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Chiefs move to 9-0 as Bills rookie Jeff Tuel struggles

The Kansas City Chiefs moved to 9-0 as its defense took advantage of another backup quarterback in a 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo practically dominated the game in every aspect except the ones that ultimately matter: turnovers and the scoreboard.

Bills undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel had his team poised to take a 14-point lead, knocking on the door at the 1-yard-line on the opening drive of the first half. However, Tuel threw a 100-yard pick six to Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith, which tied the game at 10-10.

Smith's score was the definition of a tide-changing play. It especially was critical in a game where the Chiefs' offense did very little. Kansas City was outgained 470-210 by the rookie-led Bills.

The Chiefs defense willed them to victory, scoring 14 points and setting up a first-half field goal with an interception.


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It hasn't been the prettiest of undefeated starts for Andy Reid's team, but they're playing the hand they were dealt. With two big matchups against the Denver Broncos looming, the Chiefs will take the road win. They won't -- and shouldn't -- apologize for how they earned it.

Here is what else we learned:

1. Jeff Tuel completed five of his first seven passes, including a 59-yard bomb for a touchdown. However, it quickly unraveled. He threw high and off-target much of the game. Tuel missed a wide-open Stevie Johnson in the end zone on the Chiefs' pick six. A handful of dropped passes didn't help, either. It's tough to place blame on a young player, but a healthy Thad Lewis wins that game.

2. The Bills ran all over the Chiefs defense for 241 yards. C.J. Spiller displayed more explosion than any time since Week 2. The week off clearly helped him. He went for 116 yards on just 12 carries (9.7 yards per carry). He came up limping on his injured ankle a couple of times, but not enough to keep him off the field.

3. It was odd watching the Chiefs' defense get pounded on the ground considering Kansas City was playing a green quarterback.

4. The Chiefs clearly wanted to get Dwayne Bowe involved on offense. Bowe had seven catches on 12 targets (the previous two weeks combined he had 11 targets). Several times, Bowe got open while Alex Smith was scrambling to move the chains. He also dropped a pass in the red zone.

5. Jamaal Charles wasn't utilized much early on in the game, but he did what he usually does in the fourth quarter: salt away the clock with some bruising runs.

6. Alex Smith's stat line: 19-of-29 passing for 124 yards (4.3 average) with zero touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 74.5. You decide which "game manager" synonym you'd employ.

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