Re-Focused: Week 8, Bills at Chiefs

| November 1, 2010

So close, yet so far for a Bills team that is looking anything but one that should be winless right now.

But they are. And there’s little comfort in being better than their record. The offense isn’t doing enough, and their defense is reliant on one player who is having an absolutely massive season.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs keep on winning, overcoming some mistakes to score a much-needed win with their rivals in the AFC West also victorious. They say the mark of a good team is winning when you’re not at your best, so perhaps the Chiefs are that.

Bills: Three performances of note

We hate to single a guy out week-in, week-out, but we can’t ignore the abomination of a performance from Cord Howard (-9.6). You won’t see many worse displays in pass protection, as the Chiefs pass rushers abused him on 12 of 59 dropbacks. He gave up three sacks, two quarterback hits and a further seven pressures. Ouch. Does he have something against Ryan Fitzpatrick? Whatever the reason for his struggles, he simply shouldn’t be starting now.

And since we’re already repeating ourselves, how about some more love for the excellent Kyle Williams (+6.9)? There may not be a better defensive tackle in the league at the moment, with Williams doing everything well. He owned the Chiefs’ interior, picking up two sacks, a hit and a pressure while being responsible for an incredible six defensive stops in a dominating display. A Pro Bowl-type season.

And while we’re talking about reasons to be happy, how about what Drayton Florence (+3.0 coverage rating) was able to do? The Chiefs went after Florence six times but were only able to complete one pass for 1 yard. What’s more, Florence was able to break up three passes. That’s the Buffalo secondary play we’ve been expecting.

Chiefs: Three performances of note

It’s hard not to talk about the excellence of Tamba Hali (+5.7) with another huge day, but we’re going to give him the week off. Instead we’re diverting our attention to rookie Eric Berry (+3.3) for the second week in a row. Berry is really starting to come of age after a shaky start, making four defensive stops, racking up a couple of pressures and picking up another interception. A few weeks ago he looked lost, but now he’s starting to look at home.

Another example of why Jamaal Charles (+4.6) is one of the league’s top running backs. He finds gaps that don’t seem to exist and just hits the hole with such authority he’s past defenders before they can do anything about it. Any time he gets the ball in his hands, you think something is going to happen.

If there was a disappointing performance, it was that of Mike Vrabel (-1.1). He got moved about in the run game, generated just one quarterback hit and lost his spot in passing situations to Andy Studebaker (+2.1). It will be interesting to monitor if Studebaker (who finished with a sack, hit and two pressures on the day) gets a larger role in the defense.

Rookie report

Cornerback Javier Arenas (+2.0) had a good day. He broke up a pass and only allowed 4.8 yards per attempt in his direction. … Kendrick Lewis (+1.2) didn’t have much to do playing so deep but acquitted himself well for the most part. … Jon Asamoah (-0.8) had some difficulties but was far from embarrassed. … TE Tony Moeaki (+2.7) caught everything thrown his way and was an asset in the run game. His season is good by any standards, not just a rookie. … Verran Tucker (-0.5) got 28 snaps but couldn’t catch either of the balls thrown his way.

C.J. Spiller (-0.9) isn’t making an immediate impact, and almost lost a fumble. … David Nelson (-0.4) caught three balls but was unable to do anything after the catch. … Arthur Moats (+0.1) picked up a pressure on one of his 13 pass rushes. … When Torell Troup (-0.5) got on the field, he really didn’t do much.

Random note

In most games you at least get one quarterback kneel-down. In this game of five quarters, there were none. … Bryan Scott missed two tackles and only made one. He was responsible for half of the Bills’ missed tackles on his 16 snaps.

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