A matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs would seem to be a good opportunity for any struggling team to get back in the win column. That might not be the case for the turnover-prone Buffalo Bills.
The reeling Bills, with Trent Edwards suddenly having a tough time taking care of the ball, look to snap a four-game losing streak when they face the opportunistic Chiefs on Sunday.
Buffalo (5-5) is at .500 for the first time this season and quickly falling out of the AFC playoff race. Over the past month, the Bills have gone from the top to the bottom of the AFC East.
Edwards' mistake-free play helped the Bills win five of their first six games, as he passed for five touchdowns with two interceptions. The second-year player, however, has thrown eight INTs to go along with two fumbles and a safety in his past four games.
"You start seeing things that you're not really seeing, and you're doing things that you're not normally used to doing," Edwards said. "Right now, I don't really have any good answers."
In his latest meltdown, Edwards threw three INTs in his first six attempts during a 29-27 loss to Cleveland on Monday night.
Buffalo needs Edwards to get back on track if it intends to snap a franchise-worst eight-year playoff drought. Though Edwards has taken most of the blame for the Bills' problems, coach Dick Jauron appears willing to stick with him.
Buffalo's defense, however, has started to grumble about the additional time it's been spending on the field due to the turnovers on offense.
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams twice pointed out turnovers as cause for concern following Monday's game. He did add, though, that the defense wasn't generating enough turnovers of its own.
The Bills have manged three takeaways (two fumbles and an interception) in the last four games.
"The bad thing about it is, the games that we've lost, we played terrible, giving the ball away, not taking it away, not making the plays when we need to," Williams said. "It's frustrating for everybody. It's frustrating to watch."
Kansas City (1-9) has certainly had its share of problems this season, but causing turnovers has not been one of them. The Chiefs' defense has allowed 28 points or more in five of the last six games, but the team is tied for second in the NFL with 21 takeaways (11 fumbles and 10 interceptions).
Kansas City has forced 10 turnovers its last four games. The Chiefs intercepted Drew Brees once in Sunday's matchup with New Orleans, but lost 30-20.
The defeat was the 18th in 19 games for Kansas City, which has lost the last four weeks despite leading in each contest. One of the defeats was in overtime and one came by a point after a failed 2-point conversion try with 23 seconds left.
High player turnover has hurt the Chiefs, particularly on special teams and defense.
As of last Thursday, the Chiefs had made 34 player transactions the previous three weeks. With new players on punt and kickoff units every week, special teams breakdowns have contributed to each of the last four losses.
Courtney Roby took the kickoff after the Chiefs' first touchdown Sunday and ran 54 yards, setting up a Saints field goal. New Orleans then kicked off and rookie Dantrell Savage couldn't field the ball cleanly, so the Chiefs started their drive on their 11-yard line and punted shortly thereafter.
On defense, Kansas City has missed at times as many as six injured starters, and couldn't take advantage of another solid game from the offense. The Chiefs tied a season-high with 21 first downs and had at least 330 yards of offense for the fourth straight game.
Running back Larry Johnson, who had been benched three games by the Chiefs and suspended one by the league, made his first start in a month and had 67 yards but fumbled twice.
Johnson had 132 yards rushing in Kansas City's last meeting with Buffalo, a 14-3 Bills home win on Nov. 13, 2005. Buffalo, though, has lost two straight and five of its last six at Kansas City.