Week 9 Preview: Chiefs @ Bills

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Don’t be fooled by the Buffalo Bills’ 3-5 record; this Bills team is tough.

Entering Week Nine, the Bills have just two double-digit losses to go along with two heartbreaking losses.

Oct 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid reads play charts during the second half of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid reads play charts during the second half of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The first tough defeat kicked off the season in Week One against the New England Patriots when kicker Stephen Gostkowski booted a 35-yard field goal with :09 remaining in the game. The second hard defeat came in overtime to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Six.

“We know what to expect” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said earlier in the week. “They gave New Orleans (in Week Eight) everything they could handle over there as they have with most of their games. We know that we have to prepare ourselves offensively and defensively and special teams-wise for a good football team.”

Meanwhile, making Sunday’s game a unique challenge for the Chiefs is they’re facing virtually a mirror image, defensively, at least.

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine served with Bob Sutton while with the New York Jets and the similarity in schemes between the Chiefs and Bills is recognizable.

“There are a lot of similarities with the structure, the style, the scheme,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said during Thursday’s media session. “They’ve got some great players in Buffalo and (Pettine) is using them just like Sutton uses them here. From that standpoint, it’s very familiar to us, offensively. However, we still have to execute and handle all of the pressure that they bring.”

Still, practicing against the Chiefs defense should assist in dealing with Buffalo’s ability to get to the quarterback.

Kansas City leads the league with 36 sacks; the Bills are second with 27.

“We have to know where 94 (Mario Williams) and 95 (Kyle Williams) are at,” Pederson said. “There are some very good players on their defense.”

Another defensive player the Chiefs must account for is rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso, who leads Buffalo with 81 tackles (43 solo). Alonso also has a sack, four interceptions, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Reid said Buffalo’s front seven is “one of the better ones we face, if not the best” and complimented what he’s seen of Alonso on tape.

“Their rookie is right up there either leading the league in tackles or right up there in tackles,” Reid said during Friday’s media session. “I know he’s making a lot of tackles; you turn on the tape and see him running around making a lot of tackles. We have to make sure that we play very well against them.”

Offensively, the Bills have questions at quarterback.

Starter E.J. Manuel (knee) remains out and backup Thaddeus Lewis (ribs) is officially listed as doubtful after putting in a limited practice Friday.

If Lewis is unavailable, the Bills will be forced to choose between Jeff Tuel and Matt Flynn.

But regardless who starts at quarterback, the Bills can certainly rely on one of the NFL’s top ground games anchored by running backs C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee).

The Bills rank seventh in the league in rushing (133.9 yards per game) and both players are listed as probable, meaning the Chiefs should expect a healthy dose of them.

“They’re the perfect one-two punch,” Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson said of Spiller and Jackson during Thursday’s locker room media session. “It’s not like when one comes out of the game, there’s a decline in the offensive backfield. Both of those guys are explosive, they’re really good.”

Tale of the tape

Offense

• The Chiefs rank 11th in rushing (122 yards per game) and 24th in passing (208.8 yards per game).
• The Bills rank seventh in rushing (133.9 yards per game) and 30th in passing (195.1 yards per game).

Defense

• The Chiefs rank 11th against the run (103.3 yards allowed per game) and fourth against the pass (205.8 yards allowed per game).
• The Bills rank 26th against the run (117.8 yards allowed per game) and 24th against the pass (263.4 yards allowed per game). The Bills have allowed a league-high 20 touchdowns through the air.

The last time

The Bills have won two straight against the Chiefs, most recently a 35-17 win in Week Two of the 2012 season at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Week Nine’s matchup signals the 45th matchup between the two franchises. Kansas City is 18-25-1 against Buffalo and owns a 6-14-1 record for games played in Buffalo.

The Chiefs have lost six straight in Buffalo dating back to 1991, including two playoff games.

Did you know?

The last time the Chiefs won at Buffalo was Week Four on Sept. 28, 1986.

Quotable

Chiefs coach Andy Reid on “Baby Andy Reid,” a Halloween-themed photo that went viral:

“Well I thought there were some similarities,” Reid said. “Graham, right, Graham is his name? I thought he had a heck of a mustache. He looked very similar to Britt (Reid) when he was born.”

Chiefs safety Quintin Demps on Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson:

“He’s a young Chad Johnson in his prime,” Demps said.

[Related: Chiefs look to slow down Bills WR Johnson]

Chiefs offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins on being fired up based on recent elevation from practice squad to the 53-man roster:

“My fire has always been fueled up,” Watkins said. “I’m just focused on whatever I can do to help the team.”

Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali shares thoughts with Dave Skretta of The Associated Press on the team’s 8-0 start:

Prediction

If not for a couple of bad breaks for Buffalo, Sunday could have featured two teams with winning records.

So don’t view Sunday’s game as a potential trap game because this is a bona fide strong test for the Chiefs before the team’s Week 10 bye.

The good news is the Chiefs have a leader who won’t allow them to overlook any opponent.

“When you’re a coach, you’re just kind of going and players do the same thing,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday. “You’re in such a routine, and you just go maximize yourself and make sure that you respect your opponent. That’s the only way I know to do it. I don’t really think much about that other part.”

The key to victory for Kansas City is to turn Buffalo into a one-dimensional offensive unit. Accomplish that and Kansas City’s defense is simply too good across the board to allow a loss.

Road history against the Bills aside, the Chiefs should tee off on a messy quarterback situation.

The overall game won’t be pretty, but what Chiefs’ game has fit that description through eight games?

Outcome: Chiefs 17, Bills 13

——-

Friday’s official NFL Injury Report, as released by the league:

Kansas City Chiefs

Out: DE Mike Catapano (ankle)
Probable,: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), WR Dwayne Bowe (groin), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle), T Eric Fisher (knee, back), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), LB Dezman Moses (toe), CB Ron Parker (toe), FB Anthony Sherman (knee, calf)

Practice Report

Did not practice

Wednesday: RB Jamaal Charles (knee)

Limited participation

Wednesday: TE Anthony Fasano (ankle, knee), CB Ron Parker (toe)
Thursday: WR Dwayne Bowe (groin), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle)

Full participation

Wednesday: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), WR Dwayne Bowe (groin), T Eric Fisher (knee, back), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), LB Dezman Moses (toe), FB Anthony Sherman (knee, calf)
Thursday: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), T Eric Fisher (knee, back), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), LB Dezman Moses (toe), CB Ron Parker (toe), FB Anthony Sherman (knee, calf)
Friday: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), WR Dwayne Bowe (groin), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle), T Eric Fisher (knee, back), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), LB Dezman Moses (toe), CB Ron Parker (toe), FB Anthony Sherman (knee, calf)

Buffalo Bills

Out: QB E.J. Manuel (knee)
Doubtful: QB Thaddeus Lewis (ribs)
Questionable: WR Chris Hogan (back)
Probable: WR Marquise Goodwin (elbow), RB Fred Jackson (knee), WR Steve Johnson (hip), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), RB C.J. Spiller (ankle), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (achilles), DE Mario Williams (hip)

Practice Report

Did not practice

Wednesday: RB Fred Jackson (knee), WR Steve Johnson (hip), QB Thaddeus Lewis (ribs), DT Kyle Williams (achilles)
Thursday: WR Chris Hogan (back), QB Thaddeus Lewis (ribs)
Friday: WR Chris Hogan (back)

Limited participation

Wednesday: WR Marquise Goodwin (elbow), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), QB E.J. Manuel (knee), RB C.J. Spiller (ankle), G Kraig Urbik (knee)
Thursday: WR Steve Johnson (hip), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), QB E.J. Manuel (knee), CB Brandon Smith (illness), RB C.J. Spiller (ankle)
Friday: QB Thaddeus Lewis (ribs), QB E.J. Manuel (knee)

Full participation

Thursday: WR Marquise Goodwin (elbow), RB Fred Jackson (knee), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (achilles)
Friday: WR Marquise Goodwin (elbow), RB Fred Jackson (knee), WR Steve Johnson (hip), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), RB C.J. Spiller (ankle), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (achilles), DE Mario Williams (hip)

Share this post:

Recent Posts