Taylor does bit of everything as Bills beat Titans 14-13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Buffalo Bills were down a few notable weapons, so Tyrod Taylor expanded his game to fill the holes. The Tennessee Titans are sick of blowing leads and losing games.
Taylor did a little bit of everything Sunday as he set a single-game rushing record by a Bills quarterback and ran for a touchdown, threw for another score and even caught a pass off an option play in rallying Buffalo to a 14-13 win over Tennessee. Taylor helped make up for not having running backs LeSean McCoy (hamstring) or Karlos Williams (concussion) or wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf).
Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes called Taylor ”electrifying.”
”We know he has that kind of ability to make big-time plays, and whenever we see it’s just a momentum changer, it gets the guys on the bench riled up and we’re excited for it,” Hughes said.
Taylor, who won a three-man competition for the starting job, helped the Bills (3-2) win their first two road games for the first time since 2008. They also beat the Titans in Tennessee for the first time and got their first win in the series since 2000, snapping a five-game skid.
The Titans (1-3) have lost three straight overall with the last two coming when Tennessee led by double-digits. They were up 10-0 in a game they outgained Buffalo 276-209 and held the ball for more than 35 minutes.
”We’re tired of saying that we’re right there and we’re close enough,” Titans running back Dexter McCluster said. ”It’s about time we got over the hump. … As men, we have to find a way to make the play when nobody expects us to. It’s a bad feeling right now.”
Here are some things to know about the Bills and Titans:
TAYLOR’S PERFORMANCE: Taylor became only the fifth quarterback in NFL history and just the second since 1966 to throw for at least 100 yards, run for at least 70 yards and catch a pass in a single game since 1960. Randall Cunningham of Philadelphia passed for 177 yards, rushed for 71 yards and caught one pass against the Giants on Nov. 15, 1987.
Taylor set a franchise record for yards rushing by a quarterback with 76. He ran for a 22-yard TD, he threw for 109 yards and a 2-yard TD and also caught a 4-yard pass from Chris Hogan setting up that TD pass. Taylor became the fourth Bills quarterback to catch a pass from a non-quarterback.
FEWER FLAGS FOR BILLS: Ryan put in a new policy trying to clean up the mistakes by the NFL’s most penalized team, and it worked with Buffalo flagged only seven times for 62 yards. Ryan made the Bills do push-ups at practice while the flagged offender had to watch.
IT’S ON ME: Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, who left the game not once but twice with an injured left shoulder, also was flagged three times for penalties. The Bills declined one, but the second-year lineman said he apologizes to his teammates, coaches, fans and friends for mistakes he must clean up. ”That’s my biggest flaw right now as a football player, and people are going to be looking for it,” Lewan said.
DEFENSIVE PLAY: The Bills, who got only two sacks, saved their biggest play for last. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore jumped up over Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright for the game-clinching interception. ”I just came off my guy and happened to make a play on the ball,” Gilmore said.
OOPS: Bishop Sankey muffed a couple of kickoffs, the first recovered by a teammate at the Titans’ 2. Even better? An offside penalty by Marcus Easley forced Buffalo to kick again, erasing the mistake. Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt says the sun appeared to be an issue on the first kickoff. Sankey said he took his eye off the ball. After Sankey muffed a kick late in the third quarter, Dexter McCluster returned the final kickoff.
”Not something that we’re very excited about to be honest with you,” Whisenhunt said.
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