BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
The Bills needed to play mistake-free football with Jeff Tuel at the helm to defeat the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. It didn’t happen.
Buffalo turned the ball over three times on Sunday and the Chiefs scored 17 points on the turnovers. Two turnovers were returned for touchdowns.
The first turnover of the game occurred after the Bills found themselves up 7-0. Tuel ran a play action pass and overthrew the ball into the arms of free safety Kendrick Lewis. The Chiefs proceeded to move the ball into field goal range to score their first points of the game.
Buffalo’s second and third turnovers were even more costly. Leading 10-3, the Bills marched the ball down the field on the Chiefs and faced third and goal from the one yard line after halftime. After two runs were stuffed, the Bills attempted a pass. Jeff Tuel threw the ball complete, but to the wrong team. Sean Smith intercepted the ball in the end zone and ran the ball 100 yards back for a Chiefs touchdown. Tuel stared down a spot and missed seeing Stevie Johnson wide open in the endzone. The interception was on Tuel, but Buffalo should have attempted another run at that point, rather than putting the play on their third string quarterback.
Buffalo’s final turnover came on a pass to T.J. Graham on third and 10 from the Bills’ own 13 yard line. Graham caught the ball, tucked it away and took two to three steps before getting the ball knocked out. Tamba Hali picked up the fumble and give the Chiefs a 20-13 lead. It was all the Chiefs needed.
Minus the turnovers, the Bills actually played some good football. Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson gashed the Chiefs’ defense for 193 total yards on the ground. Jeff Tuel did a decent job throwing the ball and the offensive line kept Tuel from getting sacked once.
Defensively, the Bills did not give up any touchdowns to the Chiefs. Kansas City’s offense mustered six points as Alex Smith threw for 124 yards and Jamaal Charles was kept in check until late in the game.
As always there are some promising things to take from the loss, but the Bills’ record is now 3-6, good for last in the AFC East.
The Bills’ schedule eases up a bit with the Steelers, Jets, Falcons, Buccaneers and Jaguars, but it’s hard to envision them going 5-0 or 4-1 during this stretch. Buffalo has fought week in and week out, but it’s clear that the team is still at least one season away.
Alex Smith will take a few knees to end the game. Final thoughts are on the way.
Stevie Johnson can’t bring in Jeff Tuel’s fourth down pass and the Chiefs take over.
Tuel was almost intercepted by Brandon Flowers on first down. Buffalo has the ball on the Chiefs 41 yard line. Chandler drops a pass on second down that hits off of his hands.
Tuel adds 14 yards on the ground and then find Stevie Johnson for another first down.
Tuel finds Stevie Johnson for 12 yards on first down as we head to the 2-minute warning.
Chiefs 23 – Bills 13
With 2:13 remaining, Ryan Succop hit a 39 yard field goal. The Bills find themselves down 10 with little time remaining.
The Bills stop Charles on 3rd and 3 for a gain of one yard. If Succop hits the 39 yard field goal here, it’d be hard to envision the Bills winning the game.
3rd and 3 for the Chiefs. Buffalo needs a stop here.
Charles gains 10 yards on 1st down and the Chiefs are now on Buffalo’s 30 yard line. The game is starting to get away from Buffalo.
Bowe picks up a first down and the Chiefs have the ball on the Bills’ 40 yard line.
Ron Brooks makes a huge special teams tackle to stop McCluster from gaining any yards on the punt return.
Tuel throws incomplete to Chandler on 3rd and 7 and have to punt from their end zone.
Doug Marrone still has not won a challenge this season, but that’s a catch. Flowers knocked that ball out at the end.
Tuel throws deep on second down and he came down with the ball. After two hits the ball came out. The Bills will challenge and I think it’ll be called complete.
Scott Chandler was called for a false start on first down, but the call was very questionable.
The Chiefs make a great special teams play and the Bills will have to go 97 yards to tie the game.
Jamaal Westerman pressures Alex Smith who has to throw it away. Buffalo forces the KC punt.
3rd and 6 for Kansas City with the ball on Buffalo’s 47 yard line.
Charles picks up a first down after picking up 12 yards on 2nd and 1.
Aaron Williams tackles Charles after a 9 yard gain.
Brian Moorman punts the ball 32 yards to Kansas City’s 28 yard line. The Bills defense has done a great job all day, hopefully that’ll continue on this drive.
Buffalo is forced to punt after Tuel overthrows Scott Chandler.
Tuel throws deep but underthrows Goodwin. On the next play, Marcus Easley drops a pass that is thrown right on the numbers.
Spiller picks up the first down on a screen but gets hit on the already injured ankle. Stevie Johnson gains five yards on a first down reception.
Erik Pears gets called for holding on first down.
Big drive by the Bills here as they try to tie the game up at 20.
Chiefs 20 – Bills 13
T.J. Graham fumbles on a reception and Tamba Hali returns it for a touchdown. Buffalo’s turnovers have proved to be very costly against the Chiefs.
T.J. Graham caught the ball, put the ball away and took 2-3 steps. That’s a clear fumble that is picked by Tamba Hali for the touchdown.
Third and 10 for the Bills.
Tuel runs and slides for two yards on second down and gets hit, but no penalty is called.
C.J. Spiller loses 2 yard on first down.
Buffalo takes over on their 13 yard line.
Stephon Gilmore breaks up a slant intended for Dwayne Bowe that bounces up, but falls innocently to the ground.
Alex Smith scrambles for a gain of eight on second down.
Jamaal Charles loses two yards on a flare pass to end the third quarter. We head to the fourth quarter tied at 13.
Bills 13 – Chiefs 13
Dan Carpenter connects on a 30 yard field goal to tie the game.
Two Bills players ran to the same spot. Chandler was the intended receiver, but Goodwin reaches for the ball and it hits the turf. Chandler likely would have picked up the first down.
Dangerous pass from Tuel to Choice on second down. 3rd and 8 for the Bills.
Tuel keeps the ball on the read option for a two yard gain.
Fred Jackson takes the next run for a first down as he runs over two Chiefs players.
Spiller takes a flare pass down the field for a 27 yard gain. Derrick Johnson blows up the next play in the backfield.
Woods’ right knee hit the turf hard on the play. Hope he’s okay.
Jeff Tuel went deep for Robert Woods, but the ball fell incomplete after hitting Woods’ hands. Woods is still down following the play.
Buffalo’s drive continues after a roughing the quarterback call on Brandon Flowers. Nice acting job by Jeff Tuel there.
The Chiefs are starting to read Tuel’s passes. An incomplete screen leads to a 3rd and 7.
The Bills will take over on their 20 yard line to start the drive following the touchback.
Chiefs 13 – Bills 10
The Chiefs lead for the first time today after Ryan Succop connects on a 41 yard field goal. Buffalo has moved the ball very well in the second half, but have no points to show for it.
Alex Smith leads Jamaal Charles too far down the field and the ball falls incomplete. Ryan Succop is in for the field goal.
Donnie Avery can’t catch the ball on 2nd and 5. Third and 5 for the Chiefs.
Jamaal Charles gets his first carry of the second half and takes it for a first down.
Fasano catches a pass for a 20 yard gain and the Chiefs have the ball on the Bills’ 39 yard line.
Stephon Gilmore did interfere with Dwayne Bowe but I hate nothing more than a receiver complaining until he gets a flag.
Buffalo stayed at home on an end around to Dexter McCluster and stopped the Chiefs for a loss of 4.
The Chiefs take over on their own 36 and have again stopped Buffalo’s momentum.
Tuel had T.J. Graham open on 4th and 3 but Graham could not track the ball. Kansas City takes over.
Choice carries the ball for 7 yards on third down and the team looks like they’re going for it on 4th and 3. I like this call.
Tuel’s first pass goes incomplete on second down. 3rd and 10 for the Bills.
The Bills are into Kansas City territory after four consecutive rushes.
Buffalo is having a lot of success on the ground against the Chiefs.
C.J. Spiller starts Buffalo’s drive with a nine yard run and Choice picks up the first down on the next play.
Bills 10 – Chiefs 10
The Bills drove the ball down to the KC 1 yard line only to have Jeff Tuel throw an interception right to Sean Smith. Smith had a wall of blockers and returned the interception 100 yards to tie the game. A huge swing in momentum right there.
Jeff Tuel throws an interception and Sean Smith returns the ball 100 yards for a touchdown. Unbelievable.
Jackson gets stopped again on second down. Third and goal for the Bills.
Jackson gets hit at the line. 2nd and goal.
Scott Chandler gets interfered with on a pass by Jeff Tuel. 1st and goal from the one.
Jackson’s run actually resulted in a first down. On first and goal, Jackson carries the ball to the Chiefs’ 1 yard line.
Fred Jackson adds 8 yards on first down and one on second down. 3rd and 1 for the Bills.
C.J. Spiller has 8 carries for 109 yards on the game.
C.J. Spiller rips off a HUGE run on first down for 61 yards.
Here’s hoping the Bills can put up some points on their first drive.
Editor’s Halftime Thoughts:
The Buffalo Bills have a lot to be proud of in their first-half effort. Playing against the NFL’s only undefeated team, with undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel (the Bills’ third starting quarterback of the season) going up against one of the league’s elite defenses, the Bills came into the game as massive underdogs. The Bills apparently didn’t pay attention to the memo that they were supposed to lose this game, however, as they have a 10-3 lead at halftime.
Tuel looked like an undrafted rookie when he sailed an overthrow above Scott Chandler for an easy interception by Kansas City Chiefs free safety Kendrick Lewis, but he has otherwise looked impressive. The Bills and Tuel have not been too hesitant to take shots downfield, and Tuel has taken advantage with some big plays, including a 59-yard touchdown pass when he hit Marquise Goodwin, who used his elite speed to burn the Chiefs secondary, in stride.
The Bills offensive line also deserves a great deal of credit for their first-half performance. Against a defense that leads the NFL in sacks, the Bills did not allow any sacks in the first half and did a terrific job protecting Tuel and giving him time to take chances downfield. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, who have both been All-Pro candidates early this season, have been very quiet thus far today.
The first half of the year was not very good for the Bills offense, but especially considering the circumstances, they have played very well today, putting up 217 yards of first-half offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills defense has also had a fantastic start. Like Tuel, the defense also made one major mistake when defensive backs Aaron Williams and Nickell Robey ran into one another, leaving Dexter McCluster wide open going to the sideline late in the first half for what should have been a deep catch and possible run for touchdown. The Bills caught a major break, however, when McCluster dropped the ball right out of his hands, and the Bills ended up forcing a punt, which they have done on four of the Chiefs’ first five offensive possessions today.
The Chiefs’ only score of the game, a 27-yard field goal by Ryan Succop, came on a drive they started at the 41-yard line after Lewis’ interception.
While the Chiefs’ pass-rush has been quiet, the Bills’ has not been. Defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams have led that effort, consistently bringing heavy pressure up the middle which has taken Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City offense, typically predicated on short passing, out of rhythm. The Chiefs have just 115 yards of total offense thus far in this game.
— Dan Hope
Buffalo has the ball on their own 21 yard line and hands it off to C.J. Spiller to end the first half. Overall, a great first half for the Bills who will receive the ball after halftime.
The legend continues… Kiko Alonso stops Jamaal Charles for a loss on a 3rd down screen pass. The Bills use their second timeout with 47 seconds remaining.
Dexter McCluster drops a pass after being wide open on 2nd down.
The Chiefs get called for a false start following the timeout. The Chiefs have the ball on their own 44 yard line.
The Chiefs call their second timeout of the half after Smith finds Donnie Avery for a gain of seven yards.
On first down, Alex Smith hits Dwayne Bowe for the first down.
The Chiefs will start out at their own 29 yard line to start the series.
Dan Carpenter connects on a 26 yard field goal to give the Bills a 10-3 lead late in the first half.
Wise timeout by Tuel as the Bills didn’t look to be on the same page.
Tuel throws the ball away on 2nd and goal after he faces pressure from the Chiefs.
It’s the two-minute warning and the Bills have the ball on the Chiefs’ eight yard line.
Eric Wood is called for a false start, but the unnecessary roughness call against the Chiefs is picked up.
1st and goal for the Bills.
Johnson picks up a first down on a read option pass by Tuel to Johnson.
Tuel had Robert Woods in the endzone after C.J. Spiller’s big run, but the ball was overthrown.
Spiller busts a big run, but looks like he hurt his ankle at the end of the play.
Buffalo has kept their third downs manageable and Tuel again moves the chains with a pass to Robert Woods.
The Bills have a 3rd and 3 in front of them following runs by Choice and Spiller.
Buffalo faces a 3rd and 2 after a nice Tuel pass to Robert Woods. On third down, Chandler makes up for his earlier drop with a catch to convert a first down.
Spiller loses a few yards on first down.
Marquise Goodwin returns the Succop kickoff to the 21 yard line. Look for the Bills to go back to pounding the ball following Tuel’s interception.
Bills 7 – Chiefs 3
The Chiefs connect on a 27 yard field goal following a Jeff Tuel interception. Nickell Robey makes a big hit on third down to stop the Chiefs’ drive.
Nickell Robey comes in and hits Dexter McCluster the second he catches Alex Smith’s pass. The Chiefs are forced to kick the short field goal.
What a hit by Nickell Robey!
Dwayne Bowe had an easy first down but dropped a perfectly thrown Alex Smith pass. 3rd and 3 for the Chiefs.
Buffalo is getting a lot of pressure and forcing Smith to throw the ball quickly, but he’s finding his receivers.
Anthony Sherman, the Chiefs’ FB picks up the first down on third and short.
On 2nd and 10, Donnie Avery picks up nine after McKelvin missed a tackle.
Alex Smith did a great job of staying on his feet after Aaron Williams almost sacks Smith. Bowe picks up the first down on 3rd and 4.
The Chiefs call their first timeout of the half with 11:10 remaining in the second quarter.
A six yard gain by Jamaal Charles on first down is followed by an incomplete pass to Dexter McCluster.
Jeff Tuel starts out the next drive with a play-action pass that is intercepted by the Chiefs. Tuel’s first mistake of the game. Kansas City will take over with excellent field position.
Buffalo starts out on their own 20 yard line after the Chiefs punt.
The defense has been great, but had McKelvin just jumped on the ball Buffalo would be taking over near midfield.
Alex Smith goes deep on third down and hits Bowe, but Bowe lands out of bounds.
3rd and 27 for KC after the strip sack by Jerry Hughes.
Leodis McKelvin had that fumble in his hands and he tried to pick it up and run.
Charles once again does something with nothing. He gains only one yard on a screen pass, but the play looked like it was due to lose yards.
Kyle Williams gets held again. 1st and 20 for the Chiefs.
Jairus Byrd thought Anthony Fasano came down with the pass, hit Fasano and was flagged for unnecessary roughness. An awful penalty.
Dwayne Bowe was having a disappointing season coming into today’s game, but 4 receptions for 40 yards is a great start.
Jamaal Charles does a nice job of getting a first down on a pitch that looked like it was going no where. The Chiefs will have a 1st and 10 on their own 43 yard line when play begins in the second quarter.
Donnie Avery makes his first catch of the day, but is immediately popped by Stephon Gilmore.
Dwayne Bowe already has 3 catches for 30 yards today.
Kansas City starts their third series on their 16 yard line. Demps attempted to return the kick out of the end zone and was tackled by Chris Hogan.
Bills 7 – Chiefs 0
Jeff Tuel hits Marquise Goodwin for a 59 yard touchdown pass with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter. Tuel’s second deep ball of the game was right on the money and Goodwin caught the ball in stride.
Jeff Tuel goes long a second time and hits Marquise Goodwin in stride for a touchdown!
T.J. Graham had a step on Cooper but the pass was underthrown. Graham had position on the throw however and let the pass bounce off of his shoulder pad.
Jeff Tuel went down the field on Spiller’s run and provided a nice block for the running back. The run was good for a first down.
Glad to see Spiller back in Buffalo’s lineup, but get him the ball in space.
Jeff Tuel had good chemistry with Robert Woods at training camp. Not surprised that they’ve connected twice already today.
Buffalo will start on its own 12 yard line to start their second drive. There’s 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.
Kyle Williams gets held on third down, but Alex Smith does not pick up the first down with his feet. The Chiefs will be forced to punt again.
Two short runs by Charles sets up a 3rd and 7 for the Chiefs.
Buffalo has been very impressive in containing Jamaal Charles early in the game.
Bowe catches a pass and gains a first down for the Chiefs.
Alex Smith doesn’t make many mistakes, but it’s mostly due to the fact that he makes extremely safe passes.
Dwayne Bowe makes his first catch of the ball, but it’s 3rd and 5 for KC.
The Chiefs get called for holding on a pass to Anthony Fasano.
Alex Smith throws a short pass to Charles on first down for a gain of 5 yards.
Kansas City will take over on its own 11.
Tuel delivers a nice pass to Scott Chandler on third down, but Chandler drops the pass. The play would have resulted in a first down.
The Bills are forced to punt after an impressive opening series for Jeff Tuel.
The Bills have done a very good job on their first drive of getting Jeff Tuel comfortable.
Tuel completes a screen to Fred Jackson that is good for 22 yards.
Tashard Choice picks up the first down on third and short.
Fred Jackson takes the next two carries for nine yards. 3rd and 1 for Buffalo.
Tuel rolls out on second down and completes his first throw to Robert Woods. Early completions will be good for Tuel’s confidence.
I’ve only seen a few shots of the crowd, but it doesn’t look like much of a “whiteout.”
Nigel Bradham gets called for the illegal block in the back. After seeing the replay it was the correct call.
Leodis McKelvin breaks a punt to the endzone, but there is a flag on the play.
Kyle Williams almost blew up the screen pass on 3rd and 6. The pass makes it to Jamaal Charles, but the Chiefs get no gain on the play. Great start for Buffalo’s defense.
Alex Smith starts with a quick throw that falls incomplete.
The Bills will kickoff to open the game.
We’re minutes away from kickoff! It’ll be very interesting to watch Jeff Tuel and how he plays early. If he struggles or turns over the ball, the Bills could turn to veteran Matt Flynn.
Hopefully, Tuel impresses and plays a clean game with no turnovers.
Bills fans are “lucky” enough to get Dan Dierdorf back-to-back weeks.
The Chiefs’ inactives for today’s game:
QB Tyler Bray
DE Mike Catapano
DT Jaye Howard
ILB Nico Johnson
C Eric Kush
FS Bradley McDougald
OT Rokevious Watkins
Looking for something to read before the 1 p.m. kickoff? Check out Eric Samulski’s preview of the “David vs. Goliath” matchup.
The Buffalo Bills’ inactives for today’s game:
QB EJ Manuel
QB Thad Lewis
CB Justin Rogers
LB Ty Powell
CB Brandon Smith
RB Ronnie Wingo
G Antoine McClain