KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Clinging to a six-point lead, the Buffalo Bills watched Kansas City convert one third down after another, moving the ball into position for the winning score.
Then something rare happened: the Bills came up with the big play. Two of them, actually.
“They never flinched on the sideline,” Bills interim coach Perry Fewell said. “They came up with the turnovers when they had to come up with them. I was very proud of them. They were very determined today to get a victory.”
Buffalo (5-8) had been down this road before. Seven times this season, the Bills had lost when they were within a touchdown headed into the final 15 minutes.
Lindell had done his job, hitting a 36-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 16-10 with 8:01 left.
Kansas City started the next drive at its 20-yard line and kept moving the chains. Cassel hit Bobby Wade(notes) for 22 yards on third-and-6, Leonard Pope(notes) for 16 yards on another third down. Then Jairus Byrd(notes) was called for pass interference at the Bills 21 to keep the drive alive.
Uh-oh. Not again.
Actually, not this time.
Chris Chambers(notes) dropped a pass inside the Bills 5 and Byrd intercepted Cassel in the end zone on the next play. Kansas City got the ball back in the final minute for one last shot and Greg Wilson ended that by coming down with Cassel’s desperation heave into the end zone.
Finally, the Bills held on for a win.
“The game was a stalemate and the turnovers kept us going,” Byrd said. “It was good to come out with a win.”
A week after being benched in the fourth quarter against Denver, the Chiefs quarterback had three interceptions in the fourth quarter, overthrew Mark Bradley(notes) twice on potential long touchdowns and was sacked four times. He finished 26 for 43 for 224 yards and had a quarterback rating of 35.4 after a 14.6 day against the Broncos.
“It’s frustrating not to be winning,” said Cassel, who had two interceptions on deflections. “You come out and put so much hard work in each week and to not have the production all the time on Sunday and putting up the W’s for the fans, us and everybody is frustrating.”
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) wasn’t exactly stellar, throwing for just 86 yards on 12-of-20 passing with an interception and a fumble, one of two by Buffalo. He did throw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens(notes) in the first quarter and relied on Marshawn Lynch(notes) and Fred Jackson(notes), who combined for 183 yards.
“We really wanted to establish the run,” Fitzpatrick said. “We had some great drives. We left some points out there, but it was good to get the win.”
The Chiefs needed an extra day to avoid their first blackout since 1990 and keep their sellout streak alive at 156 games. They did it, but apparently most of the fans didn’t want to use their tickets: Arrowhead Stadium was a little over half full to see these two downtrodden teams.
The ones who did show up didn’t like what they saw.
Watching the Chiefs bumble away good field position for most of the half, the fans booed the Chiefs off the field, cheering for the mini Michael Jackson impersonator at halftime than the home team.
Charles briefly broke through the blase atmosphere with a 76-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, but it didn’t last. Lindell hit his third field goal, Cassel threw two interceptions and the Chiefs walked away with another shoulder-slumping loss.
“We moved the ball pretty well, we just didn’t score enough points to win the game,” Chambers said. “There were some crucial plays that we wish we could have back but we can’t.”
It was like that all game for the Chiefs.
Kansas City had the ball at the Buffalo 9 in the first quarter, recovering Fitzpatrick’s fumble on a sack by Mike Vrabel(notes). Three failed runs later, the Chiefs, at the behest of the few fans who showed up, opted to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
The play: a naked bootleg by Cassel. The result: a 7-yard loss. Bills ball.
Sparked by the stop and Lynch’s 47-yard run, Buffalo picked the Chiefs apart on the next drive, moving 92 yards in eight plays for Fitzpatrick’s touchdown pass to Owens on a crossing route.
Buffalo’s defense kept holding after that, limiting Kansas City to three points on five drives that crossed midfield.
“The defense really played great all day,” Fitzpatrick said. “Give credit to them for coming up with the plays when they needed to.”
Notes: Charles’ 76-yard touchdown run was the seventh-longest in Chiefs history. … Buffalo’s Brian Moorman(notes) had a 73-yard punt at the end of the third quarter. … Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey(notes) didn’t play after suffering a knee injury late in the second quarter. … Owens had two catches for 15 yards and is four away from becoming the sixth player to have 1,000 career receptions.