Buffalo Bills Lose Despite Not Giving Up An Offensive Touchdown
This one hurt, if only because they had Kansas City on the ropes. It was 10-3 and the Bills were on the Chief’s two yard line. It was 3rd and goal, the Bills would rush for 241 yards on the day, yet Doug Marrone and his offense coordinator Nathaniel Hackett decided to let an undrafted, rookie free agent quarterback throw a 1 read slant on a side where they had trips formation. 101 yards later, the game was tied 10 -10 and the Bills were done.
That’s what happens when you have a rookie coach, a rookie quarterback and you don’t take a second to step back and look at the long term possibilities. Had they failed to run it in on 3rd down they would have kicked an extra point field goal to make it 13-3. It would have made it a two score game in a game where Kansas City’s offense mustered a whole 9 points on field goals. 3 of those points came after a Jeff Tuel interception in Buffalo’s territory, so you see, the Chiefs couldn’t move the ball.
I told my buddy before the game there were two things going for Buffalo in this game, 1. The game was in Buffalo and 2. Alex Smith doesn’t throw the ball deep and that’s what has burned the Bills all season. They can’t stop the deep ball and every other team took their shots. Alex Smith doesn’t take shots, he takes the check down. And he did, all game. My buddy also pointed out that the Chiefs could be looking past the Bills and towards the Broncos, fair point. All this made this game a perfect storm of reasons the Bills could have sneaked one out at home.
The game was in their hands. They were doing the pushing around, until Marrone and Hackett decided to throw on 3rd and Goal. Here’s my issue: all game, Tuel was given one read. If it’s there, good, if it’s not run around or throw it away. It was pretty simple. On third and goal, the Chiefs guessed right. Buffalo wouldn’t call a play that needed time to develop, they’d do something quick. Tuel had one read – a slant to TJ Graham (again, WHY?) It got picked and the rest is history. Look at this GIF again, do you see Stevie Johnson wide open?
Here’s another one. THROW THE BALL TO STEVIE! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE THROW IT TO STEVIE!!
His guy didn’t even cover him. Had Tuel spent one second using his eyes to see it, he could have floated it to the back of the end zone. Stevie catches it, Buffalo scores a touchdown; Stevie drops it, they still kick a field goal. The Bills NEEDED to score points inside the five yard line. They didn’t and the momentum was lost after that.
And that was a big game. The Bills would have moved to 4-5 with EJ Manuel returning to the field next week against a Steelers team that just got the crap kicked out of them and aren’t very good. Then a rematch with the Jets before a bye and then three weeks of teams that can’t win: Atlanta, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. The playoffs wouldn’t have been that far out of the realm of possibilities. Now at 3-6, they have to go 5-2 the rest of the way just to break even. Going 8-8 probably isn’t making the playoffs and this team had a chance.
P.S. Kansas City, for all the hype about their defense, gave up 470 yards to a team starting Jeff Tuel at quarterback. Just sayin’.