Taylor, the former Hampton High and Virginia Tech standout making his third start for Buffalo (2-1), threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns as the Bills bulldozed Miami (1-2) 41-14 at Sun Life Stadium. Afterward, he stood behind a microphone-draped podium in a dark gray three-piece suit, answering questions with the humble confidence recognizable to those familiar with his career.
"It was very big for us as a team," said Taylor, coming off eight sacks in a 40-32 loss to New England. "Last week, the game didn't go like we wanted it to go, but towards the end of that game, you could see the fight that this team has in it. We continued to keep fighting and just stayed hungry throughout the week."
True to form, Taylor deflected any questions about his personal play, a 21-for-29 outing that included a 6-for-6 start.
His teammates weren't as taciturn.
"Complete domination," said receiver Percy Harvin, who finished with a team-best seven catches for 66 yards. "He was in complete control of the game. He read his matchups very well, and he went to the matchup that he liked."
Speedy receiver Sammy Watkins left the game early with a calf injury, but Taylor found plenty of other targets. Charles Clay caught Taylor's first two passes and the 25-yard touchdown that capped Taylor's 5-for-5, 77-yard first series.
"You can just see it in his preparation throughout the week," Clay said. "Tyrod's one of those guys that works extremely hard — in the weight room, in the meeting room, on the practice field. There was never a doubt in my mind that he would come out and lead us."
Clay finished with five receptions for 82 yards. Taylor also found LeSean McCoy for a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter and opened the fourth quarter by lofting a deep ball that hit Chris Hogan in stride for a 38-yard TD and a commanding 34-8 lead.
Taylor went 8-for-10 for 138 yards and two TDs on Buffalo's first two possessions and finished the first half 15-for-20 for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
"He was decent," deadpanned Bills coach Rex Ryan. "Obviously, he had a heck of a game. … This whole football team has confidence in him. This kid's legit. We know he's legit. When the protection holds up, this kid can burn you."
Buffalo named Taylor its starting quarterback Aug. 31. Taylor, signed as a free agent in March, beat out since-traded veteran Matt Cassel and Florida State product EJ Manuel for the job. In his two previous starts for the Bills, Taylor completed 37-of-49 passes for 437 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
"Since he was named the starter, we all had complete confidence in him," said Harvin, who starred at Landstown High in Virginia Beach. "He's just got a composure about himself. It's hard to rattle him. He speaks very clear. He commands the huddle."
Drafted by Baltimore in the sixth round in 2011, Taylor spent four seasons as Joe Flacco's backup, throwing 39 passes in 14 appearances.
At Hampton High, Taylor went 34-4, amassing 7,012 total yards and 48 touchdowns while leading the Crabbers to the 2005 Group AAA Division 5 state championship. He left Virginia Tech as the Hokies' all-time leading passer with 7,017 yards.
"Knowing T, from even back in Virginia, he's always a competitor," Harvin said. "When the lights shine and people are talking the most, that's when he's most looking to show up."