The Buffalo Bills came into town on Sunday afternoon and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 20-17, dropping the home team to 8-5 on the season. Here is my initial reaction to the game:
For the Chiefs, the hole was just too deep.
For the third week in a row, Kansas City had an all-around slow start... and for the second time in those three weeks, that all-around slow start would eventually cost them the game.
The Chiefs’ offense came out of the gate in rhythm — and looked to be in a position to score out of the gate until a costly interception of a ball batted down at the line of scrimmage. The defense forced a three-and-out — but then allowed two touchdown drives as Kansas City punted on three consecutive positions. Only a little bit into the second quarter, the Bills had a 14-0 lead.
To the Chiefs’ credit, they would eventually tie the game at 17. But a slow start can take the game out of your hands. That’s always unwise — but especially so with Carl Cheffers’ officiating crew on the job.
A historical moment snatched away.
Even after they didn’t play their best game — which unfortunately has become the norm for the team this season, the Chiefs still had a grand opportunity to win the game at its end.
On second-and-10 in their final drive, quarterback Patrick Mahomes dialed up tight end Travis Kelce, who has earned the green light from head coach Andy Reid to lateral it. This was amazing — but remember: it is something the team has said it practices.
What the Chiefs don’t practice is staying onsides, which wide receiver Kadarius Toney did not do prior to what would have been a historical play (and win) at Arrowhead Stadium.
It was not to be.
Mistakes bite the Chiefs again.
While the Bills built a two-score lead, they also put the Chiefs back in a position to win — be it from a silly second-quarter Josh Allen interception to a complete and utter mismanagement of the clock with less than 2:30 left in the fourth quarter.
But once again, Kansas City’s drops, turnovers and penalties were too frequent for the team to overcome. Mahomes’ pick and wide receiver Rashee Rice’s lost fumble also set the Chiefs back. Before his crucial penalty, Toney had a first-half drop that curbed momentum. Kansas City was penalized seven times for 45 yards on the night — and against a desperate team like the Bills, that just won’t do.
Reid and the coaching staff have continually talked about how eliminating self-inflicted wounds is the key to a deep run — and a possible Super Bowl repeat.
I don’t disagree — but when the Chiefs take the field against the New England Patriots next Sunday, it will be Week 15.