In Week 2, they got their wish. Taylor was penalized five times in Sunday’s 17-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, ultimately leading head coach Andy Reid to pull him from the game. Taylor returned after his brief benching, but his play has become an unwelcome focus early in Kansas City’s season after he signed an $80 million contract to join the Chiefs from the Jaguars in the offseason.
In total, Taylor drew two false starts, one illegal formation and back-to-back holds that led to his benching in the second half Sunday. He returned on Kansas City’s next possession, but his play was a topic of conversation after the game.
Andy Reid expressed confidence in Taylor despite his struggles.
“I took him out for a couple of plays,” Reid said. “Just step back, this is home. … Just step back, and let’s get you back out there. He had some big blocks down later in the game there. He did a nice job finishing.”
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters that he has “all the confidence in him in the world” and that the offense would work with Taylor on snap counts and pre-snap alignment as officials increase their focus on the offensive lineman. It’s safe to say officials have intensified their focus on Taylor.
Taylor is known for this
Taylor’s play has been the subject of debate dating to his time with the Jaguars. He’s scrutinized for lining up too deep behind the line of scrimmage and getting an early jump on the snap, giving him an edge on opposing pass-rushers.
Since he wasn’t penalized early in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, he kept doing it. He eventually drew a false-start penalty in the final minutes against the Lions on a play on which he stumbled out of his stance early — unintentional early movement that was different from the apparently intentional movement that draws so much criticism.
While playing with the Jaguars last postseason, Taylor infuriated Los Angeles Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa, who threw his helmet in disgust after Taylor wasn’t flagged for a false start on a pivotal play.
Now that Taylor has been in the headlines, officials appear to be paying more attention. They did Sunday, at least. Now it’s up to Taylor and the Chiefs to respond and adjust.