For a second consecutive week, the Buffalo Bills found themselves on the losing end of a matchup with a playoff-caliber AFC team.
Playing host to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, Buffalo showed a better effort than in last week’s drubbing to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. However, the Bills still look like they’re a tier below the top teams in the AFC in a 27-16 loss.
Josh Allen and the offense got off to a slow start and never really gained much momentum. The Bills couldn’t manage to get the rushing attack going and Allen never found consistency in the passing game, completing just 14-of-27 attempts for 122 yards.
While the Chiefs were held to 26 points, which seems low for that high-powered offense, the Buffalo defense struggled once again. The Bills got some stops when needed, but couldn’t keep Kansas City off the field following a Buffalo score. The Chiefs had a response all night, and used time of possession to their advantage; going on long, successful scoring drives all throughout the game. Matt Milano was certainly missed once again, and the return of cornerback Tre’Davious White just wasn’t enough to get the defense to where they needed to be.
The Bills never seemed like they were going to come out with a win, despite it being a one-score game late in the fourth quarter. Similar to the Tennessee game last week, Buffalo came out flat against a good opponent and paid for it.
Here are five quick observations from the game:
1.) The Bills’ offense had an awful night
Everyone knew they’d have to put up a lot of points to beat Kansas City and they weren’t up to the challenge.
Allen and company produced one good drive out of their nine possessions. The Bills received the ball to start the game and promptly went three-and-out. That was an omen of things to come. Allen was off target on his first two throws to wide receivers Cole Beasley and John Brown, and then Brown couldn’t make a diving grab on third down.
Through three quarters, Allen was 9-of-21 for 66 yards. He went 5-for-5 for 56 yards and a touchdown on a fourth quarter drive that pulled the Bills to within six points with six-and-a-half minutes remaining, but it still wasn't enough in the end.
Allen had his worst game of the season, finishing 14-27 for 122 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He did run more than he has in the last four games and ended with 42 yards rushing on eight attempts.
The Chiefs did a great job of taking away the big pass plays. Just eight days after giving up six pass plays of 20 or more yards to Derek Carr and the Raiders, Kansas City gave up just one to the Bills, a Beasley 22-yard catch on the fourth quarter touchdown drive.
2.) The Bills can’t get their running backs going
Devin Singletary had 10 carries for just 32 yards and Zack Moss had five runs for 10 yards. Allen was the team’s leading rusher.
The Bills offense managed a mere 206 net yards on just 50 plays. Nine drives produced a pair of touchdowns, a field goal, a missed field goal, four punts and one interception at the end of the game.
Kansas City’s offense had 73 snaps. The lopsided time of possession included the Bills offense having the ball for just six-and-a-half minutes in the second half.
3.) The Bills took away the Kansas City passing attack and it wasn’t enough
The Bills defense decided to do everything they could to take away the Chiefs' big pass plays and, for the most part, it worked. However, the Chiefs turned that plan into a big night on the ground.
Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was unstoppable with 26 carries for 161 yards. The 46 rushing attempts were the most ever by an Andy Reid coached team, and the Chiefs totaled 245 yards.
4.) The Bills kept it close despite the poor showing
The plan almost worked. The Bills made it a six-point game with that fourth quarter touchdown, but the defense couldn’t get a big stop. Actually, after forcing Kansas City to punt on its initial possession of the second half, the defense couldn’t get any stops.
Here is what happened on the next three Chiefs drives:
- 13 plays, 82 yards, 7:47 and a touchdown that gave KC a 20-10 lead
- 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:20 and a field goal that made it 23-10
- 12 plays, 75 yards, 4:38 and a field goal that put the game away at 26-17
On the first field goal drive, both White and safety Jordan Poyer took undisciplined personal fouls that gave the Chiefs 30 yards. On the second field goal drive, Kansas City faced a 3rd-and-12 at their own 33-yard line and the Bills defense gave up a 37-yard pass that put them in field goal position.
5.) A division title is still very much attainable
There's some good news and bad news to come out of this game.
The bad news is the Bills had back-to-back clunkers on national television in prime time, and clearly are not in the discussion for top teams in the AFC, at this point.
The good news is they are still 4-2, leading the AFC East, and play the 0-6 New York Jets next.
If they beat the Jets (if they don’t then you can start panicking), the Bills will be 5-2 with the New England Patriots coming to town for a huge game on Nov. 1. If they can manage to finally beat the Patriots, the Bills would hit the mid-point of the season at 6-2. They’d be up two on New England in the loss column and have the tie breaker.
Perhaps that will make you feel a little better.
- 3-0 BILLS - Bills field goal (5:47) – Tyler Bass’ 48-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 11 plays, 38 yards, 4:27
- 7-3 CHIEFS - Chiefs touchdown (3:12) – Patrick Mahomes passes to Travis Kelce for an 11-yard touchdown (Harrison Butker’s extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:37
- 10-7 BILLS - Bills touchdown (11:22) – Josh Allen passes to Stefon Diggs for a 4-yard touchdown (Tyler Bass’ extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 75 yards, 6:43
- 13-10 CHIEFS - Chiefs touchdown (4:56) – Patrick Mahomes passes to Travis Kelce for a 12-yard touchdown (Harrison Butker’s extra point attempt is no good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 75 yards, 6:26
- 20-10 CHIEFS - Chiefs touchdown (1:18) – Darrel Williams rushes for a 13-yard touchdown (Harrison Butker’s extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 82 yards, 7:47
- 23-10 CHIEFS - Chiefs field goal (9:07) – Harrison Butker’s 37-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:20
- 23-17 CHIEFS - Bills touchdown (6:34) – Josh Allen passes to Cole Beasley for an 8-yard touchdown (Tyler Bass’ extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:33
- 26-17 CHIEFS - Chiefs field goal (2:00) – Harrison Butker’s 30-yard field goal attempt is good
Drive info: 12 plays, 75 yards, 4:38
The Bills will travel to New Jersey for a matchup with the Jets on Sunday, Oct. 25 at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Be sure to hear all the action on WGR with John Murphy, Steve Tasker and Sal Capaccio on the call.