Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills: Week 9 Primer
Week 8 Primer: Chiefs vs. Bills
The Buffalo Bills will try and do something this Sunday that no other team in the NFL has done this season - defeat the Kansas City Chiefs. The 8-0 Chiefs are this year's Cinderella story. They were the worst team in the league last year. They overhauled the whole thing in the offseason by bringing in Andy Reid as head coach and trading for Alex Smith to be their starting QB. To say that things have worked out would be a tremendous understatement.
So what chances do the Bills have at sending the Chiefs home with their first loss? I'd say that I like their chances in this game more than I did in their game against the New Orleans Saints on the road last week. QB Thad Lewis is still hobbled, however, by the beating that he took in New Orleans last week, and that may leave Matt Flynn or Jeff Tuel to handle QB duties. The Chiefs will likely be ready to lay another beating on whoever is back their for the Bills as they are the No. 1 team in the league in sacks.
Overall the Chiefs aren't a flashy team at all. They aren't like their rival Denver Broncos. Most teams can keep it close on them. They do wear you down with the running and screen games, and Smith is a game manager who rarely makes mistakes. The Bills do have the advantage of being at home, and it's worth noting that the Chiefs have yet to beat a team with a record over .500. The bad news for the Bills is that they don't have a record over .500 either.
I see the Bills competing more in this game than they did last week, but will it be enough to knock off the undefeated Chiefs? Here is a look at the match-ups.
Bills' Pass Offense vs. Chiefs' Pass Defense
If Lewis plays, and I suspect that he will, he may in for another beating at the hands of the Chiefs defense. KC loves to get at the QB and they won't shy away from attacking Lewis who tends to hold on to the ball a bit too long. The Chiefs also have a strong secondary so guys like Robert Woods and T.J. Graham are really going to have to work to get open. We'll see how Stevie Johnson looks with his hip injury. He'll need to play big again for the Bills to have a chance.
Chiefs' Pass Offense vs. Bills' Pass Defense
The Bills are no slouches at getting at QBs either. The problem is that for the second week in a row they are playing a QB that tends to play clean games. They sacked Drew Brees four times last week, yet he still didn't make a mistake, throwing for five touchdowns and not turning the ball over once. They need to do more than just get at the QB. They need to force fumbles and bad throws or Smith will beat them. Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd looked stronger last week and should help to try and keep Dwayne Bowe at bay in this one.
Bills' Rush Offense vs. Chiefs' Rush Defense
The Bills have the No. 7 rush offense in the league and will probably feature a run-heavy offense on Sunday with the likely return of C.J. Spiller. If Spiller really is feeling better then we might see the most explosive we've seen of him so far this year. The Chiefs do have a tough front-seven but perseverance has paid off for the Bills all year, and I don't expect them to abandon the run game unless the situation becomes dire early on. Smith is good, but he won't but up points like Brees.
Chiefs' Rush Offense vs. Bills' Rush Defense
Jamaal Charles is a match-up nightmare for the Bills. Luckily for them he was injured in the game last week and may not be 100 percent for this one. The Chiefs still figure to use a run-heavy offense, and while Charles may not be as explosive as he usually is, a heavy dose can pay dividends for them especially if they can play ball control. It will be up to the front-seven of the Bills to keep Charles wrapped up and try to put the game on Smith's shoulders.
Final Score Prediction: Chiefs 24, Bills 20
Another valiant effort goes for naught this Sunday in Buffalo. The Bills will keep it close and the crowd should be a factor, but in the end the Chiefs will do just enough to win, as they have all year long. The Bills just aren't ready to win games like this, at least with their backup QB. They'll fight hard like they always do, but I think the KC defense will be too much for them to overcome. It will be a disappointing 3-6, but with E.J. Manuel's return on the horizon they can look to try and finish the year strong.