From the Booth: Bills vs. Chiefs

A few leftover observations from the Bills big win over Kansas City Sunday.  We called the game on the radio Sunday, and looked over the video tape on Monday, and what we saw was a classic game won in the trenches, by the Bills offensive and defensive lines.  Some observations:

  • The Bills offensive line was physical, mobile, and most of all hostile in this game, right from the start.  On Buffalo's first offensive play, guard Kraig Urbik got into it

with Kansas City DL Tyson Jackson. On the second play, C Eric Wood did some pushing and shoving with Chiefs DB Travis Daniels. The Bills front five would keep up the nasty streak through the entire game, including in the second quarter when they got into a scrum with Kansas City defenders after the touchdown pass to Scott Chandler.

But it wasn't just nastiness. The O-Line was mobile as well. Rookie LT Cordy Glenn continues to show surprising foot speed, most notably on C.J. Spiller's five yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Later in the second, on a 27-yard wide receiver screen pass to Spiller, Glenn was flying down field (along with Andy Levitre) to open lanes for Spiller after the catch.

And the physical nature of the O-Line play was demonstrated on Spiller's first touchdown run, when Levitre and Wood hammered Chiefs rookie Dontari Poe to open up a hole.

  • Buffalo's defensive linehad a very strong game, the best they've looked since the Pittsburgh preseason game.
  • Kyle Williams overpowered Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah in the first quarter, a play that resulted in a five yard loss by Jamaal Charles. Williams embarrassed Chiefs fullback Nate Eachus when he bowled him over on his way to sacking Matt Cassel. But it wasn't just Kyle Williams who stood out on the defensive line.
  • Mark Anderson got off to a great start by using his quickness off the line of scrimmage to stop Jamaal Charles for a three yard loss on Kansas City's fourth play from scrimmage. And the Bills showed a different wrinkle by using Anderson as a linebacker and dropping him into coverage on several early plays.
  • The Bills got five sacks Sunday mostly by employing a four-man pass rush, which is exactly what they'd like to do all season. They only threw a handful of blitzes at Kansas City. On Alex Carrington's forced fumble, recovered by Mario Williams, the Bills rushed four. And three of the four were backups, part of Buffalo's defensive line rotation (Carrington, Spencer Johnson, and Chris Kelsay).

The Kansas City game was a big bounce back game for the Bills special teams, highlighted by Leodis McKelvin's 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. Even after losing his spot as the Bills nickel corner on defense, McKelvin is more than willing to embrace his role on special teams.

"I'm just doing my job, and not just doing my job, but trying to be great at doing my job," McKelvin told me after the game. "I try to go out there and do what I gotta do. It doesn't matter if they got me on defense or offense or special teams, I'm gonna go out there and give it my best. I just keep a level head and everything's going to work out for the best."

  • It may be time to let Brad Smiththrow it once or twice out of the Wildcat formation.  The Bills ran the Wildcat five times against KC, and wound up with a net loss of three yards.  Buffalo's Wildcat does not seem to surprise anyone, and Smith has only attempted one pass since he came to the roster last year (resulting in an interception).  Smith attempted three passes for the Jets in 2010, one of them a TD pass against the Bills.  Until the Bills demonstrate that Smith is a threat to throw out of the Wildcat, Buffalo's changeup offense will remain ineffective.
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