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Autopsy Report: Bills’ win at KC keeps hope alive

Photo of CB Tre’Davious White from ESPN.com.

Expect the unexpected.

It’s a message I’ve been writing since the beginning of the NFL season and it’s turning out to be a prescient one so far. Just when you think you can stick a fork in the Buffalo Bills, they keep playoff hopes alive by squeaking past the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

After three humiliating beatdowns, the Bills defense decided enough was enough. They did just enough to help Tyrod Taylor (19-of-29, 183 yds, one TD) and the offense by holding the Chiefs to only 55 net rushing yards. Although the stat sheet was relatively unimpressive overall, the Bills managed to do just enough to keep the Chiefs previously potent offense from resurrecting itself.

So now the Bills find themselves at 6-5 and holding on to the last wild card berth in the AFC, at least for one day. BillsMafia should cheer on the Houston Texans tonight (4-6) over the Baltimore Ravens who are sitting at 5-5.

Will the real Buffalo Bills please stand up? Where do we go from here? Are the Bills the 5-2 team we saw a few weeks ago, or are they the team that was shredded by the Jets, Saints and Chargers?

The answer will likely come this Sunday at New Era Field when the New England Patriots and their obnoxious fan base show up for the first of their two December meetings. The Bills will need to bring their best effort and find a way to use Tom Brady as a tackling dummy if they hope to have a chance to beat them in Orchard Park.

Let’s take a look at some areas of concern and of course… some reasons for optimism as we move into the December push for the playoffs (at least for another week).

Areas of concern

Photo of WR Kelvin Benjamin from buffalobills.com.

  • With Kelvin Benjamin out with a torn meniscus, the Bills will have to find a way to get some productivity out of the passing game to have a chance against the Patriots. And… you know Bills fans will be anxious to see how Stephon Gilmore performs. [EDIT: just noticed a comment from Sean McDermott that Benjamin does NOT have a torn meniscus… will follow this]
  • Cordy Glenn’s status. The Bills running game seems to be more effective when Glenn’s in the lineup and his absence for most of the season does not bode well for his future in Buffalo. Dawkins appears to be holding his own most of the time, but Belichick knows how to rattle the rookies.
  • After a decent sample size, offensive play-calling has the distinct odor of Dick Jauron’s “playing not to lose” strategy. This Bills offense has yet to function with any sort of rhythm all season and that does not bode well for a positive outcome vs. the Patriots.
  • The underutilization of Charles Clay remains puzzling. With only one knee he/we can count on, maybe it’s his last season in a Bills uniform? He’s getting paid like a guy who should see Travis Kelce type numbers in terms of receptions, but has never been utilized heavily in game plans. Go figure.

Reasons for optimism

Buffalo Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines (28) is fouled for hitting Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West (35) in the fourth quarter at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City,MO. on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. (James P. McCoy / Buffalo News)

  • E.J. Gaines. He tops my list of reasons for optimism this week because all he ever does is tackle like a maniac. His seven solo and one assist led the Bills in tackles for the game. There is a noticeable drop in overall performance on defense when he’s not in the line up. The Bills desperately need him to stay healthy the rest of the way if they hope to make a playoff push.
  • Zay Jones is about to break out and show why McDermott coveted him in the draft. His touchdown reception on Sunday was a thing of beauty and just the medicine he needs to propel his game to the next level. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Zay Jones burn Stephon Gilmore a few times?
  • Travaris Cadet. Who? The 28 year-old recently acquired running back ran for 28 yards on six carries, and although that may not seem impressive, it was how he bobbed and weaved his way to get there that caught my eye. Cadet has decent hands, and is much more like LeSean McCoy with more speed and elusiveness than Mike Tolbert. I believe Cadet’s earned the RB2 position based on his performance against the Chiefs.

Like many seasons’ past, it’s anyone’s guess which Bills team will show up to play the Patriots at New Era Field on Sunday. We’ve been down this road so many times it’s second nature to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Editor’s babble: Living for the eventual demise of Tom Brady and the Patriots* is our common bond. Even the seemingly immortal Brady will eventually decay… and not a moment too soon as far as the BillsMafia FAMbase is concerned. If you can stand sappy and snarky, I’m on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.


The views and opinions expressed on this website blog are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Buffalo FAMbase, Inc., and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Robyn Mundy

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She’s a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor.

Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

7 thoughts on “Autopsy Report: Bills’ win at KC keeps hope alive

  1. Good morning……..

    The 3 loses in a row sent me into shell shock. Watching some of the other playoff bound teams the Vikings, Rams, Steelers, Pats, etc I can’t see how the Bills would compete if the get into round 1. If they were 7-4 or 8-3 I would be excited… Now, I just want to see the Bills land a top college QB coming out of the draft.

    Joma and Steve have mentioned in the past how they are sick of the 7-9, 8-8 records that get us nowhere. I’m with them on this season, we need to be drafting in the top 5-7. We’ve seen to many mediocre seasons where we came out of the draft’s with so so talent…

    It is tough to be a Bills fan—the question is to we cheer for them to make the playoffs or for them to lose to draft a QB.

  2. I wish the Bills would have went with my crazy proposal I was talking about at our previous home (guest house?) before the draft…take Deshaun Watson with the understanding that if he didn’t look like a stud in his first year, and they were still in position to draft a QB early this upcoming draft, to just draft another 1st round QB, back to back, and then have them fight for the job. As it’s played out, Watson looks to have good potential and the Bills look like they’re not going to be in very good position to draft a QB early. They have to start taking QBs when they have the chance and keep doing it until they’re set. I was okay putting it off a year, but then they needed to go legit rebuild mode. Them being idiots and trying to win now and later equals more of the same now and later…not great and not terrible…mediocre…Billsy.

    For this year, they’ve already won too much to be in any position to draft a top prospect QB shy of moving up…but what I fear and can just about guarantee will happen, they’ll win a couple more AND miss the playoffs…and be drafting in the middle again.

    • That was a good scenario. I’m also in the boat of drafting a QB every year until one pans out. Enough of taking teams backups and trying to make them a starter.

      Here’s a very sad stat, Brady needs two more TD’s to surpass Ryan Fitzpatrick with the most TD’s thrown in RWS/New Era Field…that’s truly embarrassing!

  3. they can break the playoff drought this year and that is what i want them to do.
    breaking through that boundary is a big deal for the team even if they are not fully competitive yet.
    success breeds success and the opposite is just as true.

  4. I think it would be helpful to break the stigma the drought brings to the organization…but if the people running the show legitimately know what they’re doing, it honestly shouldn’t matter. But I would rather they make it than win 7, 8, 9 games and miss. I’d rather they have just went 1-15 and gotten a QB, though… That woulda been much more valuable than a playoff appearance by fortunate circumstance.

  5. Good morning…

    I’m over the 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 (on occasion) teams as they never take the next step to the next level.. They have to over pay for free agents and the drafting has been so -so in the 9 to 12 slots. Even when they drafted 3rd they really wanted Von Miller but he was taken 2n, they got Dareus who was excellent for a couple of years got the big contract an went into lazy mode… Sammy at # 4 was always injured and now both are gone!!

    BTW Dareus didn’t play last week.