The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t won a game in Buffalo since they were quarterbacked by Todd Blackledge in 1986. Despite being on opposite ends of current NFL power rankings, the Chiefs could see this streak of road losses in Buffalo extend.
Lack of separation on offense
If you look at the numbers put up by the Bills and the Chiefs on the offensive side, there isn’t much separation. Kansas City averages 24 points per game, Buffalo 22. The Chiefs average 330 yards of offense, the Bills 329. Kansas City records 19 first downs per contest, Buffalo 18.
The Bills combination of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller has given them the seventh-best rushing attack in the NFL, producing better than the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles. Defensively is where Kansas City seems to have an edge.
Kansas City ranks fifth in the league in total defense and is allowing a league-best 12.2 points per game. Buffalo is giving up 381 yards and 26.6 points per game. Despite this statistical advantage for Kansas City, the key to this game for both teams will be inside the Chiefs’ 20 yard line.
The one part of the game that will decide the outcome
The Bills have scored 11 red zone touchdowns through eight games, making them one of the best red zone offenses in the league. The combination of Jackson and Spiller plus a mobile quarterback in EJ Manuel give them many options to employ when throwing the ball becomes more difficult.
The Chiefs have been one of the best red zone defenses in the NFL, allowing just three touchdowns to be scored from inside their own 20. Something will have to give when Buffalo’s offense gets inside Kansas City’s 20 yard line, and this will likely decide the game.
Kansas City can win this game if it continues to do what it does well. They lead the league in turnover margin and average a time of possession that is five minutes better than Buffalo. Taking the ball away from the Bills and forcing them to settle for field goals on top of sustaining time-chewing drives could be a path to success for the Chiefs.
If the Bills can score touchdowns on Kansas City’s defense and put pressure on the Chiefs to do the same when they have the ball to keep up, Kansas City could go into its bye week fresh off its first loss of the season.