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Another crusher in OT for Bills

Posted Oct 31, 2010

The Bills were given more than a couple of chances to win as the Chiefs had some curious play calling and poor coaching decisions. In the end Kansas City’s NFL best running game carried them to victory in a tightly contested 13-10 overtime win over Buffalo. Ryan Succop kicked the game-winning field goal from 35 yards away with one second left in overtime to keep the Bills winless on the season at 0-7.

“This one really hurts,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “The defense for as well as they played today in terms of keeping the score down and for us to take that drive late and tie it up and get it in overtime and just be handed numerous opportunities to do something and win the game and not do it. This one really hurts.”

“I’m kind of at a loss for words,” said Steve Johnson. “It seemed like we put together a good game as a team and we had opportunities, but we couldn’t come out with the win. Here we go again you know?”

After missed field goals by both teams in overtime, Buffalo took the ball at their own 29-yard line with 3:38 left in the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick moved the Bills into Chiefs territory with a 14-yard scramble to the Kansas City 42. Fitzpatrick however, was flagged for intentional grounding on a third down incompletion as he was taken down inside the tackle box and did not throw the ball to anyone in particular. It forced the Bills to punt with 1:20 remaining.

Brian Moorman’s punt was marked out at the Chiefs’ 31 with 1:13 left. With no timeouts Kansas City quickly moved into Buffalo territory on completions to Jamaal Charles for 16 yards and Tony Moeaki for 18. After a Moeaki reception at the 24-yard line and a Jamaal Charles’ run to the Bills 16, Ryan Succop came on and kicked the game-winning field goal.

“It hurts,” said a beleaguered Chan Gailey. “You can’t explain it. It makes you sick in your gut. If it doesn’t hurt something is wrong. I feel bad for our guys because they’re trying, they’re playing hard. We’re just not getting it done. I’ve got to teach us to get over the hump. That’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to teach us to get over the hump. We’re working and they’re fighting and we can’t get over the hump.”

The Bills had a chance to win the game in overtime. Lee Evans made back-to-back receptions of 17 and 21 yards to get the Bills into Kansas City territory setting up a 1st-and-10 at the Chiefs 37-yard line with 8:22 left in overtime of a 10-10 game. It eventually set up a 53-yard game-winning Rian Lindell field goal attempt. His first attempt was good, but the Chiefs had called timeout prior to the snap nullifying the effort.

On Lindell’s second attempt his 53-yarder was blown left to right by the wind and hit the right upright to keep the score tied with 7:19 remaining.

“I just didn’t hit it very well at all,” said Lindell. “I just got a whole bunch of turf. That grass field was a little chewed up at that time. I just got too much under and just didn’t hit it very well.”

Taking over at their own 43-yard line, the Chiefs then marched down to the Bills 21-yard line, but Ryan Succop’s 39-yard attempt was wide left, giving the ball back to Buffalo. But the Bills were stopped by the Chiefs forcing them to punt with under two minutes left in overtime, leading to Kansas City’s game-winning drive.

It was the second straight game in which the Bills went to overtime, marking just the third time in team history Buffalo played in back-to-back overtime contests (1987, 2002).

Buffalo’s defense gave up a predictable 274 yards plus on the ground against the league’s best rushing team, but they got a fourth quarter stop in the red zone to force a field goal to keep it a one score game (10-3) and sent the Chiefs offense three-and-out. They also got a defensive stop on Kansas City’s first possession in overtime to get the ball back for their offense after Buffalo was forced to punt on the opening series in the extra stanza.

“We definitely held them at times and held them to 13 points,” said Paul Posluszny, who finished with a team-leading 18 tackles. “It’s a solid effort, but the thing about that especially with that type of back, we’ve got to be able to fit up everything right every time because he’s such a threat to go for 10, 15, 20 yards each time he touches the ball.”

Posluszny was referring to the Chiefs speed Jamaal Charles for whom the Bills had no answer. Charles rushed for 177 yards averaging eight yards per carry and also had 61 yards on four receptions.

“We fit up the run right at times and we held him to two yards, three yards and then we’d give up one for 10 or 15 yards. That’s what we’ve got to stop. We’ve got to fit up the run correctly every time, not just some of the time.”

At the end of regulation the Bills offense had the ball and all three of their timeouts, but on a 1st-and-10 at the Chiefs 41 with 32 seconds to play, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for Lee Evans sailed and was intercepted by Eric Berry at the Kansas City 27 and returned to the Chiefs’ 40-yard line. But Matt Cassel was sacked on first down which led to overtime.

“It’s something that can’t happen obviously,” said Fitzpatrick. “Just a catch the gun snap and pretty much as I catch it throw it to Lee real quick. It just squirted out.”

The Bills came out in the third quarter and put together a long, sustained drive on their opening possession of the second half. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller teamed up to get some hard yards on the ground and Ryan Fitzpatrick converted three third downs with passes to Lee Evans and David Nelson, before running for another to set up 1st-and-10 at the Chiefs’ 28.

However, a false start penalty set up a 3rd-and-7 and Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for Evans fell incomplete forcing Buffalo to settle for a 43-yard Rian Lindell field goal to pull with four (7-3) with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

After the defense got a stop near midfield to force a punt, Buffalo’s offense promptly went three-and-out themselves and the Chiefs would take advantage.

With a drive start at their own 31-yard line, Kansas City went back to the ground game running on each of the first 10 plays marching deep into Buffalo territory. However, on a 2nd-and-4 at the Bills 11, Kyle Williams came up with a big tackle for a loss of four on Thomas Jones to bring up a 3rd-and-8. Terrance Copper was then held short of the first down marker by Paul Posluszny.

Kansas City kicked a 28-yard field goal to move back ahead by seven (10-3) with 9:36 left in the game. That’s when Buffalo went on a 16-play march, which began at their own 17-yard line. Ryan Fitzpatrick made plays in the passing game to convert on a 3rd-and-5, 3rd-and-8 and 3rd-and-3, with the biggest play an over the shoulder throw to Roscoe Parrish down the far sideline for 37 yards to get Buffalo into the red zone.

Seven plays later Buffalo was facing a 4th-and-goal at the four-yard line and Fitzpatrick found Steve Johnson on a slant and he dove for the end zone for a four-yard touchdown reception with 2:18 remaining. Rian Lindell’s extra point would tie it at 10.

“That’s something we worked on one time out of the week,” said Johnson. “Coach called it. He said, ‘They’ll play off, you’ll come under and you’ll just have to bullrush it (into the end zone). It was just execution.”

It was a battle of field position in the first half, with the Chiefs getting the better end of the battle. Kansas City drove into Buffalo territory on three of their five first half possessions, but only came away with seven points come halftime.

The Chiefs had a chance to kick a field goal on a 4th-and-2 situation at the Bills 19-yard line, but Kansas City head coach Todd Haley chose to go for it, but Kyle Williams sacked Matt Cassel to force a turnover on downs.

Kansas City’s top ranked running game proved a tough challenge for Buffalo. The Chiefs attacked the Bills on the flanks and Charles got to the corner consistently rolling up 113 total yards from scrimmage in the first half.

On the Chiefs 71-yard touchdown drive Charles accounted for 67 of those yards with rushing plays of seven, 11 and 18 yards with a 31-yard reception sandwiched in between. Matt Cassel capped the scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe on a fade.

Meanwhile Buffalo’s offense struggled in the first half as they crossed midfield just briefly. The Bills managed just 2.7 yards per carry on the ground in the first half as they were often stymied by the Chiefs sixth-ranked run defense.

Buffalo’s passing attack did not fare much better through the first two quarters. Facing a healthy number of long down and distance situations, the Chiefs were able to hurry throws and get pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick who was 8-17 for 66 yards. He was sacked three times.

The Bills coaching staff however, made some good adjustments on both sides of the ball, which led to more effective play enabling Buffalo to tie it at the end of regulation. It was a game the Bills believed they had the game won, but it just wasn’t to be.

“Twice I felt like that,” admitted Gailey. “I felt like we were ready to take it down and either score a touchdown…  it hurts.”

The Bills return home to face the Chicago Bears in Toronto next Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.

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