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Tyrod Taylor’s legs are key to Browns victory over Jets

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Say what you want about Tyrod Taylor’s passing ability, his legs could end up being the difference in a Thursday night game that should be a grind for both teams

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you want about Tyrod Taylor’s passing ability, his legs could end up being the difference in a Thursday night game that should be a grind for both teams.

Taylor has always excelled in escaping the pocket and hurting defenses that don’t account for him at all times. Through two weeks in Cleveland, Taylor’s 103 rushing yards—on just 12 attempts—is good enough second on the team in rushing, trailing starting running back Carlos Hyde by only two yards.

As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva pointed out, Todd Bowles’ man-coverage dominant scheme surrendered the third-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks last season. And the unit was gashed last weekend by slightly mobile Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Taylor’s speed and escapability are more conducive to a big game on the ground for the quarterback.

This doesn’t mean Taylor can’t hurt the Jets through the air. And the Jets, having seen him frequently in two games each over the last three seasons, are very aware of his threat as a runner. That insecurity could force the Jets into the tough position of having to spy Taylor with a linebacker, which will obviously help open things up in the short and intermediate passing games, at the very least.

Taylor’s dual-threat ability should definitely come into play, and it’ll be a key factor in determining whether the Browns finally get a victory.