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Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Rookie review

Rousseau makes plays, Brown surrenders some pressures

The Buffalo Bills staked their claim as the class of the AFC after winning their head-to-head matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs 38-20 in Arrowhead Stadium. The offense thrived on big plays thanks to a dominant offensive line performance and the defense came up with three turnovers to short-circuit several of the Chiefs’ offensive drives. For the second week in a row, a decent portion of Buffalo’s rookie class saw their most action yet and had several notable plays. More about how each rookie performed against Kansas City below.

DE Gregory Rousseau

On the first play of the game, Rousseau pushed tackle Lucas Niang right on his backside, then on the next play he set the edge and dove to tackle and limit Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a two-yard gain. It was that type of day for the rookie, at least against the run. Lost in a performance that also included a sack, a tackle-for-loss on a stretch-run play and a crazy-athletic interception was his dominance against the Chiefs’ rushing attack. Kansas City rarely had success when running to his side. He was a bit more inconsistent against the pass, although that could have been by design, as there were times when the rookie simply refused to try and turn the corner, instead preferring to hand-fight and hold his ground against the offensive tackle. He won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award.

DE Carlos Basham Jr.

Seeing his most snaps of the season, Basham’s initial burst and punch to move upfield was noticeable. His strength at the point of attack was usually enough to get opposing tackles to give ground, but at this point in his career Basham lacks refinement and solid follow-up moves to capitalize on that initial effort. The most notable takeaway from Basham’s performance may have been his effort. The rookie edge rusher wasn’t shy about chasing ball carriers and making tackles down the field.

OT Spencer Brown

It was somewhat of a down game for Brown, who surrendered a handful of pressures in the passing game. Those came in various forms and were for various reasons, including giving up his chest to edge rushers, letting Frank Clark grab hold of his chest and rip him down, not being prepared for a spin move from a blitzer, etc. He had much better snaps when playing the run, thanks to his elite movement skills and ability to target defenders at the second level. Overall it was a mediocre performance, although with few really egregious errors.

OT Tommy Doyle

Despite seeing a handful of snaps on offense last week, Doyle was inactive against the Chiefs.

WR Marquez Stevenson

Stevenson was still listed on IR with a head injury, despite this week being the another one where he could have been activated. It will be worth seeing how long this continues.

S Damar Hamlin

The rookie safety was active this week but did not see the field on defense.

OG Jack Anderson

On September 21, the Eagles signed Anderson to their 53-man roster and off of the Bills’ practice squad.