From Arrowhead Stadium
Another road trip, another overtime, another loss for the Buffalo Bills. Despite pushing the Chiefs into the extra period with a gutty fourth quarter performance, the NFL’s only winless team remained that way losing 13-10 on the last play of overtime.
This comes a week after the Bills lost in overtime to Baltimore on a field goal.
“It hurts,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. “You can’t explain it. It makes you sick in your gut. If it doesn’t hurt, something is wrong. I feel bad for our guys because they are trying, they are playing hard and we are just not getting it done.
“We are working and they are fighting and we can’t get over the hump. In my gut I don’t believe we are a bad football team, but our record says differently.”
The “hump” on Sunday at Arrowhead was the Chiefs defense. For three quarters, the Bills got nothing done against Kansas City. The offensive game plan from Gailey and his staff was to spread their offensive formations and take the throws underneath.
“We understood that we were going to have to dink and dunk our way down the field and treat four and five-yard passes as the run game because they are very physical from tight end to tight end,” said Gailey. “Our guys found out what was working in the running game (in the second half) and we were able to run it. Our third down execution picked up in the second half and we made some big plays, which is what we did last week. This week we weren’t able to make as many big plays.”
Gailey pooh-poohed the notion that getting the Bills first victory in Arrowhead against the Chiefs would have been extra special.
“That is overblown, that really is,” said Gailey. “I would have loved for it to be here because it was this game.”
But Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick knew how much the outcome of the game meant extra for Gailey and four of his assistant coaches who were part of the Chiefs staff with him: Bob Bicknell, Joe D’Alessandris, Curtis Modkins and Kevin Patullo.
“I know it meant a lot to him and our whole offensive staff,” said Fitzpatrick. “A lot of those guys were in Kansas City. I know what a win would have meant to all those guys. That makes it even worse that we couldn’t get it done.”
GAME/STADIUM ATMOSPHERE REPORT
The Chiefs announced that 66,625 was the paid attendance for Sunday’s game. If that’s the case, then a bunch of those 66,000 decided to stay home because there were empty seats everywhere in Arrowhead Stadium.
This wasn’t just a case where just the high-priced club level had open seats. Every section in the stadium had pockets of seats that were unoccupied.
Thus, the crowd and its noise level were not at the top of the scale. Of course, the game wasn’t very exciting and did not produce a lot of plays to get the fans fired up. The Bills did have a number of false start penalties, but some of those had nothing to do with the crowd.
It was the crew of referee Al Riveron that handled this game. Coming into Sunday, they were among the most flag happy crews among the NFL zebras. However, they kept the hankies under control, walking off five flags against each team.
But the game was filled with instant replay reviews. Both head coaches threw the red flag. Todd Haley challenged the Bills fourth-quarter touchdown where there was some question whether WR Steve Johnson got the ball over the goal line before his knee hit down in play. On the field, the officials ruled touchdown and the call was upheld, costing the Chiefs a timeout.
Chan Gailey threw his red flag twice. The first was in the second quarter when on third down RB Fred Jackson was stopped for no gain. The Bills challenged the spot of the ball, but Riveron said the replay upheld the decision. Gailey went to the flag again in the fourth quarter on what the officials called a Buffalo fumble and a Chiefs recovery. WR Lee Evans dropped the ball on the sidelines and it appeared that OLB Mike Vrabel recovered the ball. But looking at the replay, Riveron saw that Vrabel’s elbow as out of bounds when he pulled the ball in, so the call was reversed.
The replay official changed a ruling on the field at the end of the second quarter. Under pressure from OLB Tamba Hali, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the ball away. But the replay showed his knee hit the ground before he released the ball, so it was a sack for Hali.
As for penalties against the Chiefs, here’s how they went down:
- Kickoff return â€“ LB Corey Mays for holding, minus-10 yards.
- Punt return â€“ LB Demorrio Williams for running into the kicker, minus-5 yards.
- Defense â€“ DE Wallace Gilberry roughing the passer for minus-15 yards.
- Defense â€“ OLB Mike Vrabel, personal foul for grabbing the facemask, minus-15 yards.
- Defense â€“ CB Brandon Flowers holding, minus 5 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT
Other than the missed FGs on both sides, it was a quiet day in the kicking game on Sunday.
FGs & Placements â€“ Succop was two of three on the FGs, missing the 39-yard attempt in OT.
Kickoffs â€“ Succop had four, kicking the ball to the minus-5, minus-1, minus-1 and the seven-yard line.
Kick coverage â€“ Buffalo rookie RB C.J. Spiller had three kickoff returns for an average of 19.3 yards, with a long return of 22 yards.
Kickoff returns â€“ CB Javier Arenas had two returns for an average of 23 yards each, the longest return just 25 yards.
Punting â€“ Dustin Colquitt kicked six times, with a 43.3-yard average. His net average was a poor 29.7 yards due largely to a pair of touchbacks. His longest punt was 56 yards.
Punt coverage â€“ The Bills Roscoe Parrish had two returns for an average of 21 yards, thanks to a 33-yard long return.
Punt returns – Arenas took back four punts for an average of nine yards, with a 15-yard long return.
On coverage â€“ Credited with tackles in the kicking game were OLB Andy Studebaker, LB Corey Mays, RB Jackie Battle, LB Cory Greenwood, LB Demorrio Williams, WR Terrance Copper and Colquitt.
With starting RG Ryan Lilja inactive because of his right hand injury, third-round draft choice Jon Asamoah made his first NFL start. Also starting when the defense opened in the nickel was second-round draft choice Javier Arenas. Thus, all six active 2010 draft choices have started a game this season and five were on the field for starts on Sunday. The only man missing was WR Dexter McCluster, who was inactive due to his ankle injury.
Along with McCluster and Lilja, the other inactive players for the Chiefs were CB Jackie Bates, S Reshard Langford, LBs Justin Cole, Charlie Anderson and Mark Simoneau and DT Anthony Toribio.
FB Tim Castille was active after watching the previous two games. In fact, all five backs on the Chiefs roster were active for the game. The Chiefs roster remains lopsided to the defense with 27 players on that side of the ball, compared to just 23 on the offense. They have 11 linebackers, and three were inactive for the game â€“ Cole, Anderson and Simoneau.
Inactive players for the Bills were starting CB Terrence McGee, LBs Aaron Maybin and Antonio Coleman, OT Ed Wang, starting RT Cornell Green and DEs Alex Carrington and John McCargo. The inactive third QB for the Bills was Levi Brown.
Starting for Green at right tackle was rookie Cordaro Howard, who was making his second straight start. Howard is a college free agent out of Georgia Tech. Opening at left CB for the inactive McGee was Leodis McKelvin.
With the Chiefs opening in the nickel, DE Wallace Gilberry made his first NFL start.
ETC.: when the Chiefs want to win at home, the formula is simple â€“ they’ve now won 45 consecutive home games when they’ve allowed their opponent 10 points or less. They have held four visitors to 20 points or less, allowing an average of 13.5 points per game â€¦ Buffalo ran 84 plays, the most against the Chiefs since Denver ran 84 plays in December of 1994 â€¦ the Chiefs are now 3-1 in games decided by seven points or less â€¦ in overtime games, the Chiefs are now 12-16-2 all-time.