The Bills earned the win they had to have

November 26, 2017

(WGR 550) - The Bills defense had sent the team into a horrendous three-game losing streak, but it was the defense that was the shining star in the 16-10 victory in Kansas City.

The D held Kareem and Akeem Hunt to 7 yards on 12 carries.

Alex Smith didn't fare any better as Buffalo got an excellent pass rush on him and forced him to throw early. Smith did go 23-of-36, but it only got him 199 yards.

Lorenzo Alexander and Cedric Thornton were credited with sacks, but Smith led his offense on five straight three-and-outs to start the game. Buffalo also got four quarterback hits on Smith.

Overall the defense forced Kansas City to punt eight times!

They also got an interception when it mattered the most. On the Chiefs final drive, E.J. Gaines was called for unnecessary roughness when he didn’t even touch Charcandrick West. 

That gave the Chiefs the ball at the Bills 38 with 1:39 to go. The football gods were smiling on the Bills because two plays later, Tre White picked off Smith at the Buffalo 27 and the victory was sealed.

Some of the defensive players did things they’re not known for. Pass rusher Jerry Hughes busted into the backfield to nail Akeem Hunt for a 10-yard loss in the running game.

The secondary did such a good job of coverage, Smith had all day and still couldn’t find a receiver. That play ended in the Alexander sack.

Rookie Matt Milano had another solid game. He forced Kareem Hunt to the outside right into Micah Hyde’s arms for another big loss.

Buffalo had 10 first downs before the Chiefs got their first late in the second quarter.

The defense held the Chiefs to 2-of-13 on third down.

There were still some things in this game that I think can get you beat if you do them a lot.

At the end of the game, the Bills held the Chiefs on downs and took over at their own 46. Sean McDermott decided to go conservative and try not to lose the game instead of trying to just go win it. There was 2:49 left when Buffalo got the ball and McDermott ordered three straight running plays which netted minus two yards. He then had to punt giving the Chiefs one last chance. 

The running plays did force Kansas City to use all three of their time-outs, but there was no instinct to try to put the game away.

The Bills kicked a field goal to end the first half, but McDermott left time on the clock calling time out with seven seconds left instead running the clock down to three. It didn’t hurt them, but there’s always a chance it can. It forces you to kick off.

The Bills offense was just OK. It was good enough to get the job done. LeSean McCoy only averaged 2.2 yards per carry on 22 attempts.

Tyrod Taylor was efficient going 19-of-29 for 183 yards and a touchdown to Zay Jones. Taylor had some very good throws, but he also had quite a few poor throws leaving yards on the table.

Taylor was pretty good on third down efficiency going 6-of-17

The kicking game was once again a huge bright spot. What a find Stephen Hauschka has been. He hit a 56-yard field goal which helped him beak Dan Carpenter’s Bills record of six 50-yard field goals in a season.

Hauschka was wide from 52-yards which snapped his NFL record of 13 consecutive field goals from over 50-yards.  

The Bills absolutely had to have that victory to go to 6-5. If the Ravens beat the Texans, the two teams will be tied for the final AFC Wild Card spot. Baltimore does own the tie breaker. They also couldn’t lose with two games against New England coming up. If they can take the two games against Miami and beat the Colts, the Bills will likely wind up 9-and-7. There’s a good chance that will be good enough to break the 17-year playoff drought.