Chiefs

Chiefs-Bills scouting report

Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton. The Associated Press

When the Chiefs run

EDGE >> Chiefs

The Chiefs have done a nice job of rotating their backs, as they’ve found a way to get star Jamaal Charles, backup Knile Davis and speedster De’Anthony Thomas involved. The Chiefs’ patchwork offensive line has also been surprisingly capable against the run. They’ll need to be this week against the Bills’ stout front. Stud tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus team up with ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams to form one of the league’s best run-stopping groups, along with linebackers Brandon Spikes, Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown.

Chiefs’ top rusher

No.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

K. Davis

102

410

4.0

4

When the Chiefs pass

EDGE >> Bills

Surprise, surprise, but the Bills are also good against the pass. This could be a problem for an offense that struggles to throw the ball vertically. So could the Bills’ pass rush, as the group that is second in the league in sacks will test an offensive line that has allowed the 17th-most sacks in the league.

Chiefs’ top QB

C

A

Yds.

TD-I

A. Smith

165

246

1,692

11-4

Chiefs’ top receiver

No.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

T. Kelce

32

419

13.1

4

When the Bills run

EDGE >> Chiefs

One area where defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s unit has occasionally been leaky is its run defense. The Chiefs rank 19th in this area, but the Bills only rank 23rd in rushing offense and have been missing their top two backs in speedster C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson due to injuries. Jackson is questionable for the game, but if he doesn’t go, the Bills will turn to Anthony Dixon, who only managed 44 yards in 22 carries in their last game.

Bills’ top rusher

No.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

C. Spiller

69

287

4.2

0

When the Bills pass

EDGE >> Chiefs

Quarterback Kyle Orton has been solid for the Bills since he took over for E.J. Manuel. Orton is efficient and is capable of running the offense. Receiver Sammy Watkins, a burner with big-play ability, is a real problem. The Chiefs don’t have anybody who can run with him. But he is questionable for the game because of a groin injury, and his absence could be felt against the league’s best pass defense. While the Chiefs rank fourth in the league in sacks, the Bills rank 25th in sacks allowed.

Bills’ top QB

C

A

Yds.

TD-I

K. Orton

95

141

1,128

9-3

Bills’ top WR

No.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

S. Watkins

38

590

15.5

5

Special teams

EDGE >> Bills

Buffalo takes special teams seriously. The Bills even keep a kickoff specialist, Jordan Gay, on their roster. He’s been good, and while punter Colton Schmidt has been solid, kicker Dan Carpenter has made 15 of 17 field goals. The Bills and Chiefs both have kickoff returns for touchdowns, and neither has allowed a return score. So while the Chiefs might have a slight edge at punter thanks to Dustin Colquitt, the Bills have the edge at kicker and kickoffs, where Carpenter and Gay have been slightly superior to rookie Cairo Santos.

Coaching

EDGE >> Chiefs

Doug Marrone, a second-year coach, has navigated the Bills to a 5-3 record and has done a nice job this season. But Chiefs coach Andy Reid has the superior resume, and is a master playcaller. On the defensive side of the ball, Buffalo’s Jim Schwartz is an experienced coordinator who has helped guide the Bills to the league’s eight-best unit in terms of yardage allowed. The Chiefs, however, rank three spots higher in that category under Bob Sutton, and post a similarly impressive unit.

X-factor

EDGE >> Bills

The Bills have had two weeks to prepare for this game, thanks to the bye. That means something in this league, and it is significant. Reid is a master playcaller, but the additional time could help Schwartz dissect a scheme that is heavily dependent on short passes and the running game.

Bottom line: Chiefs 24-17

This will be close, and it very well may be a loss. But this will be a significant victory for the winner, which will improve to 6-3 and see its playoff hopes come into clear focus. The Chiefs will need one of their best performances of the season to get this one, but they have been playing well lately and understand the importance of this game.

Terez A. Paylor, tpaylor@kcstar.com

201.1 (29th)

Chiefs pass yards per game

233.8 (14th)

Bills pass yards allowed per game

98.9 (23rd)

Bills rush yards per game

116.1 (19th)

Chiefs rush yards allowed per game

228 (19th)

Bills pass yards per game

199.4 (1st)

Chiefs pass yards allowed per game

136.9 (6th)

Chiefs rush yards per game

92.2 (8th)

Bills rush yards allowed per game

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