Tyrod Taylor did his best to win the Buffalo Bills' starting job on Thursday. Now it's up to Rex Ryan to make a decision, even if he doesn't appear to be in a hurry.
Taylor played the entire first half of Buffalo's 11-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns, completing seven of 10 passes for 65 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 41 yards on four carries.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the Bills only scored three points in Taylor's three first-half drives. Taylor took a bad sack to end a 16-play drive to start the game, which led to a missed field goal. Taylor later led a field-goal drive.
Despite the limited scoring, Taylor passed the eye test. He delivered some nice throws on third down, showing calm in the pocket. He also created plays out of nothing with his legs. That is going to impress Ryan, who has a fondness for mobile quarterbacks.
EJ Manuel played the second half for the Bills, mixing in some very nice throws with head-scratching moments. But he's not truly part of this quarterback battle anymore. Matt Cassel is Taylor's biggest competition, and he didn't take a snap Thursday.
Don't expect this quarterback competition to end publicly anytime soon. Ryan said after the game that the team hasn't decided who will start the third preseason game, and he won't announce a starting quarterback until the week of the season opener.
"Right now, I think I have three quarterbacks who can play," Ryan said.
While Ryan has shown an inclination to ride the quarterback battle into September, Taylor looks like the clear favorite. The third preseason game is traditionally a dress rehearsal for the regular season. If Ryan chooses Taylor to start again, he'll essentially be announcing the Week 1 starter without making it official.
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