ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- We’ve seen this one before: The Kansas City Chiefs and their high-pressure defense going against a quarterback seemingly ill-equipped to handle it. The Buffalo Bills seem likely to start undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel at quarterback against the Chiefs Sunday, so a flood of sacks and turnovers will follow, right?
That’s not how it’s worked out for the Chiefs in either of the past two games against quarterbacks that logic says should have been overmatched. The Chiefs had to fight and scratch well into the fourth quarter to secure victories against the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns and their backup quarterbacks.
The Chiefs could make things happen against Buffalo’s quarterback Sunday, but it’s foolish at this point to count on it happening. But either way, the Kansas City defense can be counted on to play well, at least well enough to keep the Chiefs close against a 3-5 opponent.
As usual, it’s on the other side of the ball where the intrigue rests. The Chiefs, after productive first halves against the Texans and Browns, managed just a field goal in each second half. They face similar matchup problems against a strong Buffalo front that includes premier players in Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.
The Chiefs might make their share of plays against the Bills, who have allowed them at a rapid rate this season. But there’s nothing in these matchups that suggests the Chiefs will be able to bust out of their rut and put together two solid offensive halves.
Things might get messy again for the Chiefs. In fact, if you’re counting on anything Sunday, count on that. But they’ve survived other such messy battles this year and they should do so against a talented if underachieving opponent.
Prediction: Chiefs 20, Bills 13