The Kansas City Chiefs are 9-0 after beating the Buffalo Bills 23-13 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Once again, the Chiefs had rely on their defense and special teams to win.
It wasn’t necessarily a thing of beauty, especially on offense, but the Chiefs found a way to get it done on the road, and now they head into the bye week undefeated.
Stats aren’t everything in sports—and it’s not even close—but they can give you a good birds eye view of the trends of a game. Let’s say somebody you know didn’t watch the game and just checked out the box score. What would it tell them?
Let’s take a look at the numbers from this Week 9 clash and find out.
Alex Smith: 19-of-29 for 124 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions
On one hand, it’s good to see that Smith didn’t throw the ball away. This offense is predicated on ball control and security, so anytime Smith can accomplish that, the Chiefs have a good chance to win. With that said, throwing only 124 yards and no touchdowns may fly against the Bills and their third string quarterback, but it’s simply not going to be good enough in the second half of the season.
Peyton Manning can throw for 124 yards in one quarter, let alone during the course of a whole game.
Smith needs to get better and this offense needs to go back to the drawing board during the bye week.
Jamaal Charles: 17 Carries, 90 yards, 5.3 yards per carry. Six receptions for six yards. 0 Touchdowns
Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs best offensive weapon, and when he scores, good things happen for Kansas City. 5.3 yards per carry is excellent, so Charles should get high marks in regard to the running game.
Just six yards through the air is well below his normal production though. Charles really adds an extra element to the passing game coming out of the backfield, and he does a great job of moving the sticks so far. Obviously he couldn’t get it going today.
That leads us to the next stat…
First Downs: 15
The Chiefs were only able to notch 15 first downs, compared to 25 from Buffalo. Eight of those first downs came on passing plays, and the rest with the run.
Total Offensive Yards: 210
This is not going to get it done in the future. For reference, the Bills put up 470 offensive yards with a first time starting quarterback at the helm.
Ryan Succop, 3-for-3, 11 points
Ryan Succop continues to be consistently consistent for the Chiefs. Specials teams can change and win games, and Succop has done that for Kansas City this season.
These are incredible stats for a player who should theoretically be getting double-teamed on every snap. Poe is becoming one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, and stats like these go a long way towards proving that statement.
Sean Smith: 1 Interception returned for a 100 (101) yard touchdown.
When Smith got this pick-six, the Chiefs were down 10-3 and the Bills were knocking on the door of another score. The importance of his interception and score can’t be overstated.
Tamba Hali: 4 Tackles, 1 Fumble Recovery, 1 TD
Tamba Hali’s fumble recovery for a touchdown put the Chiefs up 20-13 in the fourth quarter. The Bills couldn’t recover, and once again, Kansas City’s defense came up big.
Chiefs’ Defense: 3 Turnovers, 14 points scored
Kansas City’s defense has single-handedly given them a chance to win every game this season, and the Chiefs have taken advantage of those chances to the tune of a 9-0 start.
I’ve learned two things during my time covering and coaching football.
1. It doesn’t matter how you win. A win is a win, and you should never apologize for winning.
2. There are three facets to the game. Offense, defense and special teams. If you can be dominant in two of the three facets, you will have a chance to win any game you’re in.
Those two points just about sum it up for the Chiefs.
It hasn’t been pretty, but they’re 9-0. The Chiefs have a lot to work on during this bye week, and they will have to step things up during the second half of the season, but Kansas City has nothing to apologize for.