Orchard Park (WKBW) It's going to be a long Sunday night in the Marrone Household.
Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone couldn't control his frustration following Sunday's 23-13 loss to the now 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs. "I'm going to go home, not talk to anybody, just shut it down.", said Marrone. "I'm going to be by myself, I'm not going to pet my dog and I'm going to get fired up", Marrone continued. It was that type of loss for the Buffalo Bills.
Turnovers once again killed another solid effort by the Bills. The defense held the Chiefs without a offensive touchdown. The Buffalo offense racked up 470 yards against a Kansas City defense that ranked 5th in the league entering Sunday. The 241 yards rushing were a season high for the Bills. Surrendering 17 points off of three turnovers washed it all away.
I had few expectations for Sunday when the Bills formally announced that Jeff Tuel would indeed make his first NFL start for the injured Thad Lewis. (Who did?) Still the undrafted rookie, who had managed the game well in the first half, had the Bills on the Chiefs one yard line with a chance to extend a seven point lead. Then disaster struck.
Tuel made the throw and mistake he couldn't afford to. He had Stevie Johnson wide open in the endzone when he forced a throw to T.J. Graham. Sean Smith made the interception and returned it 100 yards for the KC TD. You could feel the energy get sucked out of the stadium. The 14 point swing tied the game at 10.
"It was zero coverage all out. 100 percent my fault, something I've got to see. I can't do that. We've got to finish with a kick no matter what, whether it's an extra point or a touchdown or a field goal", said Tuel after the game. "Situationally do you question the play call? No. Do you question the execution of it? Yes", said Marrone.
Tuel finished 18 of 39 for 229 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown. I credit Bills offensive coordinator Nate Hackett for not playing it conservative with the rookie. Tuel took several shots down the field. His best pass of the day was the 59 yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin. "Did Jeff play well enough for us to win? At times. At times he didn't", said Marrone. The head coach also acknowledged that Thad Lewis wasn't close to being ready to play on Sunday. With EJ Manuel still on the mend Tuel may be in line for another start at Pittsburgh.
-It was great to see C.J. Spiller return to form. Spiller was held out of the game in New Orleans with a sprained ankle. It looks like the rest did him well. Spiller's 61-yard run in the third quarter was the Bills longest play from scrimmage on the year. He finished with 116 yards rushing. Its the 8th time in his career that Spiller has gone over the 100 yard mark. Fred Jackson added his usual punch with 77 yards rushing.
-Doug Marrone dropped to 0-for-4 on challenges for the season. Marquise Goodwin made a spectacular play in the fourth quarter when he appeared to haul in a 40 yard completion from Tuel but officials ruled that he dropped the ball. I have no idea what constitutes a catch is anymore. Watching replays in the press box it appeared to me that Goodwin had control of the ball against his helmet before it eventually popped out. After a review the call on the field was upheld. The Bills lost a timeout. "I thought it was a catch all the way", said Marrone. "I really did. I saw him bounce; I saw it in his hand. I struggle sometimes. I'd love for someone to tell me what the definition of a catch is.", Marrone continued
-Credit the Bills offensive line in keeping Tuel clean on Sunday. The Bills held the Chiefs without a sack. The Chiefs entered the game leading the league with 36 sacks on the year. Bills OT Cordy Glenn facing Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali was our "Matchup to Watch" for week nine on "Bills All-Access Live". Hali had nine on the year fellow LB Justin Houston had 11.
-The Bills defense did it's part. The unit held the Chiefs without an offensive touchdown and did a nice job holding running back Jamal Charles in check. Bills CB Stephon Gilmore had a busy afternoon. The Chiefs seemed determined to test Gilmore and his repaired wrist. Gilmore covered Dwayne Bowe for most of the day. Bowe was targeted 12 times and hauled in 7 catches for 67 yards. His longest reception was 12 yards. Kyle WIlliams continues to impress.