There are several starting quarterback options out there in free agency and Andy Dalton is on the trade block, however, the right quarterback for the Chargers may already be in their building.
There is already a quarterback on the Los Angeles Chargers roster who may be the right man for the job. Look no further than Tyrod Taylor.
Taylor was the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills from 2015-17. In 2017, he led the Bills to their first playoff appearance since 1999. He posted a 23-21 regular-season record for as a starter.
In his first two seasons (2015-16) with Buffalo, current Chargers current head coach Anthony Lynn, was on staff as the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Bills.
With familiarity with Lynn, Taylor can be successful in Los Angeles.
In Buffalo, a misconception about Taylor was him being too conservative. While Taylor only threw 300 yards once in Buffalo, the Bills emphasized the ground game under Rex Ryan. During the 2016 season, the Bills had a top 10 all-time historic rushing attack. The year prior, the Bills led the league in rushing.
In Buffalo, his main deep threat was Sammy Watkins. The combination was effective leading to an abundance of deep plays for the Bills. When Watkins was absent for multiple games in 2016 due to injury, Taylor found a connection with Olympian and wideout Marquise Goodwin.
While Taylor’s statistics didn’t always pop on the stat sheet, those who watched knew what he did best. Taylor had the ability to make defenders miss when behind the line of scrimmage and in dire moments, he’d make plays with his legs. Hence this 3rd and 23 conversion, Week 5 of the 2015 season. On that same drive, he threw the game-winning touchdown to give the Bills a 14-13 win.
His mobility coupled with his efficiency as a passer made him a solid starter. There was one thing that remained consistent with Taylor:
He gave the Bills a chance to win in nearly every game he started.
The 2019 Chargers lost nine games by one possession. One difference was their longtime quarterback Philip Rivers proving to be a liability, throwing 20 interceptions. Combined with aging legs, and Rivers was a lame duck in the pocket.
Rivers was picked off four times in a 26-24 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 last season. When Rivers had one final drive to tie the game, he was intercepted in the end zone. Plug in a player like Taylor, who rarely turns the ball over, and maybe the Chargers defeat the eventual Super Bowl LIV champions in that duel.
In Los Angeles, Taylor will be supported with weapons. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are two terrific targets for Taylor. While the offensive line may not be among the best, Taylor’s athleticism gives him an edge over a traditional pocket passer.
Taylor will be 31 years old when the 2020 regular season begins. With familiarity in the system, Taylor is capable to bringing this team back to the playoffs and could have the team’s 2019 season looking like an anomaly under Lynn.