Nobody needs to tell Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah what to expect Sunday when the Chiefs travel to Buffalo.
Asamoah, after all, has faced the Bills every year since he joined the league in 2010. And during that time, he’s gotten his fill of defensive tackle Kyle Williams, a hard-working, lunch-pail type who again anchors a front seven the Chiefs say is one the best they’ve faced this season, despite Buffalo’s 3-5 record.
“You can talk to (center) Rodney (Hudson), you can talk to anybody,” Asamoah said. “We turned on the film on Monday and we called each other, like ‘did you see this yet?’ We know we’ve got a challenge on our hands.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid agreed.
“Their front seven is one of the better ones we face, if not the best,” Reid said. “They can bring it.”
The Bills have allowed 26.6 points a game, but they rank second in the league in sacks with 27, behind the Chiefs, who lead with 36.
Buffalo’s front seven is led by two men who share the same last name, but start with the 30-year-old Kyle Williams, a two-time Pro Bowler in the middle. He’s racked up 38 tackles and four sacks this season as an anchor in the middle of the Bills’ 3-4 defense, and has been joined as a force by tackle Marcell Dareus, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2011, who has posted the exact same stat line.
What’s more, Williams and Dareus share similar grades (plus-13.7 and plus-12.3) according to Pro Football Focus, which is also an indication of their productivity.
“Kyle Williams is one of the best three-techniques in football, I’d put him up there with anybody,” Asamoah said. “And Dareus, his improvement from last year to this year was huge.”
The other Williams the Chiefs will need to account for is Mario, the defensive end who famously went first overall ahead of USC star Reggie Bush in the 2006 Draft. Williams, 28, has 11 sacks this season and has a grade of plus-6.6, one of three Bills outside linebackers who currently grade out positively, along with Manny Lawson (plus-6.1) and Jerry Hughes (plus-5.5).
“Everybody knows how good (Mario) is,” said Chiefs tackle Donald Stephenson. “Hughes is playing good, a lot better than he was last year. He’s flashy.”
The Chiefs even need to worry about linebacker Kiko Alonso, a second-round pick who leads the Bills in tackles with 81 and is in the mix to win defensive rookie of the year.
“You turn on the tape and see him running around making a lot of tackles,” Reid said.
But the Chiefs linemen say blocking the 6-foot-3, 238-pound Alonso is easier said than done.
“He’s instinctive,” Allen said. “He’s one of those guys where you can’t guess what he’s gonna do. Usually some linebackers just fit you up, some jump around. He does it all. You’ve just got to be under control and stay true to form.”
Still, for an offensive line that has allowed quarterback Alex Smith to be sacked 24 times (the fifth-most in the league) the concern up front will be protecting the quarterback, especially after the Chiefs allowed six sacks last week against the Browns.
However, Asamoah insists the unit is improving, and says offensive lines generally improve as the year goes on due the time it takes to mesh. The Chiefs replaced two veteran starters last year (center Ryan Lilja and right tackle Eric Winston) with two young starters in center Hudson and right tackle Eric Fisher.
“There’s no question (we’re getting better),” Asamoah said. “Like I said in the beginning of the year, as the season goes on, the verbal and non-verbal things, the way we communicate, it’s all gonna get better.”
When asked if he sees Sunday’s game as an opportunity for the unit to prove itself, Asamoah said he did, though he cautioned that every week is like that.
“You get judged by what have you done for me lately in the NFL, so every week is huge for us, especially when you go against a group like this and see how other groups have done against them,” Asamoah said.