Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/13
Protecting the passer – whomever it may be – is a top priority for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills face a Kansas City Chiefs team that ranks No. 1 in the NFL in fewest points allowed and in quarterback sacks. The timing of the matchup for Buffalo is less than ideal, to grossly understate the situation. There’s a good chance the Bills will be starting their third different player at quarterback this season. Thad Lewis is listed as doubtful due to sore ribs and was not able to throw in Friday’s practice. Coach Doug Marrone said the team would give him more time to see if he can be ready. But the more likely scenario is undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel will get the start. He got more snaps in preparation this week than No. 3 QB Matt Flynn. “It’s a unique situation, but you have to be ready to go with whoever’s out there,” said Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. “That’s my goal. I’ve got to try to call a game to help whoever’s out there.” The Bills have seen three QBs go down with injury, including Kevin Kolb in preseason and EJ Manuel in the fifth game. The Chiefs are the kind of team that could make it four. Kansas City edge rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have 11 and nine sacks, respectively. Houston is tied with Buffalo’s Mario Williams for second in the NFL. Hali ranks fifth. In addition, Kansas City employs an aggressive, blitzing scheme, much like Buffalo. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton served with Bills chief Mike Pettine on Rex Ryan’s staff with the New York Jets. Sutton was linebackers coach. Kansas City has 36 sacks, putting it on pace to equal the single-season record of 72 set by the legendary Chicago Bears defense of 1984. Like the Jets and the Bills, the Chiefs often have three rushers threatening the right side and three threatening the left side. Which side is coming, with how many, and who is dropping off into coverage? “Put seven guys on the line and bring five every play,” Hackett said. “Play man coverage. It’s an attack defense. … They make you mess up.” Ideally, the way to beat it is to run reasonably well and hit them with some quick catch-and-runs. Another way is to pick the right times to use maximum protection and burn the Chiefs deep.
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