Red Zone Execution Key for Bills Sunday for Week 5 Clash with Chiefs
Writer: Alex James
Editor: Brandon Caputo
Photo Credit: Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press
The boys are rolling! After another big win, this time vs. the Texans, was a nice consolation prize after the Bills previous meeting and overtime loss against them in the 2019-2020 playoffs. The Bills shutout their opponent for the second time this season, posting a comfortable 40 point victory against a weaker Texans team. The defence was immaculate causing 5 turnovers, wreaking havoc on rookie quarterback Davis Mills and allowing only 109 offensive yards.
Photo Credit: Timothy T Ludwig | Getty Images
While this victory was a celebration for fans on an abysmal rainy Sunday in Buffalo, most of Bills Mafia was already looking ahead the rematch against the current AFC champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year, most fans were happy to just see the Bills win a few playoffs games, but the AFC championship was there for the taking as Buffalo took a 9-0 lead after the first quarter. However, we all know it wasn't meant to be and the Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl while the Bills season ended. This Sunday night rematch comes after the Chiefs got their first win in three games overcoming the Eagles 42-30. Kansas City still has one of the most explosive offences in football (aside from the Bills) who will be up against a stringent Bills defence who have been the focal point of their season thus far.
3 key aspects for the Bills team on Sunday night is “simple”: score touchdowns in the red-zone, limit big plays from Mahomes, Hill & Kelce, and improve on 3rd down, offensively and defensively.
2021 Red Zone Efficiency
Statistics courtesy of teamrankings.com
The Bills were 3-7 in red-zone attempts against the Texans, and have a season average of only 57%, a statistic that needs to improve against the Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs red-zone defence is bottom 5 in the NFL and opponents are scoring a touchdown 78% of the time, which can provide ample opportunity the Bills to get 6 points on drives. In all likelihood, the Bills should have to score at least 4 touchdowns Sunday night to have any chance of winning this game. Because, let’s face it, if Mahomes and the offence have a good game, it’s hard for any team to keep up. Mahomes has 14 touchdowns through the first four games, and a QB rating of 119.
Statistics courtesy of Statmuse.com
Tyreek Hill is averaging over 15 yards a reception and is the biggest wideout threat, while Kelce is just behind him with an average of 13 yards per reception. All 3 players are threatening anywhere on the field, and adding Clyde Edwards-Helaire into the mix who is having his own breakout sophomore season makes the Chiefs intimidating in all aspects. The Bills lead the NFL in red-zone defence, only allowing a touchdown on 33% of attempts, which will be crucial in holding up this high firing offence when they have driven down the field.
3rd down conversions on both sides of the ball is the final key to Sunday night. Against the Texans the Bills were 42% on converting 3rd down plays, and have a conversion rate of 50% on the season. The best way to beat the Chiefs is to keep Mahomes off the field, and continuing converting at a 50% + rate and extending drives will be critical in controlling the game and clock. On defence, the Bills are only allowing 30% conversions on third downs which is 3rd best in the NFL. Forcing the Chiefs to punt regularly will keep the defence fresh throughout the game and provide them every opportunity for stopping big plays and winning this game.
Statistics courtesy of Statmuse.com
As of Wednesday’s injury status provided by Coach McDermott; Poyer, Feliciano, & White have been limited in practice, while Milano, Rousseau & T. Jones are not practicing.
Video courtesy of TakeoffTV via NFL RedZone
Kickoff is at 8:20 in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, with temperature in the high 60s and a 60% chance of rain. The Chiefs have won 5 of the last 6 games against the Bills, however the Bills are more complete this season than in previous outings and will be fuelled by the ending to last season. I expect a tight matchup and either team truly having the ability to grab a victory on national television. However, I’m always backing the boys, especially when they’re rolling.
Bills - 31
Chiefs - 24
Circle the Wagons,