Red Zone

Halftime observations: Bills 16, Chiefs 14

Chiefs defensive lineman Jay Howard (96) recovered a Bills fumble in the first quarter of Sunday's NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Chiefs defensive lineman Jay Howard (96) recovered a Bills fumble in the first quarter of Sunday's NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium. jsleezer@kcstar.com

It's halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Buffalo Bills lead the Chiefs 16-14. Here are five observations.

1. Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor has been outstanding. The Chiefs have struggled to pressure him, but he has also used his legs to buy more time when necessary and his arm to make some gorgeous throws. He’s shown a surprising amount of touch on his passes, and is playing well enough win the game.

2. The Bills have done a nice job getting the ball to Sammy Watkins. He’s been asking for more touches, and the Chiefs have been completely unable to cover him. Watkins has six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets, and has had his way, primarily, with Sean Smith.

3. The knee injury to Justin Houston is devastating. His return is questionable, but if he can’t go, the Chiefs’ pass rush becomes significantly weakened, especially with Dee Ford also sitting due to a back injury.

4. The Chiefs’ lack of dynamism in their passing game came back to bite them early in this game. Alex Smith threw short of the sticks multiple times, and one of his big throws — a deep gain to Jeremy Maclin — was underthrown and should have gone for a touchdown. His other big throw — a 41-yard touchdown to Maclin — was picture perfect and indicative of the kind of play the Chiefs need from their quarterback going forward.

5. It’s amazing the Chiefs only trail by two during a first half in which they seemed to be thoroughly outplayed.

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