With 2017 in the books following a fairly surprising playoff berth, we look back at the season and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined the game. Your Week 12 match-up:
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Fans of the Buffalo Bills had endured a three-game stretch that saw a historic amount of points. Scored by their opponents. At 5-5 the season was slipping away. Quarterback controversy was in full swing after Nathan Peterman’s disastrous first NFL start. Up next were the Kansas City Chiefs on their infamous home turf. While the Chiefs had been sputtering of late, early talk of Super Bowl dreams weren’t that far in the rear-view. A nervous fan base looked on with crossed fingers.
Buffalo turned back to Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but it wasn’t a team simply reverting to what had worked earlier in the season. The Bills figured out what was wrong on defense and committed to a nickel scheme. Fully committed you could say, as Leonard Johnson joined Tre’Davious White and E.J. Gaines at cornerback for all 58 defensive snaps. The Bills harassed Alex Smith and the Chiefs all day with their secondary, strangling a 16-10 victory out of Kansas City.
Zay Jones touchdown (Q1, 1:36)
Tyrod Taylor gives himself plenty of space and allows the play to develop. As Zay Jones and Jordan Matthews work in the end zone, Jones comes open for his second touchdown of the year. This score put the Bills on the board first. Though this would be the only touchdown for Buffalo, methodical play would get them within field goal range repeatedly throughout the day and burned 33 minutes of play time.
Matt Milano tackle (Q1, 0:05)
The Bills held the Chiefs to 236 yards of total offense and allowed only two conversions on third down. The defense was back! With the first quarter about to close, the Chiefs had yet to earn a first down. Alex Smith took off and tried to make it happen. Matt Milano had other plans.
Stephen Hauschka 56-yard field goal (Q2, 0:09)
Stephen Hauschka would score what would be the last points needed to win the game on the last meaningful play of the second quarter. Minutes before, Hausch-money had a rare miss from 52 yards out. This kick probably would have been good from beyond 60.
Lorenzo Alexander sack (Q3, 5:35)
If you look up the term “coverage sack,” this should be the play that accompanies the definition. Alex Smith drifts further and further back as the secondary of the Bills continues to leave him with nowhere to throw the ball. Lorenzo Alexander has the edge to avoid a scramble and keeps working until he’s freed. By the time it was all said and done, the Chiefs went 16 yards the wrong way.
Tre’Davious White interception (Q4, 1:25)
Alex Smith and Tyrod Taylor made names for themselves in 2017 with incredibly low interception rates. Smith was befuddled all day by the Bills, but had avoided a critical mistake. In the twilight of the game, it was do or die for the Chiefs. This rare mistake from Smith sealed the win for Buffalo. Tre’Davious White shows why he was in the discussion for defensive rookie of the year.