With C.J. Spiller back in the lineup but Thad Lewis out of it, the Buffalo Bills offense could rely on a heavy dose of Spiller running the ball Sunday. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)
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.