It is safe to say that neither the Kansas City Chiefs nor the Buffalo Bills felt they would be coming into this week’s matchup off the kind of results they experienced the week before.
The Chiefs did not expect to get beaten on their home field by the Las Vegas Raiders. And the Bills didn’t think they would get their heads handed to them by a Tennessee Titans team that had not even been practicing together.
But here they are, and it’s strange circumstances, as their regularly-scheduled Thursday encounter now becomes a Monday sunset game. Somebody gets an advantage with this, and we’ll discuss it. game time is 5 PM ET at Bills Stadium. And it’s on FOX.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at BUFFALO BILLS, 5 PM ET
BetAnySports NFL Line: Chiefs -5, Total 56.5
The Bills are a home underdog at “The Ralph,” as apparently they haven’t been able to secure naming rights for their own facility. Is this a similar situation to the 49ers, who had come off an embarrassing loss and then got points from the Rams? Well, there’s that possibility.
More than likely not. Let’s give you some of the skinny on this matchup.
The team that blitzes more frequently on dropbacks than any other team in the league is the Pittsburgh Steelers, at 48.8%. Then comes the Baltimore Ravens (44.5%). After that, it’s the Bills, who have the blitz on 40.6% of the time the quarterback drops. Buffalo has only “hurried” the QB 4.8% of the time, which is very low, and only three teams have a lower pressure percentage than they have achieved. In other words, these blitzes haven’t been all that helpful.
But it’s the way they play. It’s their philosophy.
So it will be interesting to see how it all works against a quarterback who makes a habit of beating blitzes. Patrick Mahomes has a passer rating of 126.1 when facing a blitz; and he averages 11.1 yards per attempt in those situations. If you want a larger sample, last season his rating was 115.2, and he did not throw an interception in 106 attempts. In fact, through his career thus far, Mahomes has thrown for 10.5 yards an attempt with 21 touchdowns and NO interceptions when blitzed.
So we will see how all that works out for Buffalo.
We thought we’d see the Bills run the ball a little more frequently this season. But they’ve done it only 37.4% of the time. It looks like they are using the threat of the run to promote the idea of advancing through the air with play action. For that to work best you should be able to have success with it, but the Bills have gained only 3.8 yards per carry. Devin Singletary is down from 5.1 ypc last year to 3.9.
We say some of this because no quarterback has had more passing yards through play action than Josh Allen’s 728. And that is good for 9.7 per throw. So we know how Buffalo would like to threaten KC in this regard, and they just might, because the Chiefs are allowing five yards a carry.
But if there is something that is the surprise, it’s that the Bills have underperformed on defense, relative to expectations. They are in the lower half of the NFL as far as allowing yards per drive, and there have only been a handful of teams that have been more permissive in the red zone (allowing 71.4% TD’s in red zone trips).
Yes, Buffalo seeks redemption. But we’re still really surprised that Tennessee, which had practiced only once in a couple of weeks, would lay 42 points on them. Turning around from a Tuesday game to put together a game plan for Mahomes is a big task. Andy Reid is an ATS road warrior; a 66% proposition with Kansas City. True, the Chiefs don’t have Sammy Watkins. But the Bills could be blitzing themselves into oblivion here. KANSAS CITY
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