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Bills defense struggles to contain Chiefs' running game

Chiefs Bills Football
Posted at 9:47 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 21:47:18-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — What some of the Bills' players had called "uncharacteristic" after a few weeks has become a trend through six games. Despite containing former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes (226 pass yards, 2 TD), it was Kansas City's running game that gashed Buffalo.

"That's the dynamic offense that you play against," Bills safety Micah Hyde said. "We knew that they could take the top off. We feel like we did well not allowing them to take the top off, but the running game's just another part of their game as well."

Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 161 yards on 26 carries. The rest of the Chiefs' offense chipped in 84 yards. Kansas City's rushing total (225) surpassed Buffalo's total offensive yardage (206).

The latest instance of a porous run defense comes less than a week after Titans running back Derrick Henry was held to three yards per carry in a 42-16 loss. In the last two weeks, it hasn't been the primary option for Bills opponents that hurts them.

"Now we just have to go out and play a complete game. It's playing 60 minutes understanding that if we're going to take away what they do best, they're going to answer," defensive end Jerry Hughes said.

Kansas City ran the ball 46 times against the Bills. That mark is the most that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has ever called in a single game.

But there's no need to hit the panic button on the whole team. The Bills are 4-2 and two of their toughest tests of the season are now behind them. The players know they need to work to correct the run defense, but they're not concerned either.

"We just understand that it's a long season," Poyer said. "Obviously it's the defending Super Bowl champs, but it's also just one defeat... Obviously you wish you could have some plays back, but you can't."

Another contribution to the porous run defense could've been the absence of Trent Murphy and Harrison Phillips from the game day roster. Former practice squad members Justin Zimmer and Bryan Cox, Jr. took their place.

"Those two are good players. Just wanted to take a look at some other guys and who have practiced well and see if we could change things up a little bit," McDermott said. "We may come back to those guys next week."

Even though it'll get them back on a normal schedule, the Bills have a shortened week to make those adjustments. They play the New York Jets at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The last time the two teams played in Week 1, the Bills held the Jets to 52 rushing yards. You'd be hard pressed to find a better opportunity for the front seven to get back on track.

"Up front, we have to figure out how we can stop the running game," Hughes said. "Because it's going to be a long year if we can't."

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