Tyrod Taylor's mistake-free outing extends Bills' QB competition

AP Photo/David Richard

A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 11-10 win Thursday night over the Cleveland Browns:

What it means: Tyrod Taylor helped his cause to be the Bills' starting quarterback with a mistake-free two quarters of action Thursday. He went 7-for-10 passing for 65 yards, doing nothing to set him back in what is looking like a two-way battle with Matt Cassel. Even before he decides his opening-day starter, Rex Ryan has a tough decision to make: who will start in the third preseason game, generally considered the most important? Both Taylor and Cassel have made strong cases for the nod.

Play of the game: The score was tied 3-3 at halftime when both teams' starters left the game, so there were few big plays and even fewer scoring plays to pick here. However, in the context of the Bills' quarterback competition, Taylor's 22-yard completion to Deonte Thompson on third-and-6 in the first quarter was significant. Taylor avoided pressure, stepped up into the pocket and made the downfield throw that the Bills needed in that spot.

Stat of note: 41 yards. That's how many rushing yards Taylor accumulated in the first half, which led both teams. Taylor had a 21-yard scramble in the second quarter that moved the Bills into field-goal range. If Taylor eventually wins the starting job over Cassel, it's his ability to make plays with his feet that will give him the edge.

Injuries of note: Wide receiver Chris Hogan injured his ankle late in the first quarter. He was helped to the sideline by a trainer before being carted to their locker room. The Bills were already down their top three receivers for the game -- Sammy Watkins (glute), Robert Woods (undisclosed) and Percy Harvin (hip) -- and Hogan was the next man up.

What’s next: The banged-up Bills will have eight days to recuperate before their next game, back at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Aug. 29 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills will practice Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday before breaking camp at St. John Fisher College.