Tyrod Taylor has the Bills back in the playoff hunt after a horrendous experiment with a backup

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  • Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills upset the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday to fight their way back into the playoff hunt.
  • The big win came a week after Taylor was benched in favour of rookie Nathan Peterman.
  • The decision to start Peterman looks worse by the week as the final playoff spot in the AFC could be determined by a single game.

Tyrod Taylor has brought the Bills playoff hopes back to life, leading Buffalo to an upset victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

While Taylor didn’t exactly light up the box score, throwing for 183 yards and a touchdown, he looked competent in the pocket, light on his feet, and most importantly, did not turn the ball over.

Taylor’s return came after he was benched in Week 11 in favour of rookie Nathan Peterman in a crucial AFC matchup against the Chargers. Peterman crumbled almost instantly, throwing five interceptions in the first half. The Bills had a 37-7 halftime deficit from which they never recovered.

After the game, the Bills’ once-promising playoff chances looked dead in the water. It was their third-striaght loss after a 5-2 start, with games against two division leaders in the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots looming. Their defence had given up 135 points in those three losses, and the team was trending in the wrong direction.

With Taylor back under center for Buffalo, the Bills looked like the team football fans saw early in the season. They marched the ball down the field with the help of a smart, committed rushing attack, and a defence that did not give up big plays.

“I just thought overall today we played good team offence,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game. “We ran the ball well at times. Tyrod used his feet well at times. We had some critical third-down conversions on drives, so there were some good things going on there. It wasn’t just one guy.”

Buffalo still has work to do if they want to make the postseason. They are tied for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC, and need to pull another upset against the Patriots in order to keep their new-found winning streak alive. But as it stands today, FiveThirtyEight projects Buffalo with a 33% chance at making the playoffs – up from 17% after Peterman’s start.

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