A week after Buffalo's defensive unit couldn't get off the field against the Jets, a rejuvenated front seven dominated the line of scrimmage on their way to a 35-17 victory against Kansas City.
Buffalo cut their opponent's third down percentage against in half Sunday, as Kansas City went 5-for-14 on third downs, compared to the 10-for-14 clip that the Jets had last Sunday.
"We were able to get them in some situations where it was 3rd-and-5 plus," said defensive tackle Kyle Williams. "I think we talked about it last week we got in some bad situations on first down where they hit some quick passes on us. When you get in 3rd-and-3, 3rd-and-4 or 3rd-and-2 it's a whole different world to try to defend. We played well enough in the run 'D' to put them behind the eight ball. We were able to get some pressure and get a few sacks."
Buffalo forced two fumbles in the first half that proved costly for Kansas City, who didn't get on the board until the third quarter. On a 1st and 10 from their own 41, defensive tackle Alex Carrington sacked quarterback Matt Cassel forcing a fumble that was recovered by Mario Williams.
The turnover led to a Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown pass to Scott Chandler to push the Bills' lead to 21-0.
On the next Kansas City possession, Cassel led a drive from his own 22 all the way to the Buffalo one-yard-line before a diving Peyton Hillis fumbled before reaching the end zone. Linebacker Nick Barnett forced the fumble while fellow linebacker Bryan Scott scooped up the loose ball.
"It was great defensively, because they were driving the ball down the field, they had gotten a couple of big plays on that series, and to be able to turn the ball over before the half is always huge," said Scott.
Buffalo's starting front four, Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mark Anderson combined for nine tackles (five for a loss), three sacks and four quarterback hits Sunday afternoon. Last week the foursome combined for five tackles and no sacks.
"Just going out there and putting it all on the line," said defensive end Mario Williams. "Unfortunately that didn't happen last week, but we have to build off of this and continue. I was just trying to get after it. It's just one of those things where everyone is out there trying to play off one another and we just made plays like that."
Buffalo's defensive line was a polar opposite compared to that of a week ago.
Kyle Williams had a sack to stop a Kansas City drive and force a field goal and another on the final play of the third quarter. Marcell Dareus had a drive-halting sack on a 3rd-and-9 from the Kansas City 44. Mario Williams recovered a fumble. Defensive end Mark Anderson had three tackles including one for a loss. Matt Cassel knelt down before linebacker Kelvin Sheppard could run him over for the Bills fourth sack of the game.
Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles was virtually unnoticeable today finishing with six carries for three yards.
"We had a nice package today," Anderson said. "We were able to execute that, we were able to make plays, were able to get some turnovers and get the offense back on the field. Stopping them (the Chiefs offense) on third downs, everything kind of worked in our favor."
"I think it's important that we're able to do that and get off the field," said Kyle Williams. "Whether we show it or not I think is irrelevant. I think getting off the field and continuing to put the ball back in our offense's hands when they're playing well and scoring points is the most important thing."
Buffalo's secondary was helpful in the effort as they played more press coverage and re-routed Kansas City receivers to give the men up front more time to get to Cassel.
"The corners were a little more aggressive, we were a little more aggressive as a whole, in your coverage, just try to stay on your man, kind of force them to make bad throws, or the quarterback to scramble out of the pocket," said Scott. "We were able to do that."
Although Kansas City gained more total yards than Buffalo, head coach Chan Gailey said he thought his defense played stout.
"We gave up some cheap yards and some cheap runs at the end so the stats look awful, but I thought we played really well," said Gailey. "The goal line stand was as big as anything in the ball game. I thought that was huge. That is what you keep talking to them about. Keep fighting, just keep fighting."