Taylor-led Bills send Chiefs to defeat
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quarterback Tyrod Taylor used his arms and his legs on Sunday to send the Buffalo Bills to a much needed 16-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, buoying their playoff hopes while sending the Chiefs to their third straight defeat.
“Big win for us,” Taylor said. “In all phases we did enough today to get the job done. I‘m proud of the guys, the way they competed.”
Taylor completed 19-of-29 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown while running nine times for another 27 yards in his return as the starting quarterback after getting benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman last week.
The Chiefs drove into Buffalo territory for a potential game-winning score, but cornerback Tre‘Davious White picked off a pass from Alex Smith with 1:10 left to seal the win.
The first quarter set the tone for a defensive affair, with the teams combining for six punts on the first six possessions of the game. The Bills finally broke the scoring drought with an 11-yard pass from Taylor to wide receiver Zay Jones with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter.
Jones gave credit to Taylor for making the play work.
“Tyrod did a good job extending the play and finding me late,” Jones said. “That’s just what that guy does. The offensive line did a great job of holding up and enabled us to get a score.”
After forcing another three-and-out from the Chiefs, the Bills took advantage of a short field to extend their lead. Taylor connected with Jones for a 17-yard gain that set up a Stephen Hauschka field goal from 34 yards that made the score 10-0.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott thought his team’s offense responded well in Taylor’s return to the lineup.
“I just thought overall today we played good team offense,” McDermott said. “We ran the ball well at times. Tyrod used his feet at times, then we had some critical third-down conversions on some drives.”
The Chiefs picked up their only first down of the first half with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter. Smith hit backup tight end Demetrius Harris for a 28-yard gain to the Buffalo 30-yard line. That helped set up a 45-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.
Buffalo mustered just 268 yards of offense, but that was all it took on a day when the Chiefs totaled just 236 yards on offense.
Smith and the Chiefs’ offense struggled much of the day against the Bills’ aggressive front seven defense. Smith finished 23-of-35 passing for 200 yards. Running back Kareem Hunt chipped in just 17 yards on 11 carries. Tyreek Hill led the team’s receivers with seven catches for 41 yards.
The loss marked Kansas City’s third straight defeat and fifth loss in their last six games. Head coach Andy Reid thought his defense played well out of the gate, but his offense failed to find any rhythm until the second half.
“I thought we started fast defensively,” Reid said. “That’s what I thought we did and we’ve got to do the same thing offensively. We’re not doing that, again that’s what I‘m telling you is my responsibility. You got to get going, and we’re not.”
Buffalo led 13-3 at the half, with Hauschka extending the lead thanks to a 56-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Kansas City ended its lengthy touchdown drought early in the third quarter. Smith found wide receiver Albert Wilson for a 19-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 13-10. That marked the Chiefs’ first touchdown in 127 minutes, 53 seconds; they last found the end zone on Nov. 5 against Dallas.
Buffalo responded with another Hauschka field goal, this time from 49 yards. That put the Bills up 16-10 with 6:56 remaining in the third quarter.
LeSean McCoy led Buffalo with 49 yards rushing on 22 carries. Tight end Charles Clay contributed four catches for 60 yards.
The win snapped Buffalo’s three-game losing streak, which included blowout losses the last two weeks to New Orleans and the Los Angeles Chargers. McDermott credited his squad for sticking together through tough times.
“We’re focused on what we do,” McDermottt said. “The adversity that this team’s been through, they pushed through. These guys pushed through, the coaches pushed through. They bond together and they invested. That’s where it starts.”
NOTES: Chiefs K Harrison Butker set a franchise record with his 23rd consecutive field goal, eclipsing the former mark of 22 straight set by Pete Stoyanovich in 1997-98 and matched by Ryan Succop in 2011. ... Bills K Stephen Hauschka’s 56-yard field goal gives him seven field goals of 50 yards or more for the season, bettering the team record of six set by Dan Carpenter in 2014. His 52-yard miss, however, ended an NFL-record streak of 13 consecutive field goals made from 50 yards or more ... Chiefs S Eric Murray left the game in the second half with an ankle injury.