On Saturday, we took a look at just how good Tyrod Taylor has been by comparing his last three seasons to the last three seasons of 14-year veteran and future Hall of Famer, Ben Roethlisberger. I received a lot of feedback on this and, as with anything, some was positive and some was negative. But negative in the sense that some fans did not believe a comparison, showing in many ways that Tyrod Taylor has been better than Ben Roethlisberger, says all that much for Taylor. One person suggested that I compare him to someone else. And so I will oblige @QuestAttitude.
The Packers have been handicapped without their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, scoring just 27 points in two games since he went down — they tallied at least 27 points in each of their previous three games with him. And believe it or not, Tyrod Taylor has been nearly on par with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history over their last three seasons. Let's look at the numbers.
Completions and Attempts
Rodgers is 876-for-1,375, while Taylor is 665-for-1,052. Rodgers, as Big Ben did, has a heavy advantage in attempts. His 63.7 completion percentage provides a marginal advantage over Taylor's 63.2 percent. But, as we did with Ben and the Steelers, we must consider each quarterback's receiving corps. Again, Bills' Charles Clay has 192 targets and 128 receptions. While the Packers have three receivers with more targets since 2015, in Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Jordy Nelson — and Nelson didn't even play in 2015 — all of would be an upgrade over Clay. But, we are looking forward to seeing how Tyrod Taylor reacts now, finally, with a genuine number one wide out, in new addition Kelvin Benjamin.
Touchdowns and interceptions
As with the Roethlisberger comparison, due to the large discrepancy in pass attempts, we are going to dive right into the percentages. Rodgers has 6.1 touchdown pass percentage, a marked advantage over Taylor's 4.5 percent, but I again implore you to remember the fact that Rodgers is able to choose between throwing to Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, or Jordy Nelson. Interceptions are virtually identical, each quarterback is a 1.3 percent. At this point, there is a pretty clear advantage to Rodgers; however, it is probably much closer than one might have thought. So let's dig deeper.
Rodgers has averaged 7.0 yards-per-attempt over the past three years, while Taylor has averaged 7.3, advantage T2. But, as we did with the Big Ben look, we must look at adjusted yards-per-attempt — reminder, this is a formula by Pro Football Reference defined as (Passing Yards + 20 * Passing TD - 45 * Interceptions) / (Passes Attempted) — which shows us that even after the adjustment is made, it is a dead heat, each player at 7.6 adjusted yards per attempt.
Believe it or not, despite the fact that Rodgers has stronger receivers, Taylor gets the advantage here, at 11.6 yards-per-catch to Rodgers' 11.0. There are a number of other factors that will impact this statistics and in football we can not assume all else is equal, but the raw number, gives over a half yard advantage to Taylor.
Rodgers has a 99.3 rating, 4.7 points better than Taylor's 94.6. This seems like a lot, but consider this: Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's all-time leader in career passer rating and, in my opinion, it is no crime to be within five percent of the all-time greatest in a particular stat.
Stats Wizard: Again, unaddressed in this piece is each quarterback's scrambling or rushing ability, and over his past three seasons Tyrod Taylor has racked up 1,494 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Over his past six seasons, Aaron Rodgers has 1,444 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Clear advantage here to T2.