by Mario "Game" Granata
If you are still in shock for what just transpired between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, then you probably reside within the 716 area code. The Bills held another halftime lead against one of the better teams in the league, and let the game get away from them. The defense played stellar, but turnovers and penalties inevitably did them in. Here is a closer look at the game as a whole:
Kyle Orton – There are games that players want to forget, because they just have a bad game, and this was one for Orton. Early on, Orton seemed to have it together, and then went a stretch of not completing 6 passes in a row. He had some over thrown balls, and when that is coupled with some key drops, there is going to be a game that doesn’t turn out in favor of the Bills. Orton was able to move the ball down the field on a very tough Kansas City defense, with all that being said, but drives have to finish in the end zone.
Penalties – The Achilles heel of the Buffalo Bills have been penalties at times in the game that either kill drives or extend opposing teams drives. The “questionable” pass interference on Scott Chandler, false start on Seantrel Henderson, and early in the game Aaron Williams while Alex Smith was sliding. All three were at key points in the game, while the game was still in hand, and erased the potential for points on offense, and led to Kansas City’s first points of the game. If the Bills aren’t more disciplined the rest of the season, they are going to suffer the same fate as today.
Finishing Drives – Before the bye week, the Bills played the Jets, and on 3 different possessions, in Jets territory, they settled for field goals, and because the game was so lopsided, it didn’t factor in the final score. However, the Bills had possession of the ball, inside the 10 yard line of the Chiefs 3 times and were only able to muster 6 points. Now, the fumble by Brown was a back breaker for the Bills, but they were still in position to make a play here and there to seal the game.
Play Calling – Andy Reid, a true veteran in the NFL, knows the pulse of any NFL game and knows when to call a play here and there. The young coaching staff of the Bills are still learning, and they have a steep learning curve to get by if the Bills are going to win some games. Reid gambled on a 4th down, which resulted in a Jamaal Charles touchdown run. The Bills were then faced with a 4th down and 1, and a false start penalty, mentioned earlier, forced the Bills to punt.
4th Quarter - The Bills are down 17-13 and they are in range to kick a field goal, having a first down in the red zone of Kansas City. IF the Bills were indeed in 4 down territory, why did they have back-to-back pass plays in the end zone? Gain some yardage here and there, and place yourself into a manageable 4th down play, if it comes to that. If they are not in 4 down territory, which I feel they weren’t, the Bills should have taken the 3 points to go down 17-16, and they still would have had 3 timeouts and the 2-minute warning to get the ball back. I question if it was the inexperience of the Bills staff, or the nerves getting the best of them. The Buffalo Bills defense was playing very well, and they could have gained a stop, and with Dan Carpenter, who has proven he can make clutch kicks from 50+, all the Bills needed to do was to get to the Chiefs 33-yard line to seal the game 19-17.
The Bills defense has proven that they can keep the game close, and generate opportunities for their offense if the time arises. The Bills offense, however, are still trying to find their way, and if they don’t find it soon, the efforts of the defense will be all for naught. This was a game that the Bills had, and let get away, and the way that the AFC is playing out, if the Bills want to make the playoffs, they will have to win the division…not hope for a playoff spot with a wild card.