3 – Bombs away again?
Buffalo’s passing game had been largely kept under wraps from Week 2 through Week 4 as the opposing defenses made heavy use of a Cover two shell to keep everything in the Bills passing game in front of them. It forced the Bills to utilize more of a short to intermediate passing game to move the ball and get in scoring range. That changed in Week 5 when Buffalo took advantage of an injury-riddled Pittsburgh secondary.
Kansas City’s secondary doesn’t have quite the same injury list for their defensive backfield but starting CB Rashad Fenton is suffering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice the last two days. Rookie first-round pick CB Trent McDuffie may return from injured reserve from a hamstring injury this week. But if Fenton can’t play on Sunday, the Chiefs may be forced to start a pair of rookie corners in McDuffie and seventh-round pick Jaylen Watson.
Healthy or not, with the return of Isaiah McKenzie to the lineup and the emergence of rookie Khalil Shakir last week, Buffalo’s passing game could do some big-play damage again on Sunday.
“Just watching the Raiders attack Kansas City last week and then watching what Buffalo did to Pittsburgh… I’ve never seen Buffalo attack like that,” said Baldinger. “They went after Levi Wallace repeatedly from the first series of the game. And then Levi gets an interception in the end zone against Gabe Davis. It was a great play. And then Buffalo gets the ball back and the very next play they go right after Levi Wallace for a 62-yard touchdown. They never stopped attacking in that game.
“And if you watch what the Raiders did, with Davante Adams, they threw five deep shots to Davante Adams against Kansas City. He had two touchdowns and he had two defensive pass interference penalties on deep shots. I’d go after these corners and safeties in Kansas City and let my guys go. I saw the little protection scheme they had last week back there next to Josh just making sure that he had a chance to really launch a missile down the field. So, I think this is just going to be bombs away from a Buffalo standpoint.”
Buffalo set a team record last week averaging 10.22 yards per play, which was the third-highest single-game per play average in league history. They also averaged 12 yards a pass play. Will Kansas City’s defensive scheme allow the Bills to take similar shots down the field?
The Chiefs’ defense is more than aware of Buffalo’s firepower.
“The pass game for sure,” said Chiefs LB Darius Harris when asked what stands out about the Bills offense. “They have athletes at the quarterback position, receiver, running back – overall the running game and passing game. They have a very good team, so just making sure we’re on top of our things.”