Tyrod Taylor was trending on Twitter last night! For like half an hour... but still. I'm reasonably confident that has never happened before. This play likely explains his sudden explosion of popularity.
All for three measly yards. Now I know how Washington fans must feel. Or Carolina fans for that matter (Cam made a similar play from his own endzone earlier in the game). Both were incredible plays. It's impossible to replicate the excitement of watching something like this. Sort of like the football equivalent of the "no, no no, yes!" contested 28-foot jump shot. And sure enough, this was his last play of the game due to a potential concussion.
Plenty has been said about Tyrod's remarkable improvement this year. His playing time has been exclusively against 2nd-string talent, however it's obvious that he is throwing more accurately and making better decisions. Everyone knew Tyrod was a top-level athlete, but very few thought he'd actually put the pieces together and be a real factor in the NFL. I used to joke, "if Flacco was ever injured for an extended period of time, the Ravens would be completely screwed." Now? They may be able to get by for a few games. That's quite an improvement.
As for last night's game, he didn't get many snaps, but his three drives resulted in an INT, a TD and a field goal. And we all know that the pick-six was a result of Luke Kuechly, the greatest player in the history of the sport. Wait you mean he wasn't on the field for that one? Oh... Well anyway, here's the biggest indicator of Tyrod's improvement. Late in the game when the Ravens trailed by just one score and were trying to get the ball back, Mike Tirico mentioned the possibility of Taylor being done and that none other than Caleb Hanie was warming up. My thought process instantly went from, "Lets see if we can steal this game" to "Ughhh now there's no chance." The level of confidence fans have in a particular player goes a long to showing just how good he is.
If he wants to keep improving, the guy who Tyrod needs to model his game after is Russell Wilson. Of all the running quarterbacks, Wilson has the best chance for a long career. Plus they're the same size. Kaepernick and Newton are bigger guys and can take a few hits. Wilson runs as a last option and avoids contact unless the goal-line is in sight. His decision-making is incredible. And he's one of only three quarterbacks I'd prefer to have over the next five years than Joe Flacco (the other two are Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck).
With the NFL's current addiction to the read-option and Baltimore's long-term commitment to Joe Flacco, perhaps it would be a decent idea to cash in after this season. If a team is desperate enough to give up a 2nd-round pick, I say do it. It's quite a profit after drafting him in the 6th-round.
As exciting as this play was, I have no interest in going through the agony of watching a running quarterback. I'll be just fine watching Joe Flacco call plays for the next 5+ years.