After a disappointing loss last week, the Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to get back on track when they host the struggling Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Both teams are in the middle of the AFC playoff picture despite recent stumbles.
The Chiefs have lost two straight and four of their last five, most recently suffering a 12-9 overtime loss to the woeful New York Giants. The Chiefs still hold a two-game lead over Oakland and the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West, but their defense continues to have trouble and the offense has sputtered after a hot start. Buffalo still is in the running for a wild-card spot but has lost three straight, including back-to-back blowout setbacks against New Orleans and the Chargers. Coach Sean McDermott made the ill-advised move to bench quarterback Tyrod Taylor after the loss to the Saints, and Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions against Los Angeles in his first NFL start.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chiefs -10. O/U: 46.5
ABOUT THE BILLS (5-5): Taylor takes back the reins of the Bills’ offense, which ranks 30th in passing but 11th in rushing. Taylor has thrown 11 touchdown passes and three interceptions, and he pairs with LeSean McCoy (709 rushing yards, four TDs) to form a dangerous ground game, but the Bills want to see him take more chances to open up the air attack. The bigger issue during the three-game skid has been defense’s inability to stop the run – the Bills have allowed 638 rushing yards in their last three games.
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (6-4): Kansas City’s offense looked unstoppable during a 5-0 start, but Pittsburgh provided a blueprint for slowing it down in Week 6, and the Chiefs have been pedestrian on offense ever since. The Chiefs have committed six turnovers in their last three games after having only one giveaway in their first seven contests, and rookie Kareem Hunt has not rushed for 100 yards in his last five games after doing so in four of his first five contests. Kansas City has struggled all around on defense but particularly against the run, holding only one opponent under 100 rushing yards.
1. Chiefs QB Alex Smith has not thrown an interception in his last four home games.
2. McCoy has 352 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in his last three meetings with the Chiefs.
3. The Chiefs signed CB Darrelle Revis on Wednesday to solidify their secondary, but it is unclear whether he will play Sunday.
PREDICTION: Chiefs 26, Bills 17