Final score: Buffalo Bills 38, Kansas City Chiefs 20
Offense (Talon Graff)
Well, the best way to describe what was on display during Week 5 was ugly.
The weather didn’t help — but Patrick Mahomes was off, leaving multiple throws short. He tossed two interceptions as well. The offensive line played well most of the night, giving him a clean pocket — although allowing two sacks. I am sure this week will be filled with Patrick Mahomes-themed storylines.
The running game wasn’t utilized too much due to falling behind fairly early. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was having a difficult time getting much going before going down with a knee injury; after catching a screen pass, he was tackled awkwardly. Darrel Williams did a decent job stepping in — and seemed to be a part of the game plan anyway. The team rushed for 120 yards total with Mahomes leading the Chiefs with 61 yards on 8 carries. Williams finished with 27 on five carries while Edwards-Helaire only mustered 13 yards on his seven rushing attempts.
Speaking of injuries, Bills safety Micah Hyde delivered a vicious blow to Travis Kelce that sent him out of the game. Kelce will be watched closely to see what is determined to be the issue but a strike to the head is always concerning. Kelce caught one of Mahomes’ two touchdown passes and hauled in 57 yards on six catches. Byron Pringle caught the other while Mecole Hardman actually led the team in receiving yards with 76 from nine receptions. Tyreek Hill had an average day with just seven catches for 63 yards.
The Bills had a game plan and they stuck with it. The four-man rush did it again as the Chiefs’ offense struggled to find open guys down the field. The Chiefs have many things that need to be cleaned up. Turnovers have once again plagued a game — and the health of Edwards-Helaire and Travis Kelce is concerning.
Offensive Player of the Game: Mecole Hardman
I’ll give credit where it is due: Hardman showed up in a game where the weather created havoc in the passing game. Josh Gordon caught one ball; as time goes on, we expect him to be more involved in the offense. But on Sunday night, Hardman was reliable — and stepped up.
Defense (Bryan Stewart)
Honestly? Based on expectations set prior to kickoff, this game went about as expected for the Chiefs’ defense. We saw the same issues we have seen in prior weeks — only magnified against what is probably the best team they have played to date.
There was poor tackling. There was a lack of pressure on the quarterback — especially when not sending more than four rushers. The discipline still isn’t there; the Chiefs were penalized in some key moments — regardless of how questionable some calls might have been.
Daniel Sorensen was targeted deep downfield in coverage for two long touchdowns in the first half. Are his days as a viable defensive contributor in the rearview mirror? The unit was unable to force any turnovers — and allowed Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen to have his way both through the air and on the ground. In the end, a solid second-half performance wasn’t enough to close the gap.
Kudos to a Bills team that took the next step on Sunday night. As for the Chiefs and their defense? They have to make some changes — finding ways to improve dramatically in the months ahead. If they don’t, this is a team that will be battling for a playoff spot.
Defensive Player of the Game: Rashad Fenton
The Chiefs’ third-year cornerback was maybe the only defender who seemed to consistently shine in this game. If not for a roughing the passer call late in the game, he also secured what would have been a game-swinging interception deep downfield. Fenton has earned more playing time moving forward — and in the weeks ahead, might deserve consideration for a starting role.