Buying: Kyle Orton
If you're at ease because you've heard that the Chiefs will be playing the Bills back-up quarterback, you've got your facts switched around. Kyle Orton took over for EJ Manuel four games ago, and the results have been impressive, per Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings:
In his four games as the starter since taking over for EJ Manuel in Week 5, Orton and the Bills have a 3-1 record. The veteran is completing 67.4 percent of his passes (95 completions on 141 attempts) at 8.0 yards per attempt (1,128 yards total), with nine touchdowns, three interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 104.0.
Orton was already known as one of the better back-ups in the league, and he even has a 2-1 record as a starter with the Chiefs to close out the 2011 season. This season, however, it's clear the Bills offense is clicking with Orton at the helm. It's unknown whether or not the trend can continue, but one of those wins with Orton was on the road against the Detroit Lions. The Chiefs shouldn't underestimate Orton.
Buying: The game's importance
For both teams, this is a pivotal AFC contest. The Chiefs and Bills are both 5-3 at the halfway point, and the second half of the season will sort out the pretenders from the contenders. Whatever team loses will fall just a game above .500 and a step behind a crowded pack that now includes the Dolphins (5-3), Chargers, (5-4), Steelers (5-3), Ravens (5-3), and Browns (5-3). These teams don't include division leaders like the Colts, Bengals, Broncos and Patriots.
If you discount the Texans (4-5), which is early to do so, there are seven teams vying for two wild card spots. Of this bunch, the Chiefs only have a say against the Steelers or Chargers on the remaining schedule. The Bills only face the Dolphins and Browns of that bunch. That means each team is going to need a bit of luck and help when it comes to getting rid of the others. That also makes this game a must-win for both.
Even more for the Chiefs, three of the next four weeks after this involve games against the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Two of those teams are division leaders and the other is the defending Super Bowl champs. The Chiefs definitely need to maintain their winning streak heading into the gauntlet.
Buying: Bills defensive front
The Buffalo Bills invested heavily in their defensive front over the last couple offseasons with the high draft pick of Marcel Dareus and the money paid to Mario Williams and Kyle Williams. In fact, the trio comprises the top three salary cap hits for the Bills in 2014.
The good news for Buffalo is that they are getting their money's worth. All three players are dominating up front, collapsing the pocket and getting to the passer. Mario Williams has six sacks. Dareus has seven sacks up the middle as one of the best penetrating tackles in the game. Kyle Williams has 2.5 with an interception as well. Interestingly enough, all three are the best players rated on defense by Pro Football Focus, and it's Kyle Williams who tops them all with a 16.8 rating on the season. That also doesn't account for Jerry Hughes and his 5.5 sacks as well.