|Positional Unit||First-Half Grades||Game Grades|
Buffalo Bills Week 9
Game Analysis for the Buffalo Bills
Pass Offense: Tuel giveth and Tuel taketh away. The Bills had a chance to put the Chiefs out of their misery after a strong first half, but instead undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel threw a pick-six at the Chiefs goal line—inducing a 14-point swing in the process. Tuel had to limit his turnovers to beat an 8-0 team, and he did not do so.
Run Offense: Spiller has his best game of the season by far, scooting for 61 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. The former Clemson back is still not healthy—evident by the limping around on the sidelines in the third quarter—but his speed out of the backfield put the Bills in a position to beat the Chiefs.
Pass Defense: The Bills could not create any turnovers in the secondary, which wasn’t going to be easy against a quarterback who is careful with the pigskin. Stephon Gilmore played much better against Dwayne Bowe in the second half, but the Bills lost the turnover battle 3-0.
Run Defense: Charles had a decent fourth quarter to put the game away for the Chiefs, but the Bills made plenty of stops when the Chiefs actually decided to run the ball. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are the two unsung heros of the game despite the loss.
Special Teams: Nothing stood out either way. Dan Carpenter made both of his field-goal attempts, so there’s that.
Coaching: The only thing you could get on the coaching staff for was the decision to make T.J. Graham a focal point of the offense with Steve Johnson getting open consistently. Both of the defensive touchdowns were products of the quarterback not throwing to the right option, and I have a feeling that those options came from the sideline.
First-Half Analysis for the Buffalo Bills
Pass Offense: For a majority of the first quarter, it looked like Jeff Tuel would only be asked to manage the game. He filled that role well, completing four of his first five passes. Then the Bills decided to take the Chiefs by surprise twice by throwing deep. T.J. Graham should have had the first one, but Tuel hit Marquise Goodwin in stride for a 59-yard touchdown to give Buffalo the lead. The interception was a clear overthrow, but those types of growing pains should be expected with an undrafted free agent at quarterback.
Run Offense: The Bills looked more committed to the pass in the first half, mainly because the Chiefs were geared up for the run game. Still, the Bills stuck with the run down the stretch in the first half and they were finally rewarded with a 28-yard run by C.J. Spiller to set them up for a score at the end of the half.
Pass Defense: Dwayne Bowe has had a nice day matched up against Stephon Gilmore, but the Bills secondary has been flying around making plays. Leodis McKelvin should have picked up a fumble around midfield, but got too carried away with the open field in front of him. Jairus Byrd took an unnecessary personal foul penalty that extended a Chiefs drive. If he had been playing the overthrow by Alex Smith, the Bills would have had possession.
Run Defense: Charles has one run of 10 yards and the rest have been for a few yards here or there. Buffalo’s defensive line has completely owned the Chiefs offensive front and disrupted multiple plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Special Teams: Dan Carpenter put four points on the board, but both of his attempts were chip shots. McKelvin had a very impressive punt return touchdown called back because of an illegal block penalty.
Coaching: The defense looked very ready for a Charles-themed offense. Nate Hackett called his best half of the season, despite having his playbook more limited due to starting Tuel. The offense has been one step ahead of the Chiefs since the Bills’ first offensive snap.