Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Bills

The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Buffalo Bills 16-10 at Arrowhead Stadium.  Even though they lost their last two games by 29 and 31 points, respectively, this game hurt much more than either of those.  Against Denver and San Diego they were simply over matched start to finish.  This is a game the Chiefs could have — and should have — come out on top.

As has become custom this season, here are the best of the worst on offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Jamaal Charles

Another fantastic day at the office for the second year running back out of Texas.  Charles not only set a career high with 143 yards on the ground, but also caught 7 passes for 38 yards as he was once again virtually the entire Chiefs offense.  His numbers don’t even do his day justice.  Charles had a 7 yard catch for a first down called back due to an illegal motion by Branden Albert and a huge 14 yard run in the 4th quarter erased by a completely unnecessary hold by Chris Chambers.

There was also the play of the game that wasn’t from Charles.  During a Buffalo return of a Matt Cassel interception, Charles busted it down the field to make the tackle and stripped Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny of the football.  Unfortunately Posluszny was ruled down by contact, but it sure seemed clear that he knee wasn’t yet down when the ball came out and Charles came up with the fumble.

My only problem with Charles’ day had nothing to do with anything the running back did.  It has to do with what he wasn’t allowed to do.  For some reason, Charles only carried the ball 20 times against a team that cannot stop the run.  He easily should have been given 5-7 more carries to give Charles more chances to break a big play the way he did in the 3rd quarter when he ripped off a 76-yard touchdown.  If you keep him away from kickoff returns, you have to fully use him in the running game.

Defense: Brandon Flowers

A question mark leading up to kickoff due to a shoulder injury, Flowers played his usual solid game in the defensive backfield.  He was credited with 6 tackles (his season high is 7) and made the key defensive play of the game.  After a Cassel interception gave Buffalo the ball deep in Kansas City territory and the Bills drove down the the five yard line, Flowers made a great read on a scrambling Ryan Fitzpatrick, stepped back and picked off a pass in the end zone.

Special Teams: Ryan Succop

The Chiefs were virtually invisible on special teams today.  Dustin Colquitt had his worst game of the season, including a punt from the Bills 37 yard line that he put into the end zone for a net of 17.  Lance Long showed he was not built to return kicks at this level, showing zero burst or ability to break tackles.  And on punts Bobby Wade let two balls go that he should have at least fair caught — if not attempted a return — with one of those ending up going 72 yards down to the Kansas City 7.

Succop, on the other hand, did his job even if it wasn’t a difficult one.  He made his only field goal and extra point attempts he was given and was adequate on kickoffs.  The Chiefs kicker was even in on the tackle that brought down Fred Jackson at the end of his longest return of the game.  Not a great performance from Succop, but considering what the rest of the Chiefs special teamers did — or didn’t do — he’s the winner here.

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