The Buffalo Bills are desperate.
Buffalo enters its game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday needing a win to stay in contention for one of the AFC’s two Wild Card spots. The Bills (5-5) are coming off a tough 20-13 loss to New England on Monday night and is currently in eighth place in the playoff race — behind Pittsburgh (6-4), Kansas City (5-5) and Houston Texans (5-5). Buffalo has not made the playoffs since 1999.
Mike Rodak of ESPN reports that the Bills enter their third straight road game pretty banged up and to make matters worse they announced today that defensive tackle Kyle Williams will miss the rest of the season and defensive end Mario Williams will miss Sunday’s game.
Kyle Williams was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, according to the Buffalo News, due to a knee injury. He is expected to undergo surgery in the near future to repair a “meniscal issue” that never really healed enough that he could return.
Williams originally suffered the injury in a 34-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals (Oct. 18) and was hopeful he could put off surgery until after the season. However, after five and a half weeks, Williams realized he was far from being football ready and therefore opted for surgery now.
“We hoped it could be something we could put off,” Williams said, “and I could get through the year and help our team through treatment. How likely that was? I don’t know. We tried to exhaust all options and cling to as much hope as you can.”
Prior to getting injured, the 6-foot-1, 303-pounder was playing well as he clogged the middle for the Bills. Williams finished the campaign with 14 tackles and one sack.
On Friday, head coach Rex Ryan announced that Taylor ” is ready to roll,” while also saying that Mario Williams could miss the Bills game against Houston next week as well. Taylor (shoulder) and Williams (foot) both were injured against New England last week. The good news is that Williams’ injury is not believed to be season-ending.
Williams has struggled this season, registering just three sacks after hitting double digits the previous three seasons.
Reserve wide receiver Marcus Easley (concussion) and guard John Miller (ankle) also have been ruled out for the Chiefs game. In the meantime, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (knee) and safety Baccardi Rambo (shoulder) are listed as probable but are expected to play.
The loss of Miller, who has started all eight games he has appeared in, really hurts a Bills’ offensive line that has given up 29 sacks this season. Easley has one catch for 58-yards and a touchdown but his value is really as a “gunner” on special teams.
Corbin Bryant has been filling in for Kyle Williams and will likely continue to do so. Bryant has recorded 23 tackles this season. Also, Keith Urbik will start in place of Miller and Alex Carrington will likely start in Mario Williams place.
The Bills made several costly mistakes against the Patriots but played well overall after playing extremely well in their previous two games; a 22-17 victory over New York Jets and a 33-17 victory over Miami.
Buffalo will look to run on the Chiefs as the Bills have one of the best running attacks in the NFL (137.5 yards a game). Buffalo features one of the best 1-2 running back combos with LeSean McCoy, who has been on a tear lately, and rookie Karlos Williams.
McCoy has run for 306 yards the past three games, recording 100-yard performances against the Jets and Dolphins. The 27-year old veteran is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and also has 24 receptions. Williams has struggled the past two games, rolling up 34 yards on 13 carries though he is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and five touchdowns.
Even though Taylor has played very well this year, the Bills are No. 29 in passing yards (202.8 yards per game). They are also No. 9 in the league with 24.2 points a contest.
Defensively, Buffalo has been a disappointment this season particularly up front. The Bills have recorded just 15 sacks (No. 29) but allow 24.4 points a game, which is 14th fewest.
Kansas City has won four straight, surrendering just 39 points over the past four games. The Chiefs have also been putting a ton of points up during their win streak (130). Overall, KC is No. 6 in scoring (25.6) and No. 8 is rushing yards with 120.9 per game. Defensively, the Chiefs surrender 19.8 points a game (No. 9).
Buffalo is 3-2 on the road this season. Following their clash with the Chiefs, the Bills host Houston before traveling to Philadelphia and Washington. Buffalo closes out the season versus Dallas and then against the New York Jets at home.