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Monday, November 4, 2013
Upon Further Review: Bills Week 9

By Mike Rodak

A review of four hot issues from the Buffalo Bills' 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

Jeff Tuel
Jeff Tuel completed 18 of 39 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.
Hackett simplifies Tuel's reads: One possession after Jeff Tuel threw his game-changing pick-six, the Bills drove to the Chiefs' 36-yard line, facing a long fourth-and-2. Instead of trying to run for almost 3 yards, the Bills opted for a quick lob pass down the left sideline. Receiver T.J. Graham appeared to have trouble finding the ball, which dropped between his arms and fell incomplete. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was asked after the game why there was such a risky play call on a fourth-and-short. "I took it all off of [Tuel]. I made it so he was throwing to one guy and one guy only," Hackett said. "We had already thrown a bunch of slants and they were getting beat up a little bit. We weren't getting some calls, so they were all up on him. I figured the best chance we had was to run by them in that situation."

Pass-rushers silenced: Anyone else surprised that, in a game featuring the two teams with the NFL's most sacks, there were just two sacks in this contest? With Kiko Alonso credited with a 1-yard sack after forcing Alex Smith out of bounds in the first quarter, it was Jerry Hughes who owned the game's only "true" sack. It wasn't Mario Williams, or Tamba Hali, or Justin Houston, who all entered the game with double-digit sacks. Hughes forced Smith to fumble, and if cornerback Leodis McKelvin was able to corral the loose ball instead of having it squirt away, we could be talking about a different result Monday morning.

Marrone defends Gilmore: Of the Chiefs' 210 total offensive yards, 163 came from running back Jamaal Charles and receiver Dwayne Bowe. Part of it may have been Smith's lack of other options, but Bowe was targeted 12 times Sunday, almost double that of any other Chiefs receiver. On the surface, that doesn't reflect well on Bills top cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who allowed Bowe to finish with seven catches for 67 yards. After the game, though, coach Doug Marrone didn't blame Gilmore for Bowe's performance. "I think [Gilmore] is playing, doing the best he can. He’s going out there against a guy, you’ve got to remember that’s Dwayne Bowe out there and he’s covering him man to man in a lot of situations," Marrone said. "He did a good job; at the end of the day when you look at it, they had three points. So how could you say anyone on defense didn’t do a great job out there?"

Chiefs perspective: Many Bills followers saw this game as an opportunity, facing an undefeated Chiefs team that has looked very beatable at times this season. The result Sunday in some ways validated that opinion, leading some to believe that the Chiefs have been "lucky." For those wondering if Kansas City views the win from a similar perspective, ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher's column is worth a read.