After a terrible three-week stretch, the Buffalo Bills defense came up big against the struggling Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs were held to 236 total yards and Tre'Davious White had a game-clinching interception in the Bills' 16-10 win Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor, who was reinstalled as the Bills' starting quarterback this week, had 183 passing yards and a touchdown. He added 27 yards on the ground in the win.
The Bills improve to 6-5. The Chiefs fall to 6-5.
Here is the Buffalo Bills Week 12 report card:
GRADING THE UNITS
Quarterbacks - C
Tyrod Taylor was Tyrod Taylor. He made a few big plays and didn't commit any turnovers. His final line was solid: 19-29, 183 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating was 94.5. He led the Bills on four scoring drives against the Chiefs.
Running backs - C-
It wasn't LeSean McCoy's best day, mainly because of the stout Chiefs run defense. He was held to 2.2 yards per carry — 22 rushes for 49 yards. He caught four passes for 30 yards, but 24 came on one play. The Chiefs did a good job of bottling up McCoy. It probably helped the Chiefs that their current coach is Andy Reid, who was McCoy's coach in Philadelphia.
Receivers - C
Not a ton of opportunities for the receiving corps in this game. It was a low scoring affair. Zay Jones was targeted 10 times and caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. He has shown much improvement over the last four weeks after struggling early in his rookie season. The Bills' leading receiver was tight end Charles Clay, who caught four passes for 60 yards. He had a nice 33-yard catch and run in the third quarter.
Offensive line - D
It's a tale of two sides of the offensive line. On the left, Dion Dawkins was good. He's a solid run and pass blocker, which makes him a huge asset in Cordy Glenn's absence. He committed a penalty on a long Travaris Cadet run. It was a questionable holding call, but that's going to draw a flag part of the time. Regardless, it was a good outing for Dawkins. The right side of the line continues to struggle. It wasn't Jordan Mills' worst game, but his problems continue. The Chiefs' front seven was clearly better than the Bills' offensive line.
Defensive line - A-
Jerry Hughes was a force, especially against the run. He had two tackles for a loss on running plays. The Bills finished with six tackles for a loss. The defensive line factored into all of them. Cedric Thornton had one of the Bills' two sacks Sunday.
Linebackers - B+
A good outing for the linebackers. Preston Brown led the team with nine tackles (six solo) in the win. Lorenzo Alexander had three tackles and a sack for the Bills. Matt Milano made a couple of nice plays on defense, including one when he stuffed a running play. He is having a good rookie season as a reserve linebacker and special teams player.
Defensive backs - A
The Chiefs' passing attack couldn't get anything going against this Bills secondary. The Bills' defensive backs kept the Chiefs' speed players in front of them and contained tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce only had three catches for 39 yards. He didn't have many opportunities against a much-improved Bills defense. Tre'Davious White made the play of the game when he intercepted an Alex Smith pass late in the fourth quarter to seal the win. The takeaway bailed out the Bills after a phantom personal foul call on E.J. Gaines.
Kicking and punting - A+
Returns and coverage - A
The coverage was good on kickoffs and punts. Schmidt's punts helped the coverage unit. The Chiefs returned three kickoffs, but they didn't break off a big return. The Bills didn't let them get to the outside or get to the second level.
The Bills' return game was better this week. Brandon Tate muffed a punt, but he had 61 return yards and a long of 20 yards. With the Chiefs punting from their own several times, especially in the first half, he had some opportunities for big returns.
Rick Dennison's play calling continues to be a problem. Sean McDermott made the right call by reinserting Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback, but let's not give him too much credit. He threw away last week's game with a terrible decision. His team bounced back and made him look good this week.
OVERALL TEAM PERFORMANCE
A good road win for the Bills and a great performance by this defense that's struggled for the last month. It's hard to believe this Chiefs team scored 42 against the Patriots in Week 1. They are a much different team now, but the Bills defense didn't give them a lot of room to roam.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
OFFENSE: Tyrod Taylor. Taylor was steady at quarterback. He made some good throws and didn't commit any turnovers. That's what you want your quarterback to do, especially in road games. He led the Bills to a win one week after being benched.
DEFENSE: Jerry Hughes. Hughes got some pressure on Alex Smith and recorded two tackles for a loss. This was one of his best games of the season. He doesn't have the high sack total this season, but he has produced in other ways.
Rick Dennison. Dennison's play calling continues to be a liability. He is not a good offensive coordinator. That much is evident through 11 games. Whether it's Taylor or another quarterback, Dennison shouldn't be the guy to handle the offensive coordinator duties. If the Bills decide to stay with him, he needs to show a lot of improvement. His schemes and play calling aren't helping this team.
STAT OF THE GAME
10. The Bills allowed only 10 points against the Chiefs. After giving up 34, 47 and 54 points over the last three games, it's good to see the defense get back on track.
STAT OF THE GAME II
2. The Bills had two sacks Sunday. The pass rush hasn't produced much since early in the season, so to get a couple sacks against a mobile quarterback was a bright spot against the Chiefs. Lorenzo Alexander and Cedric Thornton were credited with the sacks.
The Bills (6-5) will play at 1 p.m. Sunday against the New England Patriots. The game will be televised on CBS.