It was certainly not the Monday matinee the Buffalo Bills, nor their fans wanted.
The team dropped a 26-17 decision to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, which means we start with Arrows Down for the second week in a row.
There’s no way around it, the Bills simply got run over by the Kansas City rushing attack.
We’ve seen some leaks in the run defense this year, but this was total domination by the Chiefs offensive line. Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who ran for 161 yards on 26 carries, averaged a whopping 6.2 yards per-run. The Chiefs, as a team, ran for 245 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per-carry. Patrick Mahomes only had 225 yards passing, because he didn’t have to have more.
The Chiefs just ran right at the Bills all night and their defense couldn’t stop them.
From the very first play of the game, Allen was off and too inaccurate too often. He was mis-firing to receivers early, and never seemed to get in rhythm.
Aside from one touchdown drive when he went 5-for-5, Allen looked nothing like the quarterback we’ve seen through five games this season, and especially the first four. He finished 14-for-27 (only 51.9%) for only 122 yards, with two touchdown passes and a late interception.
Once again, the running game wasn’t good enough, and run blocking was a big reason why.
Allen was actually the team’s leading rusher with 43 yards. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined for only 42 yards total against a Chiefs run defense that had been allowing over 157 yards per-game and 5.0 yards per-carry.
Too often there was a defender either in the backfield or right at the line of scrimmage after beating an offensive lineman.
The entire run defense was bad, as pointed out, but even when the defensive line seemed to have Chiefs’ offensive linemen tied up, there was no linebacker to clean up and make the tackle.
Tremaine Edmunds has struggled this season, and did again in this one. He took bad angles and didn’t get to spots well enough. He was either confused or just slow to react a lot. He led the team with 12 tackles, but many were down the field after big gains.
Third down defense
I wrote in my game preview, as one of my keys, that the Bills had to be better than they have been this season on third down. They weren’t.
They came into the game allowing an NFL third-worst 50.88% conversion rate, and were even worse than that, allowing 9-of-14 chances by the Chiefs. The Chiefs also converted their only fourth down attempt, which made them 10-for-15 and a whopping 66.7% on third and fourth downs combined.
Long drives given up
Of course the third down issues are a big part of this, but the Chiefs didn’t do what they usually do to teams and strike from anywhere and score via the big play. Instead, they grinded out long drives and clock.
They held the ball for over 37 minutes, had four drives of at least 10 plays, two 75-yard drives, and two more 85-yard drives. The Chiefs basically did to the Bills what many teams try to do to them.
Late penalties by Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer
With the Bills trailing by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, they gave up a 21-yard play on 2nd-and-11. At the end of the play, White gave a shove to Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, costing the Bills a valuable 15 yards.
Just two plays later, after making a stop for minus-2 yards and what have brought up a 3rd-and-7 from midfield, safety Jordan Poyer flipped Edwards-Helaire over while they were out of bounds and after the play. Another 15 yard penalty, and a first down for Kansas City.
Both penalties were undisciplined and costly.
No catches for John Brown
Brown was noticeably limping the entire game. He was coming off an injured knee that caused him to miss last week’s game and was also limited at practice this week. He couldn’t get away from anyone in the secondary. He also dropped a pass on the first drive.
No matter what the reasons, it’s not a coincidence that the offense struggled two weeks in a row when Brown didn’t have any catches (once playing and once not playing).
Corey Bojorquez and punt coverage
Bojorquez punted the ball four times, and all four pinned the Chiefs inside their 20-yard line. He had a gross average of 53.3 yards per-punt and a net of 52.8, which are both really high numbers.
Part of that nice average is attributed to excellent punt coverage, as well. Chiefs returner Mecole Hardman had two punt returns. They totaled one yard overall. The Chiefs' starting field position following Bills punts: their own 17-, 10-, 18-, and six-yard lines.
Penalties through three quarters
The Bills committed four penalties the entire game. Every one of them came in the fourth quarter, including the two written about above. They had zero penalties through three quarters of play.
Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley
Josh Allen didn’t have a good night, but both Diggs and Beasley did what they could to help him. Both made several tough catches to keep drives going and eventually each scoring a touchdown. The two receivers combined for 10 catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Diggs’ touchdown was a fantastic catch near the sideline. Beasley’s touchdown was a great effort to get through a tackle and dive into the endzone.
There wasn’t much positive in the front-seven, but Addison was able to generate some pressure and put up a nice stat line, finishing with four total tackles, a sack, and two more quarterback hurries.
Limiting Tyreek Hill
The Chiefs’ No. 1 wide receiver didn’t do much all game. The Bills held Hill to three catches, tied for his season low, for 20 yards and only 6.7 yards per-catch, which are both season lows for him.
Third quarter drive
The Bills trailed 23-10 in the fourth quarter. They needed a quick scoring drive, and they got it. Starting at their own 25-yard line, Allen went 5-for-5, the offense marched 75 yards, and Beasley capped it with a touchdown catch. The drive took only six plays and just 2:33 off the clock. Unfortunately for the Bills, they weren’t able to do that more often.
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