Chiefs 23

(9-0, 4-0 away)

Bills 13

(3-6, 2-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 3, 2013

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
KC 0 3 10 1023
BUF 7 3 3 013

Top Performers

Passing: J. Tuel (BUF) - 229 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: C. Spiller (BUF) - 12 CAR, 116 YDS

Receiving: D. Bowe (KC) - 7 REC, 67 YDS

Chiefs improve to 9-0 thanks to opportunistic defense against Bills

Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was exhausted after he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.

"I was definitely happy I made it," Smith said. "I wanted to celebrate, but I was too tired."

That's fine, because the Chiefs are suddenly breathing easier after their defense kept Kansas City's perfect start intact.

Smith's interception and linebacker Tamba Hali's 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown aided the Chiefs in overcoming a pedestrian offense and their own leaky defense in securing a 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Kansas City (9-0) remained the NFL's only undefeated team and matched the best start in franchise history set in 2003. The Chiefs now enter their bye week before a key AFC West showdown against the Denver Broncos (7-1) on Nov. 17.

If the only thing perfect about the Chiefs is their record so far, coach Andy Reid refuses to make any apologies.

"We're not going to make excuses for it," said Reid, who in his first year has the Chiefs continuing their worst-to-first run after a 2-14 finish last season. "We're pretty happy that we got the touchdowns. We'll take them any way we can get them."

The Chiefs' defense led the way, outscoring the Alex Smith-led offense, which was limited to three field goals. And the defense had to compensate for its own problems in having difficulty containing a Buffalo offense headed by Jeff Tuel, an undrafted rookie making his first career start.

Despite allowing a season-worst 470 yards of offense and 25 first downs, the Chiefs were opportunistic in holding their ninth consecutive opponent to 17 points or less to match an NFL record set by the 1977 Atlanta Falcons.

Smith's interception turned the momentum, tying the score at 10 after Tuel had marched the Bills 79 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Hali then put the Chiefs ahead for good by scooping up T.J. Graham's fumble -- forced by cornerback Marcus Cooper -- and running it in to put Kansas City ahead 20-13 with 12:47 left.

"We don't really care what people think," Hali said of the Chiefs' victories lacking style points. "Sometimes the stats don't really tell you the outcome."

Tell that to the Bills (3-6), who were left stunned and frustrated in attempting to figure out how they let this one slip away.

"Horrible," offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. "It was shocking even to our guys. We did everything we wanted. We just couldn't finish it."

The difference was turnovers, as the Chiefs turned Buffalo's three giveaways -- two interceptions thrown by Tuel and Graham's fumble -- into 17 points.

The loss marred what began as a solid outing by Tuel, who became the third quarterback to start for Buffalo this season. He played in place of interim starter Thad Lewis, who was sidelined by bruised ribs, and with rookie starter EJ Manuel missing his fourth game with a sprained right knee.

Tuel's 139 yards passing in the first half were the most by a Bills quarterback in the first two quarters this season. And Tuel was in a position to improve his numbers after marching Buffalo to the Kansas City 1 on the opening drive of the second half before his day went awry.

Facing third-and-goal, Tuel took a shotgun snap, and looked immediately to his right, where Graham was running a slant pattern. Tuel, however, failed to account for Smith, who easily picked off the pass at the goal line and then took off up the left sideline.

"It's very frustrating," Tuel said. "That's 100 percent my fault."

Tuel finished 18 of 39 for 229 yards passing, and a 59-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin.

For Kansas City, Smith completed 19 of 29 passes for just 124 yards. Running back Jamaal Charles was held under 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time this season.

Kansas City also snapped a six-game losing streak at Orchard Park that included two playoff losses, winning there for the first time since Sept. 28, 1986.

Game notes

Bills WR Robert Woods did not return after having difficulty putting any weight on his lower leg late in the third quarter. Coach Doug Marrone said tests were negative. ... Chiefs S Kendrick Lewis also had an interception, picking off Tuel's pass that sailed over the head of TE Scott Chandler in the second quarter. ... The Bills ran all over the Chiefs' defense in finishing with a season-best 241 yards rushing. Buffalo was led by C.J. Spiller, who had 116 yards rushing.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1525
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5477
Total Yards210470
Yards per play3.96.1
Total Drives1012
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs20

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

bufTD1:59Marquise Goodwin 59 Yard Pass From Jeff Tuel (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 88 yds, 2:10
kcFG7:34Ryan Succop 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 32 yds, 4:19
bufFG1:50Dan Carpenter 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 71 yds, 5:43
kcTD11:14Sean Smith 100 Yard Interception Return (Ryan Succop Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yds, 4:02
kcFG4:02Ryan Succop 41 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 2:46
bufFG0:23Dan Carpenter 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 68 yds, 3:37
kcTD12:55Tamba Hali 11 Yard Fumble Return (Ryan Succop Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, -2 yds, 1:23
kcFG2:18Ryan Succop 39 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 32 yds, 4:15

Research Notes

Sean Smith: 100-yard interception return for TD. That is tied for the 2nd-longest interception returned for a TD in the history of the Chiefs. It is their longest since a 100-yard TD return by Tim Collier against the Raiders in 1977, Week 14. The only one longer was a 102-yard TD return by Gary Barabaro against the Seahawks in 1977, Week 13.
The Chiefs now have as many wins this season as they did the previous 2 years combined and have gone from averaging almost an 11-point loss per game to nearly a dozen-point victory every Sunday.
Marquise Goodwin joins Victor Cruz and Dez Bryant as the only players to record a 50+ yd Rec vs Chiefs this season. Goodwin's 59-yd Rec TD is the 2nd-longest Rec TD allowed by the Chiefs this season (Victor Cruz - 69-yd Rec TD in Week 4).
All the scoring the Chiefs needed came from the defense. Kansas City had two defensive touchdowns in the game, becoming the fourth team to score multiple defensive touchdowns in a game this season (those teams are 4-0). The Chiefs' defense and special teams units have scored seven touchdowns this season, as many as the Jaguars total team.
C.J. Spiller finished with a season-high 155 yards from scrimmage Sunday, including season highs in rushing yards (116) and rush yards after contact (64). Spiller averaged 57 yards from scrimmage per game in his seven games played this season, and his five first downs on Sunday were half of his season total entering Week 9.
Alex Smith had a 30.5 Total QBR in a win, his 4th win this season with a Total QBR of less than 40 (most in the NFL).
The Chiefs' defense scored 2 touchdowns Sunday, to the offense's zero. Although the Chiefs' defense hasn't outscored the offense in points this season, using expected points added shows how it has contributed more to the team's success.
The Sean Smith interception return TD was the second pick-six of at least 100 yards since the start of last season. Arizona's Greg Toler had a 102-yard interception return TD against Matthew Stafford in Week 15 last year.
The Jeff Tuel-to-Marquise Goodwin touchdown was Buffalo's third TD pass on a throw at least 30 yards downfield this season. Only the Seahawks and Saints have more (four).
From Elias: Jeff Tuel will be the fifth undrafted FA rookie QB to start in the last 20 years and first since Max Hall for the Cardinals in 2010.
Today marks the 2nd time this season that the Chiefs trail at halftime; trailed 10-7 vs Cowboys in Week 2 (went on to win). Today also marks the fewest 1st half points (3) by the Chiefs this season. Entering today's game, the Chiefs outscored their opponents 108-52 in the 1st half.
Jamaal Charles leads the Chiefs in rushing and receiving, accounting for 37% of the team's yards from scrimmage. No other Chiefs player has counted for more than 14% of the team's yards.

ESPN Stats & Information