Bills-Chiefs: A Shootout No One Will See as Buffalo Visits Kansas City

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Bills-Chiefs: A Shootout No One Will See as Buffalo Visits Kansas City
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This Sunday the Buffalo Bills (4-8) face off against the Kansas City Chiefs (3-9), in a game with no playoff implications, no star quarterbacks, and which is expected to be blacked out.

Both teams lack both offense and defense. However, when the teams faced each other in Week 12 of last season, Buffalo spanked the Chiefs 54-31, a score unimaginable to Buffalo fans.

Can Buffalo put up similar numbers this weekend? I think so.

Buffalo has the NFL's worst rushing defense, yet they surprisingly have the fourth best pass defense, recording 21 interceptions and forcing nine fumbles.

 

Buffalo's Pass Offense vs. Kansas City's Pass Defense

Buffalo currently has the 28th-ranked pass offense, amassing only 167.8 yards per game, while Kansas City's pass defense is also ranked 28th, allowing 250.8 pass yards per game.

In recent weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven that he is not afraid to stretch the field to his new favorite target, Terrell Owens, who has scored three touchdowns and received almost 400 yards in the past three games.

Perry Fewell has shown aggressive play calling, so watch for a lot of big plays.

Kansas City has been blown away by the pass game this whole season, and I don't expect anything less come Sunday. The Chiefs have only eight interceptions on the team, which equals the total of Buffalo's Jairus Byrd.

Kansas City will most likely focus on covering T.O., leaving Lee Evans room to shine.

If the offensive line can contain the pass rush from outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who has three sacks last week and has 6.5 on the year, Fitzpatrick should have enough time to make accurate passes.

By the way, last year Evans had five receptions for 110 yards, and Josh Reed caught five passes for 50 yards, also scoring a TD.

 

Buffalo's Rush Offense vs. Kansas City's Rush Defense

Fred Jackson has been consistent both in rushing and receiving this season, and Marshawn Lynch is slowly coming out of the slump he had at the beginning of the season.

Kansas City is 27th in the NFL in rush defense, allowing 143.8 yards per game, and Buffalo has been rushing for 106.2 yards per game, ranking them 19th in the league.

If Buffalo can get the pass game going early, the utilization of play action will open up the running attack, resulting in higher than average yardage for the Bills. Jackson will most likely get the start, but if Buffalo can convert third downs, which has been an issue all year, both Jackson and Lynch can expect to get 12 to 18 carries each.

Kansas City has allowed eight running backs to gain at least 80 yards on the ground this season and allowed Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno to gain 199 total in a loss to the Broncos last week.

 

Kansas City's Pass Offense vs. Buffalo's Pass Defense

Kansas City has one of the worst pass games in the NFL, ranked at 29th, just behind Buffalo. Matt Cassel, who was supposed to be the savior of this team, has been average, passing for 11 touchdowns and throwing nine picks.

Last week Cassel was benched, allowing Brodie Croyle to step in, so if Buffalo's fourth-ranked pass defense steps up, we could see Croyle come in quite early.

Without Dwayne Bowe in the lineup due to a suspension, the new addition of Chris Chambers is the main weapon Cassel will have. Since joining the Chiefs, Chambers has 19 receptions for 330 yards and three touchdowns.

The release of Larry Johnson has allowed Jamaal Charles to prove himself not only in the run game, but in the pass game as well. This season, he has 48 receptions for 288 yards and two touchdowns.

Buffalo's pass defense has been the highlight of the year for most Bills fans, recording 21 interceptions by 11 different players and forcing nine fumbles. Buffalo's defensive line needs to attack Cassel, who has been sacked eight times in the past three weeks.

 

Kansas City's Rush Offense vs. Buffalo's Rush Defense

This may be the only aspect of the game where Buffalo can get beat. Charles has been bursting and proving he can make plays. Buffalo needs to make tackles and close gaps to avoid letting Charles' speed beat them.

In limited action this season, Charles has 96 attempts for 462 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

 

KEYS TO VICTORY

* Contain Tamba Hali. If Jonathan Scott can hold Hali from getting to Ryan Fitzpatrick, big plays WILL happen.

* Attack Matt Cassel. Kansas City may have an offensive line as bad or even worse than the Bills. Aaron Schobel, Kyle Williams, and Ryan Denney have to force him out of the pocket and make bad decisions that result in turnovers.

* Utilize the weapons we have. Buffalo needs to spread the ball to Owens, Evans, Reed, Shawn Nelson, and Jackson out of the backfield to create big plays that can go downfield. If Buffalo can execute, it will be a boost of confidence, regardless of the caliber of team Kansas City is.

* Buffalo is rested and ready. Having an extra couple days to rest and practice will give Buffalo a slight advantage over the worn-out Chiefs, who were all over the field after they gave up 44 points last week.

 

PREDICTION

Buffalo 31, Kansas City 10

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