Coming into Week 1 of the 2020 season, the quarterback position was the very least of Houston Texans fans’ concerns.
The team was headed into Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs, who they had jumped by a 24-0 score in the previous season’s Divisional Round playoffs.
While the Texans fell to the Chiefs 34-20 in last season’s opener, it didn’t seem like there was much of a question that rising star quarterback Deshaun Watson would be a part of Houston’s future for at least the next decade.
Fast forward through a tumultuous 4-12 2020 campaign, and an onslaught of very serious allegations made against Watson, and the Texans are in a very precarious position.
Even before the legal issues began, Watson was making waves by asking the franchise to be traded.
It’s very possible that he has played his final down in Houston, leaving the franchise to look elsewhere for production under center.
At present, the Texans have Tyrod Taylor, Jeff Driskel, and rookie Davis Mills as their options to start at quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 season.
While it’s not exactly the most appealing triumvirate in the NFL, someone is going to have to play if Watson is traded or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
Here are a few reasons why Taylor will get the nod under center in Week 1.
3. Taylor Was An Opening Day Starter Last Year
Just like the Texans-Chiefs Week 1 tilt in 2020 seems like a lifetime ago, Tyrod Taylor’s start for the Los Angeles Chargers against the Cincinnati Bengals during that same weekend does not seem like it was that recent.
With that being said, it was still just only about nine months ago, and Taylor held his own in that game.
His statistics paled in comparison to the number Justin Herbert would go on to put up, but he did enough to give his team a chance to win against the Bengals, and they did.
He figures to profile the same way this year in Houston.
‘They treat you like God when you beat the odds’… #Keep5triving pic.twitter.com/qQAm7tEKaH
— Tyrod Taylor (@TyrodTaylor) May 16, 2021
2. Taylor is Good, But He’s Not That Good
Even though coaches like to claim that there’s competition at every position, it’s hard for fans and the media to take that too seriously when it relates to who starts at quarterback.
New coach David Culley will need to let his eyes tell him which option works best for him under center, but also will rely on common sense to help guide his decision.
Taylor is good enough to be a starter most weeks in the NFL, but it’s unlikely that he’ll play well enough to be the unquestioned leader of the team.
Culley likely wouldn’t start career journeyman Jeff Driskel in the first game of the season, and it’s a stretch to think he’d consider rookie Davis Mills as an option right out of camp either.
Tabbing Taylor as the first starter allows Culley to be flexible in evaluating Mills as a starter later in the season.
1. Taylor’s Specific Skill Set Will Be In Demand
Even with the dynamic Deshaun Watson under center last season, Houston struggled mightily trying to protect their (former?) franchise quarterback.
The Texans were second in the NFL in sacks allowed last season, allowing teams to bring down their quarterback 50 times in 2020.
That’s an alarming total, and it doesn’t figure to get that much better in 2021.
The team would be wise to utilize a more mobile option under center with this shortcoming, and Taylor is just the man for the job.
In his heyday as the starter with the Buffalo Bills, Taylor averaged 525 yards on the ground each year.
He’ll likely be on the move a lot in 2021, and could set a new career high in that category if he plays enough games.
It’s a long story, I been busy working #Keep5triving … 🏁 pic.twitter.com/zvBRCUbJYW
— Tyrod Taylor (@TyrodTaylor) March 16, 2021
NEXT: Was David Culley The Right Choice For The Houston Texans?