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Scouting Report - Week 12 - Bills-Chiefs

Posted Nov 24, 2017

Kansas City's speed at the skill positions could pose the biggest problem, but the Chiefs defense offers some opportunities for Buffalo's ground game.


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Charles Clay vs. Daniel Sorensen
With Kelvin Benjamin’s status up in the air, Clay becomes the top target in the Bills passing attack. Sorensen will likely share Clay as a coverage assignment with reserve DBs Steven Nelson and Eric Murray.

2 – Vladimir Ducasse vs. Chris Jones
With Tamba Hali and Justin Houston the headline pass rushers, Jones flies under the radar, but is a disruptive player on Kansas City’s defensive front. Jones is second on the team in sacks, second in quarterback hits and first in forced fumbles. Vlad Ducasse will have to keep Jones at arm’s length from his quarterback.

3 - Jordan Poyer vs. Travis Kelce
Kelce leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He’s the number one option in the Chiefs passing attack. Poyer will need to be at his best in coverage.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Red zone offense
Despite all their struggles the Bills usually cash in when they crack their opponents’ 20-yard line. Ranked sixth in the red zone touchdown percentage, Buffalo reaches the end zone more than 61 percent of the time (61.5%). Kansas City’s red zone defense meanwhile ranks 19th.

Best advantage – Run game
The Bills ground game has fared well against the weaker run defenses in the league. Even in last week’s blowout loss they ran on the Chargers for 173 yards and averaged almost eight yards per carry (7.9). The Chiefs rank 29th against the run, allowing almost 130 yards per game on the ground.

Bills Number 1 Must
Stay on schedule
Buffalo’s offense cannot get behind the sticks in terms of down and distance. Negative plays, particularly on first and second down have led to short series and a lack of possession time. Tyrod Taylor and the offense have to stay in manageable down and distance to keep drives alive and control the clock so their defense isn’t worn out by being on the field too long.

Scouting Eye
Revis reprise
With their right cornerback position a revolving door at which four different players have started, the Chiefs signed veteran CB Darrelle Revis on Wednesday. Revis, who has been out of football since last season stands a chance of playing this Sunday if he shows he’s fit to play in practice. Revis is wholly familiar with Kansas City’s defensive scheme, since it’s the same one he played in with the Jets. In fact, his first defensive coordinator with the Jets, Bob Sutton, is the Chiefs DC now. Revis’ last game was against the Bills as a member of the Jets this past New Year’s Day and he had an interception.

Run game decline
Through the first five weeks of the season, the Chiefs run game was one of the more potent in the NFL. Kareem Hunt was tearing up the league and as a team Kansas City was averaging 5.7 yards per carry while the team was producing better than 156 yards on the ground per game.

In dropping four of their last five games however, their run game has gone south. Their yards per carry average has plummeted to 3.6, a two-yard decline on average, and they’re getting about half the production out of their ground attack (80.6 yards per game).

The Chiefs were able to revive their run game a bit last week averaging 4.62 per carry and rolling up 134 yards, but they still lost to the then 1-8 New York Giants (12-9).

Hali ready to return?
Kansas City’s pass rush has been known for its bookend duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali for some time. This season however, Hali has played in just one game. He lined up for the first time against Dallas in Week 10, but missed last week’s game with his knee injury. He’s been limited in practice most of the week.

Kansas City’s pass rush didn’t seem to miss him early in the season as they logged 14 sacks through the first five games, but over the last five games, the Chiefs pass rush has struggled with just five sacks.

Speed aplenty
Despite the Chiefs recent struggle in posting wins, the Kansas City offense relies primarily on speed at the skill positions. Top back, Kareem Hunt, top wideout, Tyreek Hill and top tight end Travis Kelce are all elusive in the open field.

Hunt averages five yards per carry as the team’s feature back and leads the league in run plays of 10 yards or more with 24.

Hill averages almost 15 yards per reception and is one of eight players in the league with at least eight plays of 25 yards or more this season.

Kelce is seventh in the league in plays that result in first downs with 40 on the season.

And to help these weapons to make big plays, QB Alex Smith has the best passer rating in the league on pass attempts of over 20 yards (134.1).

Grind them up
If there’s one thing that’s been consistent with the Chiefs all season, it’s been their inability to stop the run. Kansas City ranks 29th in that category as they surrender almost 130 yards per game (129.2). Opponents average 4.6 yards per carry against the Chiefs, which helps to explain why they’re last in the league in run plays of 10 yards or more allowed (47).

First down is where they have their biggest issues against the run. On first down they give up run plays of four yards or more 51 percent of the time. That in turn makes second and third down a lot easier for their opponents.

It’s a big reason why the Chiefs have given up more first downs than any other team in the NFL (233).

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
“I think the guys in our room always play with a chip on their shoulder, whether we won two, three in a row, or lost three in a row. We know we’re a good defense. We should play with confidence each and every week. The guys in this room and in this locker room understand what it takes to win games.”
--S Jordan Poyer

Stat of the week
Micah Hyde has three interceptions in this last four road games for the Bills.

Miletones in reach
Stephen Hauschka needs one 50-yard field goal to set the team record for most in a season in team history. He’s currently tied with Dan Carpenter (6).

Andre Holmes needs one touchdown to match a single-season career high (4).

Jerry Hughes needs a sack and forced fumble to become the eighth active defensive end with 35 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his career since 2013.

Final Note
The Bills have won three of their five games at Arrowhead Stadium.

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