QB Tyrod Taylor back as starter against Chiefs

Sean McDermott not committing to Taylor beyond Week 12 (0:41)

ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak breaks down the latest on Buffalo's decision to bring Tyrod Taylor back as the team's starting quarterback for Week 12 against the Chiefs. (0:41)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills will start quarterback Tyrod Taylor on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, coach Sean McDermott announced Wednesday.

"It's the right thing for our team," McDermott said.

Asked why he thought it was the right move, McDermott responded, "It's because I do. When you go through the situation and where we are and where we're going, I feel like it's the right situation for our team. Just like a week ago, I felt like the right thing for the team was to start Nate [Peterman]. I feel like the right thing [now] for this team is to start Tyrod."

"You never let things surprise you. My focus is still the same. I'm going to continue to be the leader that I am, the player that I am, week in and week out."
Tyrod Taylor

Taylor regains his starting job after being benched last week in favor of Peterman, a fifth-round rookie. Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and was benched at halftime.

Taylor said he was told that "I was going to be the starter for this week."

"You never let things surprise you. My focus is still the same. I'm going to continue to be the leader that I am, the player that I am, week in and week out," he said.

McDermott did not commit to Taylor as the starter beyond Sunday's game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills return home to play the New England Patriots on Dec. 3.

"Every position is the same," McDermott said. "We evaluate every week who we feel like has earned the right to be the starter."

Taylor says he believes he still has the full support of McDermott and his Bills teammates.

"The relationship [with McDermott] is still there. Ultimately we're here to win games. That's really what cures a lot of things. We're both working hard to do whatever it takes to find a win," he said.

Taylor said he hasn't "really thought about" 2018.

"I don't control that. All I can control is what I do week to week. That's what I'm going to focus on getting better at. The future, that will play out how God wants it to play out," he said.

Having lost their past three games, the Bills have fallen to 5-5 and out of position for a wild-card berth in the AFC. McDermott, however, said he still feels the Bills are a postseason contender.

"You look around the league and there's a lot of teams in the hunt," he said Wednesday. "We're in the hunt. You sit here and say, 'Hey, Thanksgiving, close to the end of November and we're in the hunt.' You sit around the table tomorrow and say, 'We're in the hunt.' There's a lot of teams that wish they were in the hunt. Well, we're in the hunt."

Taylor said he also believes the Bills can still make the playoffs.

"This team is very capable of making the playoffs. We have a whole bunch of talent. So we have to do whatever it takes to fix things we haven't been doing so well and get back on track," he said.

McDermott said there was "some dialogue" with his players in making the decision to return to Taylor as the starter. Taylor completed 15 of 25 passes for 158 yards and had one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown after replacing Peterman at halftime Sunday.

Despite the fact that the Bills were 5-4 at the time, Taylor was benched last week after completing 9 of 18 passes for 56 yards in a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints.

McDermott said he does not believe bouncing between quarterbacks has affected Taylor's mentality.

"He's focused on the Chiefs, just like we all are," McDermott said. "He's a pro. He'll be under center this week, and I expect him to prepare like he's always prepared and come out and lead this football team."

McDermott reiterated Wednesday that he does not regret his decision to start Peterman, who became the first quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to be intercepted five times in a first half, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He went 6-of-14 for 66 yards.

"You're always trying to develop and build," McDermott said. "You have a vision, and you keep working toward that vision. If not, you're shortsighted on what's going on. When you look at it big-picture-wise, there's a lot of coaches that go in and sit on their hands and make comfortable decisions. That's not why I'm here. I'm here to win. We're here to sustain winning. That's the grander vision. In order to do that, you have to be willing to make those types of uncomfortable decisions. That's what, to me, leadership is all about."

The first-year coach pointed to how other rookies on the roster -- notably wide receiver Zay Jones and left tackle Dion Dawkins -- have received significant playing time this season.

"At some point rookies have to play," McDermott said.

Peterman said Wednesday that "a lot of people reached out" to him after his five-interception debut, including former Bills and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who "told me about his rookie year and stuff. That was helpful."

Peterman said the "whole team has been great" despite his disastrous debut.

"I feel like I've talked to every guy on the team, honestly, which I feel is pretty special when I think of how good teammates I have. We're definitely building something special here," he said.