Final Word On Week 9: Bills vs. Chiefs
The Buffalo Bills will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Chiefs are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL at 8-0. They’ll look to make it a perfect 9-for-9 against the 3-5 Bills. On paper, this matchup looks like it would be more even than the records indicate, but some unforeseen circumstances have put the edge solely in the undefeated Chiefs’ corner.
The big issue for the Bills now is the decimated QB depth chart. E.J. Manuel is still not medically cleared to play. Thad Lewis has been decent in his place and has settled into the offense, but he was unable to practice all week due to a rib injury and is listed as doubtful for the game.
In fact, Manuel actually did more than Lewis during the week in practice and as mentioned, he’s not even cleared. That leaves undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel to make his first career NFL start with veteran Matt Flynn backing him up.
The Chiefs have one of the best front-sevens in the league. It would have been tough for Lewis or even Manuel to go face-to-face with this D, so it seem nearly impossible for Tuel to do it. I wonder if there would have been more of a reason to start Flynn if he had been with the Oakland Raiders for the week that they prepared for the Chiefs in early October, but he was cut the Monday before the game.
The QB issues will mean that the defense really has to step up for the Bills. They may be helped by injuries to Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. Both will play, but their injuries may slow them. They’ll also need to induce mistakes from a QB in Alex Smith that generally doesn’t make them.
Anything can happen with a home crowd behind them, but the Bills will need a perfect storm to end the Chiefs’ eight-game winning streak to start the season. Stranger things have happened and tougher odds have been overcome however, so we’ll see where we are tomorrow evening.