clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chiefs vs. Bills 2014: What to watch for in Buffalo

New, comments

Nick Jacobs is a producer at Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. You can follow him on twitter @Jacobs71 .

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

When the Bills are on offense

1. Kyle Orton is a rhythm quarterback. He wants the ball out when his back foot hits. If he is able to do so, the ball typically has a good spin on it. It is accurate and the placement is solid. If he has to reset his feet multiple times, he will start to rush his throw and the placement won't be in the best spot and will occasionally sail. Follow his back foot (not the routes) when watching the game today.

2. Orton gets flustered when teams have a free blitzer coming at him or he sees a twist. He will rush his throw and the ball will sail or go into the dirt. If he takes enough shots he will start to see ghost and rush throws with a phantom pass rush.

Kyle Orton wants to force feed Sammy Watkins the ball.


3. The most dynamic playmakers on their team are CJ Spiller (who is injured) and Sammy Watkins. Orton wants to force feed Watkins the ball. He is typically looking for him on a go, deep in or slant. They like to get him the ball in stride and let him work. The team lacks speed with Fred Jackson and Boobie Dixon. They are north south runners and don't provide the same explosion or cutback as Spiller.

4. If Watkins cannot get open, Orton moves onto tight end Scott Chandler or Chris Hogan. Both can do damage if they catch the ball in stride. Chandler is typically used down the seam, posts and crossing routes. The Bills try their best to get Chandler matched up with backers. Robert Woods doesn't perform the same damage that Watkins or Hogan can unless he catches the ball in stride with a couple steps on the defender. The YAC potential belongs to Watkins and Hogan.

5. The line struggles with stunts. If the Chiefs can bring quick stunts they have a shot to disrupt a lot of the timing the Bills rely on.

When the Bills are on defense

1. The Bills have a ferocious front four with Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams. Hughes and Dareus have been creating a lot of problems in opposing teams backfields. Hughes is typically lined up over the left tackle and sees a great deal of single matchups. Dareus does a good job of blowing up interior run plays. The best way to attack this group is to alternate the snap counts and run play-action against them.

2. The Patriots were effective early on running stretch play-action against the Bills front seven and finding spacing. After three times Hughes became a problem and started blowing up the plays with his speed. The Patriots finally got smart and ran the play fake back at Hughes to eliminate his rush.

The Bills struggle against athletic tight ends.

3. The key to running on the Bills is to stretch them out. Only the Cowboys and 49ers offensive lines have the power to match the Bills front fours' size and power. The Vikings had success by running quick hits with the fullback or misdirection with another running back. The cutbacks were typically successful in between the center and right guard if you stretch them out enough on the front side. On third and short power runs will be shutdown. The front four and Brandon Spikes will end that hope. A pitch on the other hand can do the trick. Or spacing them out with single back and four wide.

4. The Bills struggle against athletic tight ends. Rob Gronkowski had a Travis Kelce vs the Patriots or Broncos type of day against the Bills defense. The team had no answer for his size and speed. Kelce can be a monstrous weapon on Sunday if they utilize him similar to the previous games mentioned. 

5. The clear out routes against the Bills red zone defense are a must. The Bills give a lot of room for YAC if you run clearouts for underneath throws. A slant underneath with two posts did a lot of damage in the Patriots game. De'Anthony Thomas can have a lot of fun underneath on that opportunity.

The Bills are a very good football team. They are tough and physical. They are stout against the run and difficult to score on in the red zone. Buffalo hangs in games. This matchup will have a similar feel to the Rams game in terms of run defense and getting the quarterback out of rhythm.