ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Rather than risk another meltdown with the Buffalo Bills still in the midst of the playoff race, Coach Sean McDermott had little choice but to reverse course at quarterback Wednesday.

Tyrod Taylor will start Sunday when Buffalo (5-5) travels to play the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4).

And rookie Nathan Peterman has been sent back to the sideline after throwing five interceptions Sunday in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

“It’s the right thing for our team,” McDermott said.

But McDermott was in no mood to revisit the reasoning behind starting Peterman in a move that ultimately backfired.

“Really, when you focus on that, when you look in the rearview mirror too long in this league, you lose sight of what’s in front,” McDermott said. “We’ve got to focus on the Chiefs and that’s for myself as well as our team.”

In making his first career start, Peterman, a fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, became the first quarterback to throw five interceptions in the first half since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. He finished 6 of 14 for 66 yards and was replaced by Taylor to start the third quarter with Buffalo trailing 40-7.

Whatever confidence McDermott lost in Taylor a week earlier will have to quickly be restored to spark an offense that’s sputtered no matter who’s played quarterback during a three-game skid.

“I expect (Taylor) to prepare like he’s always prepared, and come out and lead this football team.”

McDermott faced heavy criticism for making what he called “a calculated risk” in benching Taylor at a time the Bills held the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot. The team is also in a 17-season playoff drought, the longest active streak in North America’s four major pro sports.

Taylor summed up the past week as “an interesting set of days,” while saying he’s not lost confidence in himself.

“You’ve got to be prepared for anything, and focus-wise you can’t let things break your focus,” he said. “Whether it was last week or this week, I’m going to continue to prepare to do whatever it takes to get this team a win on Sunday.”

And yet there could be a chill in his views toward McDermott.

Asked about the status of his relationship with the coach and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Taylor only mentioned Dennison by saying: “Me and Rico are still good friends.” He said they continue to talk and work on fixing the troubles on offense.

Asked a follow-up question about McDermott, Taylor said: “The relationship is still there.” He then added: “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.”

Whatever Taylor’s inconsistencies have been in going 20-18 over 2½ seasons in Buffalo, he’s at least been efficient in protecting the ball. This season he’s had 11 touchdowns passing and scored another three rushing, versus three interceptions and two lost fumbles.

Running back LeSean McCoy welcomed the switch back to Taylor, saying the offense has more “trust” in the seventh-year player.

“I’ve just seen Tyrod in bad games he’s played or bad situations where he’s answered, and you could count on him,” McCoy said. “Turning the ball over last game was bad for us. You can’t win like that.”