Quarterback Tyrod Taylor may have assured himself a number two role again this year after his gutsy and prolific performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Taylor's status came into question after the Ravens second preseason game in which he was outplayed by supposed third stringer, veteran Curtis Painter.
Painter does have a full season of NFL experience behind him so some success against second and third string talent should be expected. Taylor however has only gotten to face NFL defenses mostly in the preseason.
Against Detroit in the second preseason game Taylor was 8-22 for 65 yards for a quarterback rating of 44.9. He did however have seven rushing attempts for 60 yards. He threw no touchdowns or interceptions but was sacked once. Painter on the other hand had thrown for four touchdowns and only one interception in the preseason at this point.
Some talk had started about a quarterback controversy for the number two role so Taylor decided to do his best to put that talk to rest against the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium. After Joe Flacco and the starting offense put on a show against Jacksonville's starters Taylor came in and went 7-9 for 139 yards with 2 touchdowns passing for a quarterback rating of 118.8. Then he topped it off with 24 yards rushing and another touchdown on the ground.
So that brings us to tonight against the St. Louis Rams. In a game where the back ups will get the majority of the playing time, does Taylor still need to prove himself worthy of the number two spot? Or, is Painter still in the mix for that position?
I think the Ravens front office and coaching staff are still excited by Taylor's big play ability and the two spot is his as long as he doesn't completely fall apart tonight. Painter has had almost a complete season in the NFL already and we have seen what he is capable of. He was outplayed by Dan Orlovsky last season. Taylor has a much higher ceiling in my opinion. It's true that Painter has much more talent around him in Baltimore than he did in Indianapolis but their offense was pretty prolific just the year before and their receiving core was very impressive.