KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are how my five takes before the Buffalo Bills' 16-10 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs worked out:
1. Tyrod Taylor comes storming back with a vengeance. Let's go half-check here.
The statistics don't say that Taylor exactly stormed back from his benching last week in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman. He threw for only 183 yards and a touchdown in a 16-point effort.
But he didn't turn the ball over, which is far more than could be said for Peterman's five-interception performance against the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago. Taylor gave the Bills precisely what they needed Sunday – an efficient performance that complemented a dominant defensive showing.
Coach Sean McDermott would only commit to him as a starter for next Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. And that could very well provide more fuel for Taylor to show that McDermott made a mistake by sitting him down for the first half against the Chargers and quite possibly costing the Bills a game they desperately needed to win to break their 17-year playoff drought.
2. LeSean McCoy picks up where he left off in L.A. Not quite.
McCoy ran for only 49 yards on 22 carries for a sorry average of only 2.2 yards per rush.
He should have been able to do far better against a Chiefs defense that ranked 29th in the NFL against the run. However, McCoy was repeatedly caught in the backfield before he ever had a chance to take his first step or two.
Some of that had to do with the Bills' offensive line being overwhelmed by the Chiefs' defensive front. But some of it also resulted from McCoy losing a step, being a bit slower at age 29 than he was earlier in his career.
The Bills also made use of newly acquired Travaris Cadet, who filled in as their No. 2 back in place of injured Mike Tolbert. Cadet did better, averaging 4.7 yards per carry in gaining 28 yards.
3. This would be an ideal time to start taking the ball away again. Check.
Rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White's interception sealed the victory.
It also gave the Bills only their second turnover in their last four games. But it was the only turnover of the game.
That he managed to take the ball from the Chiefs is significant given that they only have seven giveaways for the season, and Smith, who entered the game with only three interceptions, does a superb job of taking care of the ball.
4. Give being "in the hunt" a whole new meaning. Check-plus.
It's impossible to forget McDermott using the phrase a half-dozen times Wednesday as he discussed the big-picture perspective on the Bills going back to Taylor as their starter.
The Bills wound up stuffing Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt. He ran for a mere 17 yards and averaged a paltry 1.5 yards per carry.
5. McDermott has to reaffirm he's a poised leader with sound judgment. Check.
He not only did the smart thing by going back to Taylor, but he also had his team properly prepared and focused to win the game.
The defensive performance was a reflection of McDermott using his expertise, along with that of defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, to confound Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who often did not know what he was seeing from the Bills' coverage.