ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In the aftermath of the Chiefs' latest win ― a 23-13 victory over Buffalo on Sunday ― center Rodney Hudson and guards Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah stood next to each other in the locker room happy, but tired, men.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
The strength of Buffalo's defense is its down linemen, and on this day, the Bills' two defensive tackles ― Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus ― certainly made their presence felt.
“(Facing) those two guys? It was everything I expected and a little more,” Allen said. “It was a dogfight, man.
“You go look at that film, you're gonna see, there was a fight inside every play.”
Early on, it looked like it was one Buffalo might just win, as Williams beat Allen on a pass-rush move for a quarterback hurry on the third play of the game, and Dareus followed that up on the next drive by drawing a hold on Allen.
That's not all, either. A few plays later, Williams beat his man again drew a penalty on Hudson, who opted to horse-collar him to the ground instead of allowing his quarterback to take a significant hit.
“They caught me,” Hudson offered with a grin, regarding the officials.
But despite the early struggles, Chiefs coach Andy Reid wasn't afraid to turn to the ground game when it mattered most. After rushing for 28 yards on seven carries in the first half, the Chiefs proceeded to rush 16 times for 67 yards in the second half ― a continuation of their habit for finishing games with a punishing ground game, despite the fact opponents know it’s coming.
“During the fourth quarter, when we had to get points to seal the game, we did it … once again, kind of on the back of the offensive line,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “Those guys made holes when they had to late in the game, really kind of (imposing) their will in the game and getting the tough yards when we had to get them.”
In fact, while Dareus finished with five tackles (three after halftime), Williams only finished with two tackles and a hurry (none in the second half).
“We attacked them,” Asamoah said. “That's the only thing we do. Anytime we're 1 on 1, we kept running the ball. I just looked up at (No.) 95 (Williams) and said it's go time. We did our best to neutralize those guys because they're a handful.”
The Chiefs also did a solid job keeping star defensive end Mario Williams in check. Williams, who is listed at 6 feet 7 and 295 pounds, entered the game with the second-most sacks in the league (11) but finished with only one tackle and failed to record even a quarterback hurry, despite the fact he spent much of the game lined up against right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick who has struggled as a rookie but seemed to hold up pretty well against the two-time Pro Bowler.
“I'm telling you guys, the kid grows every week, he's got so much talent,” Asamoah said. “He's gonna be a great player.”
Fisher said he needs to look at the film before he decides how well he did, but he was impressed by Williams in their first matchup.
“He's a player that can make me that much better, one of the best in the league, very talented,” Fisher said. “He's a big guy, by far the biggest d-end I've ever seen.”
But Williams' presence didn't keep the Chiefs from running it when it mattered and thus, redeeming themselves after a rough start against the Bills' stout interior duo.
“We're all happy with how we ran it at the end,” Hudson said. “We want to start doing that earlier.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.