KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Buffalo Bills stopped the bleeding and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 16-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium on the road.
At times, the Bills (6-5) did everything they could to give the game to the Chiefs (6-5). But instead, Buffalo’s defense pulled off some late magic, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
With that, here are five takeaways from the Bills win over the Chiefs:
Tyrod’s return: Tyrod Taylor returned to his home as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and he had a strong first half to the game and was semi-abandoned in the second half. In the first half, Taylor went 15-for-24 with 121 yards and a touchdown pass to Zay Jones. Decent showing. In the second half, Buffalo only attempted five passes, sticking to the run game. Taylor finished 19-for-29, 183 yards, and a touchdown. On the ground, Taylor had nine rushes for 27 yards. Most importantly, he nabbed the W.
Ragland makes presence felt: The Bills have cleaned house to such a high level since head coach Sean McDermott assumed power, linebacker Reggie Ragland’s departure is an afterthought. But, he was noticeable for the Chiefs. The Bills sent Ragland to the Chiefs for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft in late August. Ragland, who was a second-round pick of the Bills in 2016, never played a down for Buffalo. Ragland tore his ACL prior to his rookie year. After never having a chance to prove himself in Buffalo, Ragland made Buffalo notice him. Ragland led KC with nine total tackles and tackles for loss with three.
Pass rush blips: Buffalo’s defense entered Sunday tied for second-worst in the NFL in terms of sacks with only 15. Against KC, Buffalo had two sacks. The first was from Cedric Thornton while Eddie Yarbrough and Lorenzo Alexander teamed up for the other. That was the first time since Week 3 the Bills defense had multiple sacks in a game. Buffalo also added another two QB hits. Could be better, but that’s an improvement. Another interesting note: Eddie Yarbrough started at defense end, opposite of Jerry Hughes, over Shaq Lawson.
Letting Chiefs stick around: Stephen Hauschka had another good day, going 3-for-4, missing from 52 yards. That ended his NFL-record streak of kicks from 50-plus yards at 13. However, the Bills need to start getting more out of offensive drives. In fact, Buffalo’s offense isn’t consistently getting the ball close to opposing end zones. Hauschka’s attempts were from 52, 49, 56, and 34. The Bills offense let Kansas City stick around all day and against better teams, that’ll burn the Bills.
No turnovers? No problem: Yes, Tre’Davious White had a game-sealing interception. But the knock of Buffalo’s defense has been their inability to stop teams without getting turnover early in the game. The Bills defense didn’t do that, but still had a strong game. The Chiefs got their yards in the second half, but the Bills defense still held early in the game and late. At half, quarterback Alex Smith was 4-for-11 for 41 yards while Kareem Hunt had five carries for four yards. In total for the game, Hunt was virtually shut down by the Bills after teams ran wild against the Bills the past three weeks, including a three-touchdown game by Mark Ingram two weeks ago. Buffalo’s defense was also strong under pressure. On third down, KC was 1-for-11 while the Chiefs went 0-for-1 on fourth down.