KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tyrod Taylor did exactly what he spent the first half of the season doing, back when the Buffalo Bills were off to a hot start and his job was never in question.
He threw for 183 yards and a touchdown. He kept plays alive with his feet. He made sure to avoid interceptions.
Taylor’s steady performance against Kansas City on Sunday dovetailed nicely with a stellar game by the Buffalo defense, capped off by Tre’Davious White’s interception with about a minute remaining that clinched a much-needed 16-10 victory over Alex Smith and the Chiefs.
“I just thought overall today we played good team offense,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “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.”
Zay Jones had the touchdown reception and Stephen Hauschka kicked three field goals for the Bills (6-5), whose defense held Kansas City (6-5) to 236 yards of total offense.
“I think the three-game losing streak that we had has brought us closer and closer together than we already were,” White said, “the character of the guys we have in the locker room.”
Smith threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, but even the Chiefs’ lone score came on a catch-and-run by Albert Wilson. They were unable to complete much downfield, and with a ground game going nowhere, were ushered along to their fifth loss in six games.
The boos rang out when White stepped in front of Smith’s pass with 1:11 left and the Chiefs at the Buffalo 35. White nearly returned it for a touchdown before Smith finally tracked him down.
“A little shock there, no doubt,” Smith said. “Felt like we were going to bounce back, come back and get back into rhythm on offense. From the get-go, we didn’t do that.”
It was an especially gratifying win for McDermott, who spent 10-plus seasons working for Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid in Philadelphia. And it was even more so considering the heat McDermott had been under after his questionable quarterback change last week.
Taylor wasn’t spectacular against Kansas City. But he was better than Nathan Peterman was against the Chargers, when he threw five picks in his first 14 attempts.
“This just shows the resiliency that this team has, and the type of character we have,” Jones said. “All of our goals are still insight. We see the big picture. Sometimes you lose games but that doesn’t define you. I’m really proud of this team for getting a win on the road.”
The Chiefs’ offense was dismal in the first half against a defense that had surrendered more than 210 yards rushing per game the past three outings. Kansas City went three-and-out on its first five possessions and, taking away 14 yards of quarterback scrambling, gained 43 yards by the break.
The Bills fared marginally better.
Taylor threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones late in the first quarter. But that was the only offense the Bills could muster as the Chiefs began to bottle up LeSean McCoy and put pressure on their elusive quarterback.
Kansas City finally snapped a streak of eight-plus quarters without a touchdown when Wilson hauled in a swing pass and went 19 yards midway through the third quarter. But the Bills answered quickly with a 49-yard field goal by Hauschka, giving them a 16-10 lead entering the fourth.
That was enough for the Bills’ defense.
“They did a little different thing with us, but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen or been successful against,” Reid said. “It was just rough. We have to get through this and change it around.”
Hauschka missed a 52-yard field-goal try late in the first half, ending his NFL-record streak of 13 straight from at least 50 yards. The streak dated to 2014 when he was with Seattle. He bounced back to hit from 56 yards, giving him a Bills-record seven 50-plus makes this season.
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Harrison Butker connected from 45 yards late in the first half, giving him a franchise-record 23 straight field-goal conversions. Butker hasn’t missed since his first attempt with Kansas City.
Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin did not make the trip after hurting his knee in last week’s loss to the Chargers. They were also missing LT Cordy Glenn (ankle) and RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring).
Seven-time Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis was inactive four days after signing with Kansas City. The Chiefs hope he’ll be ready to start opposite Marcus Peters next week against the Jets.
Bills: At home vs. Patriots next Sunday to start a three-game homestand.
Chiefs: A visit to the Jets next Sunday starts a stretch of three games in 13 days.