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Tyrod Watch: Passing inside the pocket pass vs. outside the pocket

For a while now there's been a prevailing thought that Tyrod Taylor isn't an effective passer from the pocket.

To find out if that was a spot-on thought or a fallacy, I've tracked every throw Taylor has made thus far in the 2017 – and will continue to do so – by passes inside and outside the pocket. Here are the up-to-date findings:

Inside the Pocket

  • 89 completions, 138 attempts
  • 64.4 completion percentage
  • 76.5 adjusted completion percentage (accounting for drops, throwaways and hit-as-thrown passes)
  • 974 yards
  • 7.05 yards per attempt
  • 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
  • 93.6 QB Rating

Outside the Pocket

  • 16 completions, 31 attempts
  • 51.6 completion percentage
  • 79.1 adjusted completion percentage
  • 204 yards
  • 6.58 yards per attempt
  • 1 touchdown, zero interceptions
  • 83.2 QB Rating

What probably stands out – and should – is how few passes Taylor has made outside the pocket through six games. He's been utilized on a variety of play-action bootlegs – designed out-of-pocket throws – and only a handful of his passes outside the pocket have come after scrambling improvisation behind the line of scrimmage.

Thus far in 2017, the general thought that Taylor is an ad-lib, outside-the-pocket thrower just hasn't been true. He's made 81.6 percent of his passes from inside the pocket heading into Week Eight's contest against the Raiders.

There tend to be more throwaways on outside-the-pocket passes, which is why there's such a large disparity between Taylor's completion percentage and adjusted completion percentage after he's vacated the pocket.

The Bills' starting quarterback has been better as a passer inside the pocket in every statistical category beyond adjusted completion percentage.


Against the Buccaneers in Week Seven, Taylor's escapability formula was as follows:

  • Escapes: 4
  • Sacks: 1
  • Escapability Index: +3

He was super-elusive against Tampa Bay, leaving collapsing pockets when necessary – and making defenders look silly while doing so – to either run for yardage or look for open receivers. There was one bootleg in which Taylor had a defender in his face the moment he brought his head around to look downfield.

Instead of tacking the sack, Taylor was able to elude the oncoming pass-rusher and throw the ball away.

Through six games, Taylor's escapability formula is as follows:

  • Escapes: 12
  • Sacks: 14
  • Escapability Index: -2 

His +3 day against the Buccaneers got his seasonal EI close to positive figures, but Taylor still has more sacks than escapes. Remember, too, that escapes aren't a simple drift away from pressure. They are plays in which I deem "80 percent of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL would not have been able to execute the sack avoidance."

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