Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Aaron Williams vs. Travis Kelce** – Williams said Kelce is close to being on par with New England's Rob Gronkowski. The pass-catching tight end has been the most dangerous weapon in Kansas City's passing game this season.
2 – Seantrel Henderson vs. Justin Houston – The rookie right tackle will need some assistance against a pass rusher who leads the league in sacks and has gone without a quarterback takedown in just one game this year.
3 – Sammy Watkins vs. Jamell Fleming – With Fleming nicked up the Chiefs may have fellow corner Sean Smith follow Watkins around for the entire game. Watkins has looked unstoppable the past couple of games, but is questionable himself with a groin injury that kept him out of practice Thursday and Friday.
Top 2 Bills Advantages
Photos of Bills pass rushers sacking and pressuring opposing QBs during the 2014 season.
Good advantage – Takeaways** – Granted Kansas City has done a good job of protecting the ball thus far this season, but the odds eventually catch up with you and Buffalo is second in the league in takeaways with 18. The Bills are coming off a six takeaway performance against the Jets.
Best advantage – Pass rush – The Chiefs have a formidable pass rush of their own, but when it comes to Kansas City's pass protection they rely on a short passing game to minimize pressure. That hasn't always worked, especially on the road against good pass rushing clubs. Ten of the 19 sacks allowed by the Chiefs have come in just three road games and Buffalo's rush will be tough to handle on home turf.
Bills Number 1 Must
Rediscover the run game – Facing the weakest run defense in weeks in the Chiefs, Buffalo has to significantly increase their production on the ground. The losses of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have hurt, but the men up front have to win the battle at the line of scrimmage and give Buffalo's backs the creases they need to keep the offense in manageable down and distance situations knowing Kansas City boasts the league's top pass defense.
For years Tamba Hali has been the Chiefs' pass rush linchpin, but this season his counterpart Justin Houston has been a terror for opposing passers. Houston leads the league in sacks with 12 and has been particularly hot of late. Ten of his sacks have come in his last six games including a pair last week in a win over the Jets. He has at least one sack in six straight games. As a team the Chiefs rank third in the league in sacks with 27.
Red zone specialists
On offense the Chiefs are remarkably efficient overall, but in the red zone Alex Smith and company do some of their best work. After they crack an opponent's 20-yard line Kansas City finds the end zone more than 70 percent of the time good for fourth-best in the NFL. Their third down conversion percentage in the red zone is a lofty 69 percent (2nd in NFL) and they rank fifth in average gain per play in the red zone (3.49 yards).
We've got thirds
Third down is the most important in football and few teams have the combined success that the Chiefs have on offense and defense on this critical down. Kansas City's offense is second in the league in third down conversion percentage, moving the chains an impressive 52 percent of the time. On third-and-long they're conversion rate doesn't have much of a drop off. The Chiefs still convert more than 45 percent of the time, which is best in the league.
Defensively, the Chiefs boast the third-best third down defense in football allowing opponents to convert just a third of the time (33%). Even on 3rd-and-1 situations Kansas City has been stout in holding the line allowing opponents to move the sticks just 43 percent of the time, which ranks second in the league.
Through their first eight games this season no other team has had fewer possessions than the Chiefs (82), but their efficiency on offense has allowed them to make the most of their opportunities with the ball. Seventeen of those 82 possessions have lasted more than five minutes (20%) and 19 have gone for 10 plays or more (23%). The Chiefs average almost nine plays per scoring drive (8.91).
Kansas City can thank their run game for keeping them in manageable third down situations. Behind Jamaal Charles the Chiefs have the league's sixth most productive rushing attack at about 140 yards a game. Since 2008 Charles leads the league in yards per carry average with a 5.5 average.
Alex Smith has certainly had his share of detractors through the course of his career, but his head coach Andy Reid is known for maximizing the talent of his quarterbacks. Smith is sharp at reading defenses and changing plays at the line of scrimmage and he doesn't take many risks in the Chiefs' passing attack.
As a result Smith's play has been off the charts. In his last six games he's completed 71 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just one interception, good for a 109 passer rating. Smith's teams are 21-1-1 when he starts and has a 100+ rating.
Armed with the number one pass defense in football the Chiefs give up nothing cheap and nothing deep. Their pass defense is helped by a potent pass rush as mentioned above, but when defending their half of the field Kansas City's run defense gets stingy.
They're the only team in the league that has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. It's part of the reason why they have allowed the second fewest points in the league this year as opponents average just over 17 points a game (17.25).
Quote of the Week
"As a competitor you want to be out there playing with your teammates. They're doing some tremendous things. We have a good opportunity in front of us. If we continue to go out and take care of our business we're right in the thick of things and we can end up where we want to be at the end of the season."
-RB Fred Jackson
Stat of the Week
In his last home game against the Chiefs (11/14/10 w/ Denver) Kyle Orton passed for 296 yards and four touchdowns with a 131.5 passer rating.
Milestones in reach
-Marcell Dareus needs one sack to set a single season career high of 8.
-Kyle Williams (31.5) needs a half sack to become the franchise sack leader for defensive tackles.
-Robert Woods needs 119 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for his career.
TE Scott Chandler has three touchdown receptions in three career games against the Chiefs.