The Browns opened up the season on Sunday against the Steelers finishing with a tie, 21-21. Any way you look at it, at least it wasn’t a loss. It is the first time since 2004 that we didn’t lose the season opener. It’s not a win, but I’m satisfied. The defense looked stellar with six turnovers, but the offense couldn’t get the ball moving for most of the game. One big reason for this is Tyrod Taylor. So, is Taylor to blame for his performance or was it the weather?
Taylor finished the day going 15 for 40 with 197 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also had 77 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. If you break that apart, you can say the rushing stats were great and would even be solid stats for a starting running back. But, as a quarterback, the passing is where it matters and he really struggled with it. Having a 37.5 completion percentage and only 197 passing yards with an interception is not something to be proud of. With the talent that he has around him this year, he was expected to and should be having better stats.
On the other hand, the weather was rough from the kickoff to the final second of overtime. The rain never stopped and it made passing seem pretty tough. Yes, the Browns defense played well, but having bad weather also played a part in them getting so many takeaways. For playing in that tough of weather, he did well at minimizing the number of turnovers he had, especially if you compare it to Ben Roethlisberger’s total. In that case, you could say the weather could be to blame for why he didn’t play as well.
Overall, I think Taylor can only blame himself. Of course, the weather played a part and made it difficult but there was no reason to have that low of a completion percentage. I mean even last year, Nathan Peterman had a better completion percentage in the Snow Bowl against the Colts. Peterman has never even been that low in his career and he has seven interceptions with the Bills through two games as a starter. I thought that Taylor needs to do a better job of getting it to the open man, whether they are two yards away or 50 yards away. Then again, Todd Haley should take advantage of Jarvis Landry and have him get some short completions more often.
I was not happy with how Taylor played when it came to passing in his first game, but I am not worried. It was his first real game with a brand-new team. He did a great job of continuing the play when nobody was open and he was playing against a top defense. I’m sorry for all of you Baker Mayfield fans, but it’s not his time quite yet. I expect Taylor to continue to prove and make us all forget about this game.