Tyrod Taylor had his worst performance thus far in the 2017 season against the Bengals in Week Five. In fact, it probably was his worst game as an NFL starter.
The Bills quarterback had a yards-per-attempt average of just 4.45, the lowest YPA he's had in a single game during his time in Buffalo. Before the sloppy effort in the rain, Taylor had a YPA under 5.0 in two of 33 starts for the Bills.
Let's take a look at his passing heat map in the loss to Cincinnati.
(Bills stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.)
Tyrod Taylor passing heat map vs. Bengals in Week Five
The deep ball was essentially nonexistent which wasn't totally surprising given the weather and the lack of downfield options Buffalo possesses, especially with Jordan Matthews on the sideline and Charles Clay suffering and injury in the first half.
Taylor was most effective throwing short and over the middle, but obviously his heat map wasn't going to be very impressive on a day in which he only amassed 166 passing yards on 37 attempts. As referenced in the advanced-stats review of Buffalo's trip to Cincinnati, Taylor's pass-catchers had five drops on the afternoon, which certainly didn't help the quarterback's figures or the offense as a whole.
Tyrod Taylor passing heat map through five games
What may initially seem to stand out is the lack of the deep ball thus far in 2017, particular down the middle and to the right.
Interestingly, though, Taylor's throwing the ball beyond 20 yards on 12.5 percent of his attempts right now, which is only slightly down from 13.3 percent in 2016. In 2015, when Sammy Watkins appeared in 14 games, Taylor led the league with 18.6 percent of his pass attempts going 20-plus yards downfield.
Last season, Taylor's adjusted completion percentage — which accounts for drops, throwaways on passes on which the quarterback is hit as he throws — on deep passes was 32.8 percent, which was the fifth-lowest figure among 34 qualifying quarterbacks.
Currently, in 2017, Buffalo's quarterback has a deep-pass adjusted completion percentage of 47.1 percent, the ninth-best in football, so it's not as if Taylor has been wildly inaccurate when throwing the ball down the field.
Strangely, he's struggled throwing to the right at all distances so far in 2017. That was a strength a year ago. On passes to his right in 2016, Taylor accumulated a passer rating of 102.1. Heading into the bye week on throws to the right, Taylor's passer rating is 75.7.
Story topics: Tyrod Taylor