Inside The Bills

Bills gained yards, but not the ‘W’

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 10:26 pm

It’s not often that a team rolls up 470 yards of offense and comes out on the short end of the stick, but as head coach Doug Marrone stated, it always comes down to turnovers first. Still, it was hard to ignore the yardage differential between the two offenses Sunday.

The Bills, as mentioned gained 470 total net yards, while the Chiefs offense managed just 210. The 260-yard differential is the largest ever by Buffalo in a loss. The previous high was 253 yards in a 31-17 loss at Tampa Bay back in the 2000 season (433 yards to 180 yards).

The major discrepancy was on the ground. Buffalo rolled up a season-high 241 rushing yards while the Chiefs managed just 95. The 146-yard differential there is the second-highest in a loss in team history, behind only a 184-yd. advantage (211-27) vs. Denver all the way back in 1962, a 23-20 loss.


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Chiefs credit Bills attack, defense

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 5:53 pm

The Bills outgained the Chiefs by a better than 2:1 margin on Sunday, but did not come away with the win. Buffalo rolled up 470 totally net yards on Kansas City’s fifth-ranked defense, while the Buffalo defense surrendered just three field goals to the Chiefs offense. It had the Chiefs tipping their hat to the Bills.

“It was tough because you really didn’t know what they were going to come out and do,” said Chiefs defensive lineman Mike DeVito. “(Tuel) did a really good job out there staying poised and making some passes. They had us in the run game. We have to look at that and clean it up. You just had no idea what they were going to come out and do. It took us a while to get used to it.”

“They had two people on me sometimes and they were watching out for me, especially on the screen plays,” said Jamaal Charles, who had six catches for six yards. “They were hugging and they were playing the screen routes well and all the other routes well too.”

“I’ll tell you this, I think Doug (Marrone) is a heck of a coach,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. “He’s got a great staff and I knew they had a great defense coming in. If not the best one we’ve played thus far, surely one of the best ones. So I knew everybody was going to have to contribute, both sides of the ball and special teams. Everybody did that.”


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Tuel’s plan for Chiefs pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 12:05 pm

As Jeff Tuel gets set for his first NFL start today against Kansas City, he’s well aware of the Chiefs’ potent pass rush. Here’s how he intends to approach it in today’s game.

Job number one, avoid quarterback hits. Knowing that the quarterback depth chart is pretty much down to himself and Matt Flynn, Tuel knows he has to be quick with his decisions and not take on any unnecessary contact.

“Obviously they lead the league in sacks so they’re doing something right. They look really good on tape,” said Tuel. “We’ve got to have a great week of practice and just be prepared for that. I have to take care of myself because we’re down in quarterbacks so I’ve got to do whatever I can do to get down and do the necessary things. We’re not going to prepare any different because a team is undefeated or leading the league in sacks. So we’re just going to do our thing and continue to get better. “

A lot of three and five step drops are expected for Tuel today in the passing game, knowing Kansas City’s pass rush doesn’t allow for much success when teams try seven-step drop with their quarterback against them. The ball simply has to be out sooner than that.


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What Tuel learned vs. Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 11:50 am

It wasn’t a performance that built a lot of faith in Jeff Tuel on the part of the fan base. His relief appearance in Week 5 at Cleveland wasn’t a good one. But Tuel feels he’s learned an awful lot from his first regular season NFL action and intends to improve on it today in his first NFL start.

“Really just going out there being under the lights and taking my first real official NFL snap helped,” said Tuel this week. “I mean you have a lot of adrenaline flowing you’ve got nerves and all that. I know how to handle it and prepare for it and you’ve got all these things, I just learned a lot about about myself and the system and operating it and not doing too much.”

Look for a quick passing game for Tuel today so he can get the ball out quickly to help neutralize Kansas City’s pass rush.


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Chiefs armed with consistent return men

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 10:02 am

It’s been the Kansas City defense that has grabbed most of the headlines in the Chiefs 8-0 start to the 2013 season, and to their credit they’ve been a very productive unit. Lost in the discussion is how dangerous Kansas City’s return men have been thus far this season.

One of the reasons Chiefs’ kick returner Quintin Demps and punt returner Dexter McCluster have not received more recognition is because they’ve got just one touchdown return this season, a ridiculous video game-like 89-yarder by McCluster .

While Demps (4.39 40-time) and McCluster haven’t taken many returns to the house they have put up some very solid return averages.

Demps average of 31.9 yards a kick return is good for fourth-highest in the NFL and second in the AFC. McCluster’s 10.8 yard punt return average is good for 8th in the NFL and 4th in the AFC.

Those averages have Kansas City ranked 7th in punt return and 5th in kick return average in the league. The Chiefs are one of only five teams in the NFL right now ranked in the top 10 in both return categories.

Part of the reason for their success is they try to take as many opportunities as they can. McCluster on 39-punt return attempts has taken just three fair catches, returning the other 36.

Demps is encouraged to take a kickoff out even if it’s nine-yards deep in the end zone, depending on ball location.

“It just comes from coaching,” Demps said. “(Special teams coordinator) Coach (Dave) Toub told us to be aggressive, me and Dex (McCluster). That’s what I’m doing, being aggressive, kind of the flow of the game. Sometimes I won’t bring it out, sometimes I will. A lot of times, we need a spark, so I bring it out, no matter what.”

 


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Chiefs have been great closers

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 8:19 am

There’s no question that the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs have had some close calls, but one thing that cannot be debated is that they are strong closers. In almost every instance this season they have come up with the big play when they need it.

Kansas City is among the league leaders with 20 total takeaways and a plus-12 takeaway-giveaway margin. Nine of their 20 turnovers however, have come in the fourth quarter. That’s almost half of their takeaways.

According to the Kansas City Star the Chiefs defense clamps down extra tight in the final stanza of games. The Star counted 17 times a KC opponent needed a fourth-quarter drive where a touchdown would tie or take the lead.

On those drives the Chiefs gave up a total of 13 first downs and three points, and forced six turnovers.

Per the Star, in Kansas City’s last four games they’ve given up a total of 255 yards in the fourth quarter, forced eight punts and cause five turnovers.

 


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KC offense not racking up big plays

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2013 – 10:52 am

Kansas City’s offense has been steady this season, but far from spectacular. Their big play tally this season is below the league average.

Of their 542 plays from scrimmage on offense only 27 of them have gone for big plays (20 yards or more). That’s only five percent of their offensive plays.

Perhaps most surprising is RB Jamaal Charles, who is a home-run threat with the ball in his hands, has not delivered more big plays in the run game. The Chiefs rank 20th in big play run with just three. Charles’ longest run from scrimmage this season is just 24 yards.

Of all of Buffalo’s opponents Kansas City is the third-worst at turning in big plays. Cleveland and Carolina are the only clubs that have less pop in their offense.


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RB Charles, WR Bowe probable for Chiefs

Posted by Chris Brown on November 1, 2013 – 3:41 pm

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who leads the league in total yards from scrimmage, has been dealing with a knee contusion, but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as probably for Kansas City’s game against Buffalo Sunday. So too is Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, who practiced fully coming off a groin injury. Here’s a look at the Chiefs full injury report.

Player Pos Injury Participation   Friday Game Status
Mike Catapano DL Ankle Out Out
Jamaal Charles RB Knee FP Probable
Ron Parker CB Toe FP Probable
Anthony Fasano TE Knee   / Ankle FP Probable
Donnie Avery WR Shoulder FP Probable
Dwayne Bowe WR Groin FP Probable
Eric Fisher T Knee   / Back FP Probable
Kendrick Lewis S Ankle FP Probable
Sean McGrath TE Knee FP Probable
Dezman Moses LB Toe FP Probable
Anthony Sherman FB Knee   / Calf FP Probable

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Chiefs RB Charles, WR Bowe limited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 31, 2013 – 5:11 pm

Two of the Chiefs playmakers on offense were limited in practice Thursday.

Running back Jamaal Charles, who missed practice Wednesday with a knee injury was able to get on the practice field Thursday on a limits basis.

Bowe however, was a full participant on Wednesday but a groin injury limited him in practice Thursday.


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Chiefs enjoying good fortune

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2013 – 1:21 pm

There’s no debating that the Chiefs defense is for real. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has done a heck of a job through the first half of the season with his unit. Kansas City is the lone remaining unbeaten in the league, and everyone knows in the NFL there has to be a little bit of luck for that to happen.

Games are just too close week to week to put together the streak the Chiefs have over their first eight games. To their credit they’ve taken the advantages presented to them and followed through with victories. Still, it’s tough to ignore their level of competition and the quarterback situations of their opponents.

The cumulative record of their first eight opponents this season is 20-41, with 3-5 Buffalo on tap next. Kansas City has yet to face a team with a winning record. That will change in a couple of weeks when their schedule looks to get much more difficult in terms of caliber of opponent.

They’ve also had the good fortune of facing clubs that have had to make quarterback changes. Cleveland being the latest example last week, with an ineffective Brandon Weeden (who replaced Brian Hoyer - I-R) replaced by Jason Campbell. The Browns were the third team in their first eight games undergoing quarterback changes.

Buffalo will be the fourth such team for the Chiefs defense with Thad Lewis making his fourth straight start.

Make no mistake the Chiefs are a good side. They just haven’t dealt with nearly as much adversity as most of the teams they’ve faced so far.


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Telecast teams for next 2 games

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2013 – 9:36 am

Here’s who will be on the call of the next two Bills games on CBS.

WEEK 9 – Nov. 3 – CBS DOUBLEHEADER
 
GAME                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST     
1:00 PM, ET              
Kansas City @ Buffalo         Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
 
WEEK 10 – Nov. 10
GAME                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST         
1:00 PM, ET              
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh            Marv Albert/Rich Gannon

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Stevie feeling stiff after battling to the end

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2013 – 10:58 am

Stevie Johnson fought his way through the rest of Sunday’s game after initially aggravating his left groin and his flexor following his first reception early in the second quarter. On Monday he said he was still feeling pretty stiff.

“It’s real tight,” Johnson said. “The hip flexor is tight and I tried to keep it stretched so it won’t pop or have something completely tear. I ended up walking off without a complete tear. I don’t know for sure. We’ll see later on if I go and get the MRI.”

Johnson has already had one treatment for his ailment and has two more scheduled on Monday. He said after his final treatment he’ll know whether the athletic trainers and team physicians want him to get an MRI to get a better look at his injury.

The Bills top wideout doesn’t know for sure, but believes by Sunday he’ll be good enough to play against the undefeated Chiefs.

“It’s still too early to even make any kind of guess on if I’ll be good for Sunday,” he said. “Right now I feel it a lot, but as the week goes on with the treatment and everything I should be good and ready to go for Sunday.”


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Chiefs inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2012 – 11:39 am

Here are the Chiefs inactives.

QB Ricky Stanzi
WR Devon Wylie
S Kendrick Lewis
RB Cyrus Gray
TE Steve Maneri
DL Allen Bailey
NT Anthony Toribio


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Searcy to rotate with Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2012 – 10:50 am

It happened in Week 1 and it will continue in Week 2. Defensive co-captain George Wilson will rotate at strong safety with second-year player Da’Norris Searcy.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who confirmed to Buffalobills.com, that Searcy has earned playing time on defense.

“We’re just trying to let both of them play,” said Gailey. “Da’Norris has earned the right to play some with his play. So we’re trying to keep them both fresh and let them play.”

The rotation is just one of many for the Bills. Justin Rogers is expected to rotate at the nickel with Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee is expected to rotate at left cornerback with Aaron Williams and Erik Pears is expected to rotate at right tackle with Chris Hairston.


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Rogers to return to slot

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2012 – 9:45 am

He’s been working his way back from a hamstring injury, but CB Justin Rogers will be rotated back in at nickel corner with veteran Leodis McKelvin against the Chiefs today.

“He practiced there this week for the first time on a regular basis and Justin will hopefully see some action this week at nickel,” Chan Gailey told Buffalobills.com. “That is the plan unless something changes.”

“It’s just working back in,” Rogers told Buffalobills.com. “The coaches were telling me to get more of those nickel reps. Last week I did some in there, but there was still some stuff lingering with the hamstring and making sure it was right. They also asked me to go outside a little bit to get some reps out there.”

Rogers said playing the whole way in the final preseason game at Detroit really helped him feel as though he was recovered from the hamstring injury that forced him to miss almost all of training camp and most of the preseason.

“It held up,” said Rogers of his hamstring. “So now it’s just about staying on top of it and maintaining it so it won’t happen again.”

“He was in position before all this injury he was playing there and doing pretty well,” said Chan Gailey. “We have to give him an opportunity to get back on the field somehow.”

In splitting time with Leodis McKelvin this week one could argue that they’re directly competing for more playing time in a game, something that’s usually reserved for the preseason. But Rogers’ injury made such an arrangement impossible. So now Rogers is trying to reclaim a job he held down late last season coming off the injury, and he’ll have to do it against a very elusive slot receiver in Dexter McCluster.

“He’s a small, compact guy,” said Rogers of McCluster. “It’s kind of different in the slot. He’s real good at it even though he’s mainly been a hybrid player. So you have to match his qualities, stay low and match his quickness. I think it’ll be an advantage that we’re kind of the same size so I think some of my qualities match his, but it’s still going to be a challenge.”


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Chan on Chiefs no huddle

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2012 – 10:55 am

The Chiefs employed a no huddle offense on about half of their possessions in their Week 1 loss to Atlanta and had some success posting a pair of touchdown drives and a field goal. But as Chan Gailey explains it’s not a lightning-paced no huddle by any means.

“The thing about it is, it is no huddle, but it’s not a hurry up,” Gailey said in his weekly interview with Buffalobills.com

Gailey said since the Chiefs don’t really pick up the tempo all that much from a huddling offense, they’re not overly concerned about getting their desired personnel groupings on the field before the next snap.

“They go to the line, they get their substitutions on the field and the good thing about the rules now is if they substitute they have to give the defense the right to match substitutions,” said Gailey. “I think we’ll be ok there. They’re just trying to get a better look at the defense for Cassel so he can call a play appropriately.”


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Offense not alone in prepping for crowd noise

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2012 – 8:46 am

In preparation for the season opener the Bills pumped crowd noise onto the practice field on Thursday and Friday to re-create a road atmosphere so their offense gets accustomed to communicating in such conditions. Buffalo’s coaching staff is now doing the same for Buffalo’s defense.

On Friday the Bills blared crowd noise onto the field for their starting defense to replicate the noise in Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday’s game.

“We’ve done it several times, but it’s for our defense,” head coach Chan Gailey told Buffalobills.com. “It’s for when our defense is on the field because we hope our crowd is into it on third down especially and we’ve got communication issues because they’re so loud trying to disrupt Kansas City’s offense.”


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Chiefs CB Flowers expected to play

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2012 – 6:41 pm

It looks like Chiefs top cover corner Brandon Flowers will play Sunday against the Bills despite being listed as questionable. However, starting NT Anthony Toribio will miss Sunday’s game as well as starting FS Kendrick Lewis. Here’s the final Chiefs injury report with Friday’s practice participation.

Brandon Flowers CB Foot Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Kendrick Lewis S Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Out
Allen Bailey DE Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Out
Anthony Toribio DT Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Out
Jalil Brown CB Groin Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Devon Wylie WR Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out

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Kyle talks bounce back

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2012 – 9:35 am

Kyle Williams said it himself. The Bills laid an egg in Week 1, but knowing the NFL is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league he and his teammates are relishing the opportunity to rectify the wrongs of Week 1 in their home opener this Sunday against Kansas City.

“I think this game and the business of it is that you are only as good as your last performance,” said Williams. “Good or bad, outside of locker room and as you view it from the outside in it is easy to say ‘Oh, okay they are bad. End of story.’ This week if we play well and we win, it is ‘Oh, maybe it is not as bad as we thought.’ Maybe it is one of those things. I think in here we view it as one of those things. We laid an egg. There is nothing we can do about it. We turned the ball over and we did not get any turnovers—all kinds of things happened in the game that just piled up on us.

“I think we did the same thing to Kansas City last year first game of the year. They turned the ball over and we scored off of their turnovers. They did not play well enough on defense and boom we blew them out. Then they come back and finish 7-9 last year. Obviously we want to do better than that, but one game does not end the world.”


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Cassel says revenge not a factor for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2012 – 12:45 pm

Last year the Bills embarrassed the Chiefs in their home opener in Kansas City in a 41-7 drubbing. So will the Chiefs be using it at added incentive to return the favor in Buffalo in Week 2? Chiefs QB Matt Cassel says they won’t.

“Not at all,” said Cassel. “Every year is different, and we have a completely different team than what we had last year. Last year was last year, and they did a great job coming in here, but their team is different and we’re different and now its about going out and competing this year.”

It’s hard to believe that the Chiefs won’t be recalling that game as they take the field on Sunday with an opportunity to ruin Buffalo’s home opener. Rest assured with a pair of 0-1 clubs facing each other at Ralph Wilson Stadium and neither wanting to go 0-2 the game will be a physical one.


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