Sunday, November 3, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Buffalo Bills
By Mike Rodak
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:
What it means: This unfolded just as expected. The Bills, starting undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel, committed two critical errors -- an interception and a fumble, both returned for touchdowns -- that were the difference in the game. The Chiefs, although outgained by the Bills 470 yards to 210, did not turn the ball over. In what was hardly a marquee quarterback matchup, veteran Alex Smith (74.5 passer rating) outplayed Tuel (52.2).
Spiller provides spark: What a difference a week off makes. Running back C.J. Spiller, after resting a high-ankle sprain, rushed 12 times for 116 yards, while adding another 39 yards on two catches. Spiller had a 29-yard run in the second quarter and a 61-yard run to open the second half, doing his part to kick-start an offense dealing with inconsistent quarterback play. He's still not 100 percent, though, so his action was limited.
Stock watch: Rising: pass protection. It wasn't enough to overcome the Bills' offensive miscues, but it's worth noting that the Bills did not allow Tuel to be sacked in this game. In their previous three games, the Bills had allowed 13 sacks, the most in the NFL. For Tuel's 39 pass attempts in this contest, zero sacks is a solid performance. The Chiefs boast two of the NFL's best pass-rushers -- Tamba Hali and Justin Houston -- and neither could get to Tuel.
Woods injured: Rookie receiver Robert Woods injured his leg diving for a deep pass in the third quarter and did not return. He appeared to land hard on his knee, and eventually limped to the locker room. Despite the injury, Woods finished as the Bills' second-leading receiver, with four catches for 44 yards.
What's next: After dropping their second straight game, falling to 3-6 and remaining in fourth place in the AFC East, the Bills travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday. The combined record of Buffalo's next six opponents entering Sunday: 12-33.