Games like that hurt. The Buffalo Bills should have walked away from Sunday’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs with a big victory while the guests should have walked out of Western New York with their first loss of the season. Instead, the Bills squandered a golden opportunity, found themselves in a tie game and never really seemed that close to winning again.
The final score was 23-13, but the Bills’ defense only surrendered a grand total of nine points and did more than enough to bring the win home for the Buffalo faithful. Alex Smith was held to just 124 yards on 19-of-29 passing and while Jamaal Charles got his (90 yards on 17 carries), he and the rest of the Chiefs offense were held out of the end zone.
The fact of the matter is that this defense is already looking worlds better. They bend sometimes, but rarely do they break. Even when they give up the yardage, they have one of the best red zone defenses in the game and have kept the team in every game save the one against the New Orleans Saints.
I can’t wait for next year, when the defense has a full year under their belts and everyone is healthy. If they add another linebacker anything close to what Kiko Alonso has been for them this year, they’re going to be scary.
Jeff Tuel wasn’t terrible, but he was quite clearly the third-best quarterback the Bills have had this season. He finished 18-of-39 for 229 yards and threw a really nice touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin on a 59-yard bomb that put the Bills up 7-0.
But the simple fact of the matter is that when the team had a chance to step on the throat of the Chiefs, he threw a crippling pick-six. Sure, it may have only been 10-10 after that play, but the game may as well have been over. All of the momentum the Bills had was gone, the Chiefs had new life and that was that.
I can’t really be mad, though. He is what he is and injuries put him in a position where he was the starter. Is this a different game with Thad Lewis or E.J. Manuel? Maybe. Tuel did an okay job and, in the end, looked like a third-string quarterback.
Despite neither getting into the end zone, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were both dynamite on Sunday.
Spiller ran 12 times for 116 yards, including an electrifying 61-yarder. Jackson had a typical day for him: 16 carries for 77 yards, adding a catch for 22 yards — solid and efficient as ever.
I understand they’re beat up a bit and you can’t run the ball all of the time, but when your two main backs run the ball 28 times for 193 yards (6.89 YPC), why wouldn’t you keep giving them the ball? Tuel threw the ball 39 times. In a game like this against a defense like this, he shouldn’t have hit 30 throws. I know part of that had to do with them being down late, so maybe I’m being unrealistic.
Still, this is a team that will run on you whether you like it or not. Jackson is getting to an age where you wonder if he can keep doing it past this year, but for now he’s going to get his yardage and the Bills are going to move the ball.
Next week, the Bills travel to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that isn’t your grandaddy’s Steelers team. See you then.