Report card: Bills top Chiefs 16-10
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It came right down to the end, but it was a bitter defeat for the Kansas City Chiefs as the Buffalo Bills defense came up big en route to a 16-10 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday
Both sides of the ball for the Bills (6-5) had their ups and downs, but a win is a win, especially after a three-game losing streak. With that, here are Week 12 grades for the Bills:
For the first time in three weeks, the header for this section is singular, not plural. Tyrod Taylor played from start to finish and was very Tyrod-like. Not spectacular, but not bad, either. Taylor steadied the ship for the offense, but left a little to be desired. Taylor’s leg helped him while his inaccurate arm hurt him. He tossed 183 yards with a touchdown.
Running backs: C-
It’s rare this season that the Bills offense puts a complete offensive outing together. Taylor was good enough and the running game wasn’t. LeSean McCoy had 49 yards on 22 carries and only had 12 yards nine second half carries. However, anti-Mike Tolbert folks might have gotten their wish as Travaris Cadet was productive with 49 yards on nine carries.
Wide receiver/ tight end: C
Right down the middle. Not a lot of productivity past tight end Charles Clay (4-60) and wide receiver Zay Jones (3-33). Jones did a nice job staying in-bounds on his touchdown grab. The rest of the crew had five grabs for 39 yards. Not great, but some of that falls on Taylor.
Offensive line: C
The Bills’ offensive line didn’t give much help to McCoy and Cadet had a long run called back thanks to a Dion Dawkins hold. Taylor was sacked twice but former Bill Reggie Ragland had a day leading KC with three tackles for a loss. As a team, the Chiefs had nine tackles for loss.
Defensive line: B-plus
Buffalo’s defensive line finally came back to life. Only two sacks on the day (Cedric Thornton, Eddie Yarbrough), but the run defense was the telling part. Kareem Hunt was held to 17 yards and the Chiefs only had 2.9 yards-per-carry. Huge improvement.
Plenty of blame for recent struggles against the run game falls on the linebacking core as well, so they deserve credit for the strong effort on Sunday. Lorenzo Alexander combined with Yarbrough on a sack while Matt Milano also stood out by getting in the backfield. KC tight end Travis Kelce (3-39) wasn’t a factor.
Buffalo’s secondary shut down Alex Smith. The Alexander-Yarbrough sack was a coverage sack, EJ Gaines blew up a screen play in the fourth quarter, and of course, rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the deal with the late interception. Impressive effort, even with no turnovers until late.
Special teams: A-minus
Punter Colton Schmidt had four kicks go inside the 20 and Stephen Hauschka only missed one from 52, going 3-for-4 in the game. Brandon Tate did muff one punt return, but immediately jumped on it.