On Sunday afternoon, the Bills outgained the visiting Chiefs 470-210. The Chiefs’ offense didn’t manage a single touchdown, and it converted just 3-of-13 third downs.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs prevailed 24-14, running their record to 9-0.
Here was a case of big plays tilting the game in one team’s favor. The Chiefs made several of them on defense, scoring on Sean Smith’s 100-yard third-quarter interception return and Tamba Hali’s 11-yard fourth-quarter fumble return. Earlier in the contest, a Kendrick Lewis interception set up a Chiefs field goal.
By the numbers, the Chiefs’ defense has had better days. Buffalo rushed for 241 yards on 38 carries. Also, Tuel connected with Marquise Goodwin on a 59-yard TD pass early in the game.
In the end, though, the Chiefs’ defense won the battles it needed to win for Kansas City to stay undefeated. Yes, the Chiefs were probably fortunate to face the Bills in Tuel’s first NFL start; after a nice start, Tuel completed just 18-of-39 passes for 229 yards.
Still, there’s something to be said for teams that make plays when they are there to be made. The Chiefs did it Sunday, and they won the game. For today, at least, that outweighs the ugliness of some elements of the box score.