Inside Bils Report: Game 8

Never has the bye week come at a more opportune time for the Bills. True, they have an extra week to stew over their miserable 38-5 loss to Kansas City. However, they need a break, and they need the full two weeks to take stock of themselves and try to figure out how they went from being a playoff contender to a playoff pretender in a month's time.

INSIDE SLANT:

The Bills have come unglued in every phase, especially on the road where they have now been outscored 85-15 in their last three games away from Ralph Wilson Stadium - at Miami, at the Jets and at Kansas City.

"That's embarrassing," defensive tackle Sam Adams said of the performance in Kansas City. "If you don't execute, you don't play your proper techniques, you can get blown out like we did. We got our butts whipped, plain and simple. You can't win giving up 38 points, and you can't win scoring five."

What was so disturbing for the Bills is the way the defense folded against the Chiefs. This was supposed to be the area that general manager Tom Donahoe had shored up through seemingly excellent work in the free agent market. So much was expected of Adams, linebackers Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey, and safety Lawyer Milloy. Given the loss of wide receiver Peerless Price on offense, the Bills were supposed to be a team that would win games on defense this season, but it hasn't happened.

The first two games the defense played well, but it didn't need to because the offense put up 68 points in wins over New England and Jacksonville. In the 17-7 loss to Miami, the defense played pretty well, but that was the first opportunity to win a game where the offense was struggling, and it failed.

Ditto for the loss to Philadelphia. The win over Cincinnati was a shared effort, and a rather lackluster one at that, and then came two defensive meltdowns in a 30-3 loss to the Jets and this latest 38-5 debacle against the Chiefs. The only truly solid defensive performance that came in a game that was reasonably close was in the 24-7 win over Washington. Still, that one had warts because the Redskins are inept right now with quarterback Patrick Ramsey trying to play behind a bad offensive line with no running game support.

"We didn't make enough critical plays, and they made some big plays that put us on our heels," said beleaguered and job-endangered coach Gregg Williams. "We gave up big plays, that's the frustrating thing."

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES:

  • LT Jonas Jennings left the Kansas City game with a hip injury. X-rays taken at Arrowhead Stadium were negative and it is believed that Jennings will be OK to play in Dallas Nov. 9, Buffalo's next game.
  • KR Antonio Brown had a decent night returning kickoffs as he outplayed Kansas City's Dante Hall in that regard. Brown averaged 22.6 yards on seven returns and consistently gave the Bills good field position. He continues to rank last in the league in punt returns, though, as his lone return went for zero yards.
  • RB Sammy Morris returned to action after missing five games due to hernia surgery. Morris saw mop-up duty on offense in the fourth quarter, carrying three times for nine yards, and he resumed his role as the special teams captain but was not credited with a tackle in the kicking game.
  • WR Josh Reed matched his career-high in catches in a game for the second week in a row, grabbing eight, but they went for a meager 59 yards and he lost a fumble in the second quarter that killed a Buffalo scoring threat.
  • QB Alex Van Pelt certainly isn't making a strong case to take over for struggling starter Drew Bledsoe. Van Pelt has entered two games in mop-up duty and has attempted seven passes. Three he completed to his teammates, and three he completed to the opposition. He has a QB rating of 13.7.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "We knew they were a wide open offense. They lived and died on big plays and unfortunately, we didn't stop anything." -- Cornerback Antoine Winfield on the poor defensive performance.

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