Clyde Edwards-Helaire led a surprising Chiefs ground attack in a win over the Bills.
What began as a heralded matchup of bright young quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen turned into a ground game in the rain between the visiting Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. In the end, it was running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire who helped the Chiefs take care of business on the road in an important AFC showdown.
The Chiefs came into the game with the premiere passing attack in the NFL, but it was their running game that took over in Orchard Park. In total, the Chiefs rushed 44 times for 247 yards and 15 first downs on the ground. It was such a dominant effort given the Bills only had 206 total offensive yards—whether on the ground or through the air.
The elements came into play early in the game as both teams started with stalled drives due to overthrown passes or plays clearly affected by a slick ball and/or turf. The Bills were the first on the board with a 48-yard field goal from Tyler Bass, but Mahomes and the Chiefs marched right back with a five-play, 75-yard drive for the game’s first touchdown—a short throw to Travis Kelce for his fourth score of the season.
From there, the Bills responded with a long drive of nearly seven minutes that was extended by a long defensive pass interference penalty on Charvarius Ward. That set up a nice catch in the end zone by Stefon Diggs to put the Bills back up, 10-7.
The Chiefs responded with a nice long six-plus minute drive of their own to eat up much of the second quarter with a 12-play, 76 yard effort. Clyde Edwards-Helaire originally had a rushing score to cap the drive, but a penalty on Nick Allegretti brought it back. Fortunately, Kelce caught a nice throw in the corner of the end zone for his second touchdown on the night. Harrison Butker missed the PAT.
The Chiefs stopped the Bills on their next drive and tried to put together a quick run for a chance at a late score, but odd clock management by head coach Andy Reid and a fumble by Travis Kelce killed the late momentum.
The first half featured a series of questionable penalties and frustrating mistakes that made the score of 13-10 much closer than it should have been. Bills drives were kept alive by the refs or mental errors by the Chiefs. Things were even worse with the loss of both defensive end Alex Okafor and right tackle Mitch Schwartz to injuries.
In the second half, the Chiefs ground game, which was already very effective in the first, took over on a surprising third quarter drive that took an astounding 13 plays for 82 yards that featured a 13-yard touchdown run for Darrel Williams, his first on the year.
From there, the Chiefs defense forced Allen and the Bills to punt once again, with Chris Jones disrupting one play after another, after moving only five yards on three downs. The Chiefs responded with another long 75-yard drive with even more success running the ball. The Bills defense came up big when it had to, but the Chiefs still added a 38-yard field goal by Butker to put them up 23-10.
However just when it seemed the Bills were unravelling, Josh Allen came alive after a miserable first three quarters to go 5-for-5 in the fourth quarter to lead the Bills to their first scoring drive since early in the second quarter. Cole Beasley caught an 8-yard touchdown to bring it to within 23-16.
Despite being pinned at their own 13-yard line from that point, the Chiefs came alive with long passes to Travis Kelce and Byron Pringle that helped to put the game away. Butker kicked a 30-yard field goal to put the Chiefs up 26-17. From there, a late-game interception by Dan Sorensen officially put the game away and the clock hit zero.
With the win, the Chiefs go to 5-1 and will face the Denver Broncos in Week 7. For the Bills, they fall to 4-2 and will travel to face the winless New York Jets.