The Buffalo Bills couldn’t get out of their own way in their 17-13 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. In a game in which Buffalo was ahead on the scoreboard for all but the final 9 minutes, its hard to imagine how the Bills beat themselves, but they managed to with just a handful of plays. If the Bills could have gotten the desired outcome on just one of these plays, they likely win. The first play I’m talking about is the errant Kyle Orton throw in the end zone, missing a wide open receiver. The Bills would have had an easy TD, but instead had to settle for a field goal. Next there was the Bryce Brown fumble for a touch back. Another squandered red zone opportunity and what’s worse is they didn’t even get points out of it. The final, most atrocious play that stuck out is after the Bills had stopped the Chiefs from driving down the field to take the lead, Leodis McKelvin fumbled a punt return at the Bills 26. Kansas City took the lead two plays later and the Bills weren’t able to come back.
There were instances where the play calling could have been better and the other two fumbles certainly didn’t do the team any favors, but those three plays especially were the biggest difference in this game. Those three plays are also some of the reasoning behind why I graded the Bills offense as a C this week.
The numbers look great with Orton throwing for 253 and a TD and five different guys contributing to over 100 yards on the ground, but turnovers and failing to score in the red zone were just too much for this unit to overcome. They are good enough yet to waste opportunities and still get wins. Elite offenses know that they can easily make up for a mistake by getting a TD next time they have the ball, but the Bills aren’t there yet. This is especially frustrating considering how well the defense played.
The defense gets an A, no questions asked. If not for the Mckelvin fumble they only would have given up 10 points, while getting 6 sacks and 10 QB hits. Not to mention the forced fumble by Nigel Bradham and recovery by Jarius Wynn. Marcell Dareus continued making a claim for the label of best interior lineman in the NFL with half of the team’s sacks today and 4 of those 10 QB hits.
The whole line deserves credit though, as it is because of each of them the others are able to succeed. Each filled their gaps consistently and contained Alex Smith to a collapsing pocket time in and time out. Aside from one long run they also did a pretty good job containing Jamal Charles. He is such a dynamic back and as I’m sure Bills fans remember from last year, he is capable of completely dominating a defense – so holding him to under 100 yards rushing is no easy task.
All in all, this unfortunately felt like a classic Bills loss to me. The defense did everything they could to help the team win, the offense failed to capitalize in the red zone and fans are left wondering why the Bills beat themselves. To clarify I don’t entirely blame the Bills, the Chiefs are a talented team and made the plays they needed to to win, but I’m sure all of Bills Mafia can agree with me that this game should and easily could have been a Bills W.
Samuelson Slant Grade: B
Let me know what your thoughts are on the game Bills Mafia. Should the offense be even lower? Would it have been worth while to break out and grade the special teams? Share your thoughts in the comments