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Vic Carucci's Bills Wake-Up Call: Now we find out about Taylor, Lynn

Now we should get some answers to some fairly significant questions that have lingered in the background of the Buffalo Bills' four-game winning streak.

Just what kind of quarterback do they have in Tyrod Taylor?

Just how good of an offensive coordinator is Anthony Lynn?

Peel away the LeSean McCoy Show from the Bills' offense -- which appears will be the case for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins -- and you're going to get a good look at what's underneath.

Start with Taylor.

With McCoy running through and around defensive players on the way to joining the discussion for NFL MVP recognition, Taylor's primary role has been to not screw things up. For the most part, he has handled it well. He has been efficient, completing 62.4 percent of his passes while throwing only two interceptions and posting a passer rating of 92.4 in six games. He has been a good complement as the league's best rushing attack and a solid defense have led the Bills' surge into playoff contention. You can even say he has been a winner.

What Taylor hasn't been, however, is a franchise quarterback. He hasn't done the heavy lifting the Bills had in mind when they gave him that contract extension last August. To the naked eye, it looks as if he has yet to come close to satisfying what they need to see in order to green light those additional five years for $90 million on top of that $6-million raise they gave him for this year.

But there is plenty of time for Taylor to dramatically change that perception, with the first major step coming Sunday.

Without McCoy, the Bills still might have a productive running game, but they won't have one of the NFL's most dynamic playmakers. They won't have the transformative force that has been taking over games, using incredible athleticism and quickness and instincts to rise above everyone else on the field.

Franchise quarterbacks rise above. They make everyone around them better, especially their receivers. Taylor hasn't been doing that. Granted, he's missing his best target, Sammy Watkins, and could be without Watkins' replacement in the No. 1 receiver spot, Robert Woods, Sunday.

But great quarterbacks find a way to elevate the performance of the entire offense. They make the plays that ordinary/mediocre quarterbacks can't make.

At the moment, Taylor, at best, has been ordinary. Some would say he's been closer to mediocre.

That can't happen Sunday. Not if the Bills are going to do what they should do and win their fifth game in a row and second in the AFC East. Not if they're going to challenge for the division championship, as well as for a very getable wild-card spot.

Here's what else can't happen: Lynn proving to be something less than the offensive genius he has appeared to be since replacing fired Greg Roman.

Great players always make coaches look smart. But it's fair to say that Lynn's changes in the Bills' offensive scheme have done more than their share to help bring the best out of McCoy and the offensive line.

Lynn put greater emphasis on utilizing McCoy as a power runner, working more between the tackles rather than outside zone plays, and that approach not only has agreed with him but it also has allowed the line to thrive.

Lynn also has put the offense squarely on the shoulders of McCoy and the line, avoiding any feelings of pressure to lean on the passing game in an effort to get more production from Taylor and the pass-catchers. One of the main reasons Rex Ryan was all for making the coordinator change after some of the offensive players shared with ownership their dissatisfaction over how Roman was calling plays was because he knew Lynn would be right in line with his ground-and-pound mantra. Ryan would always rather run the ball because that's good for the defense.

And he's going to want the Bills to keep running Sunday, which means Lynn is likely going to have to put together a game plan that maximizes the skills of their reserve backs: Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams, and Reggie Bush.

It isn't so much that the plays he calls have to be extremely different than those he has used for McCoy. It's that they're going to have to take into account no one else on the team -- and very few players in the entire league -- has McCoy's ability to do what his Twitter handle says he does: @Cutonadime25. A large portion of the Bills' offensive success, especially in the last two weeks, has come from the sort of improvisation that McCoy can do and others can't.

Lynn also will need to find ways help pull the franchise quarterback out of Taylor, with pass plays designed to give him the chance to flourish and play selections that exploit a Dolphins defense that just lost one of its best players, safety Reshad Jones, to a season-ending shoulder injury.

On Sunday, we should get some answers about the quarterback and the coordinator.

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