Chiefs Get It Done with 17-13 Win Over Bills

© David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT On 4th down and 1 yard to go, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) takes a sweep pitch 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, pursued by Buffalo Bills defensive end Manny Lawson…
© David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT On 4th down and 1 yard to go, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) takes a sweep pitch 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, pursued by Buffalo Bills defensive end Manny Lawson…

When explaining his team’s decision to play a home game in London next year, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt cited coach Andy Reid’s career record in road games.

Reid showed his road-game magic again on Sunday.

The Chiefs overcame a 10-point deficit and beat the Buffalo Bills 17-13 before a stunned crowd of 68,119 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Chiefs, 6-3, while Buffalo, trying to play itself into the AFC playoff picture, fell to 6-4 in a game that could postseason implications.

Reid, incidentally, is 74-50-1 in regular-season road games in 15-plus years as a head coach and 73-51 at home.

Quarterback Alex Smith’s 8-yard dash for his first touchdown of the season with 8:59 left in the game proved to be the decisive score. The Chiefs gained possession when special teamers Albert Wilson and Anthony Sherman combined to smother Bills punt returner Leodis McKelvin, and Sherman caused and recovered a fumble at the Buffalo 26.

The Chiefs drew to within 13-10 when Reid decided to go for a fourth-and-1 at the Buffalo 39 with 13:39 remaining in the game.

Smith pivoted left and tossed a pitch to running back Jamaal Charles, who dashed 39 yards for the touchdown, drawing the Chiefs to within three.

Buffalo coach Doug Marrone also gambled on fourth down but his decision did not pan out. The Bills faced fourth-and-10 at the Chiefs 15 when trailing 17-13 with 2:35 left in regulation. The Bills had all three timeouts and the 2-minute warning to play with but elected not to kick a field goal and draw within one.

Kyle Orton’s pass intended for Sammy Watkins was broken up by cornerback Ron Parker, and the Chiefs took over.

Buffalo dominated the third quarter but all the Bills could come away with was a 21-yard field-goal by Dan Carpenter, giving Buffalo a 13-3 lead with 3:06 left in the third quarter.

The Bills, nursing a 10-3 lead, were about to take a two-touchdown lead in the third quarter when Ron Parker punched the ball from the grip of running back Bryce Brown near the goal line.

The loose ball bounded to the back of the end zone, where it slipped through the hands of Bills tight end Scott Chandler and skipped out of bounds.

Sound familiar?

A year ago, the Bills, also leading 10-3 in the third quarter, were at the Chiefs 1 when cornerback Sean Smith intercepted Jeff Tuel’s pass and returned it 100 yards for the tying score, igniting a 23-13 win.

This time, however, the Chiefs did not cash it in and had to punt.

The Bills led 10-3 at halftime in a game that was as nondescript as the score indicates.

After forcing the Chiefs to go three-and-out to start the game, Buffalo struck for a 7-0 lead on Orton’s 25-yard touchdown pass to slot receiver Chris Hogan, who beat nickel back Chris Owens on a seam route. Owens was playing his first game in three weeks after suffering a knee injury.

The Chiefs offensive line had all kinds of problems moving out the Bills’ massive defensive front, and all Kansas City could muster in six offensive possessions was a 36-yard Cairo Santos.

It took an athletic escape act to make Santos’ 10th consecutive made field goal possible. On a third-and-12 from the Buffalo 41, Smith eluded a sack and ran 12 yards before going into his slide. Bills safety Aaron Williams dove into Smith, grazing helmets and was called for a personal foul, moving the ball to the Buffalo 32.

The Chiefs offense managed to reach the Bills 18 before calling on Santos to make his 10th consecutive field goal without a miss.

The halftime deficit could have been worse. Second-year running back Knile Davis, whose career has been marked by fumbling issues, coughed up the ball when hit by linebacker Nigel Bradham, and the Bills recovered at the Chiefs 36.

The Bills had first-and-goal at the Chiefs’ 8, but a sack of Orton for 6 yards by nose tackle Dontari Poe, a short completion and an overthrow by Orton for tight end Chandler forced Buffalo to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter for a 10-3 led with 7:09 left in the half.

Source: Kansas City Star | Randy Covitz

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