Coming out of the Bills humbling loss to the Patriots in Week Two most players in the locker room after the game were frustrated, ticked off and disappointed. Wide receiver Percy Harvin was uncharacteristically happy. Happy because what he witnessed in the fourth quarter of that game convinced him that the offense would be more effective in the weeks that followed. After two quarters of struggling they had found a rhythm. And while it was a little too late to come back and beat New England, Harvin saw the arrow pointing up for Tyrod Taylor and Buffalo's attack.
Call Harvin a soothsayer, but Taylor went 7-for-9 passing for 142 yards with two touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in that fourth quarter. That's why it was no surprise to him, or anyone else on offense, when Taylor was a perfect 5-for-5 passing on the opening possession to account for all 77 yards on the scoring drive that he finished with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Charles Clay.
"You can just see in his preparation throughout the week," said Clay. "Tyrod is one of those guys who works extremely hard in the weight room, in the meeting room and on the practice field. So there was never any doubt in my mind that he would come out and lead us. When you've got a guy like that who is so calm in the huddle it raises the spirits of everybody."
Through the first three games of his career as a starting quarterback Taylor's production has him among the league leaders in several categories. He currently ranks fifth in the league in passer rating with only quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers ahead of him.
Taylor is fifth in the NFL in completion percentage (74.4%) just ahead of Brady, third in yards per attempt (9.15), third in passing touchdowns (7) and second in touchdown percentage (9%).
"I want to come out and play winning football every time I step on the field," said Taylor. "Of course there are challenges with going on the road, handling the noise, just handling a road game challenge was definitely something we had to face and I think we did a good job of that. There were some things to learn from in this game. We didn't play a perfect game, but we went out there and put some points up."
Taylor led the offense to points on three of their first four possessions. The defense did help with the point total Sunday with Preston Brown's interception return, but Buffalo currently ranks third in the league in scoring.
"He's been outstanding throughout all three games," said Brown of Taylor. "His completion percentage has been outrageous. He's getting the ball out. On third down, they're moving the ball. It's great being a defense when you see the offense put up points."
Perhaps what's most impressive about Taylor's early season production is he's doing it in a brand new scheme for him and everyone else lining up on offense. His time on the field with his play making teammates was also limited in the preseason due to a bunch of injuries and a three-man quarterback competition. But he and his offensive weapons are committed to making up for lost time and his performance thus far has only bolstered the team's confidence in their trigger man.
"Everybody has confidence in him," said head coach Rex Ryan. "This whole football team has confidence in him. The game that he was "terrible" he had like a 95 quarterback rating with three picks so this kid's legit. We know he's legit and when the protection holds up this kid can burn you."
"He's been playing amazing," said FB Jerome Felton. "He keeps doing it. He keeps working hard, and that's what he is—he's a hard worker. It's good to have him as quarterback, we feel really confident in him. The sky is the limit."
Photos of all the action from week 3: Dolphins vs. Bills.