep ball has always been a strength, but I think maybe his best ball comes on the corner route, a classic cover 2 beater. On this play, I love how he stands in the pocket and takes a shot. John Miller gets tripped up on the play, and Leonard Williams has a free shot at Taylor. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy read but, he does a nice job getting the ball out at the top of his drop, one hitch, and delivers a strike. He also gives Clay an opportunity to make a play upfield. I agree with Erik here; I’m not sure whether they’re running man or zone, but it’s a terrific play call and even better execution.

Smart football


Sometimes the best plays are the ones you don’t make. On this play, the quick slant to Andre Holmes is where Tyrod’s eyes immediately went. I’m not sure if he decided to tuck this ball down and not to throw because of the pass rush in his face or because he was worried about that linebacker squatting on the play. I’m not sure he would have had time to hit the right player on the play, Charles Clay.

It’s easy to look at this play and see Clay running open in the middle of the field, but even if Taylor had the time to deliver to Clay, it’s hard to tell if he only became open because Taylor locked on Andre Holmes. At the end of the day, he does what very few players at the position can do, which is escape chaos to live to see another down.

When it was all said and done Taylor and the Bills’ offense dominated the Jets defense on the ground and at times through the air. As the Bills continue forward this season against better teams and better defenses, Taylor will have to find a vertical threat.

Charles Clay will clearly have a big role in this offense, but they need a receiver to step up if Taylor wants to have sustained success.

Stay tuned next week for my week two breakdown. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @NateGearyWGR