Kansas City
Kansas CityBuffalo
Chiefs Stay Unbeaten, Beat Bills Behind Timely Defense
Regular Season Game #9
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Sean Smith
Chiefs CB Sean Smith returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter.
Nov. 3- Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was exhausted after he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.

"I was definitely happy I made it," Smith said. "I wanted to celebrate, but I was too tired."

That's fine, because the Chiefs are suddenly breathing easier after their defense kept Kansas City's perfect start intact.

Smith's interception and linebacker Tamba Hali's 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown aided the Chiefs in overcoming a pedestrian offense and their own leaky defense in securing a 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Kansas City (9-0) remained the NFL's only undefeated team and matched the best start in franchise history set in 2003. The Chiefs now enter their bye week before a key AFC West showdown against the Denver Broncos (7-1) on Nov. 17.

If the only thing perfect about the Chiefs is their record so far, coach Andy Reid refuses to make any apologies.

"We're not going to make excuses for it," said Reid, who in his first year has the Chiefs continuing their worst-to-first run after a 2-14 finish last season. "We're pretty happy that we got the touchdowns. We'll take them any way we can get them."

The Chiefs' defense led the way, outscoring the Alex Smith-led offense, which was limited to three field goals. And the defense had to compensate for its own problems in having difficulty containing a Buffalo offense headed by Jeff Tuel, an undrafted rookie making his first career start.

Despite allowing a season-worst 470 yards of offense and 25 first downs, the Chiefs were opportunistic in holding their ninth consecutive opponent to 17 points or less to match an NFL record set by the 1977 Atlanta Falcons.

Sean Smith's interception turned the momentum, tying the score at 10 after Tuel had marched the Bills 79 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Hali then put the Chiefs ahead for good by scooping up T.J. Graham's fumble -- forced by cornerback Marcus Cooper -- and running it in to put Kansas City ahead 20-13 with 12:47 left.

"We don't really care what people think," Hali said of the Chiefs' victories lacking style points. "Sometimes the stats don't really tell you the outcome."

Tell that to the Bills (3-6), who were left stunned and frustrated in attempting to figure out how they let this one slip away.

"Horrible," offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. "It was shocking even to our guys. We did everything we wanted. We just couldn't finish it."

The difference was turnovers, as the Chiefs turned Buffalo's three giveaways -- two interceptions thrown by Tuel and Graham's fumble -- into 17 points.

The loss marred what began as a solid outing by Tuel, who became the third quarterback to start for Buffalo this season. He played in place of interim starter Thad Lewis, who was sidelined by bruised ribs, and with rookie starter EJ Manuel missing his fourth game with a sprained right knee.

Tuel's 139 yards passing in the first half were the most by a Bills quarterback in the first two quarters this season. And Tuel was in a position to improve his numbers after marching Buffalo to the Kansas City 1 on the opening drive of the second half before his day went awry.

Facing third-and-goal, Tuel took a shotgun snap, and looked immediately to his right, where Graham was running a slant pattern. Tuel, however, failed to account for Smith, who easily picked off the pass at the goal line and then took off up the left sideline.

"It's very frustrating," Tuel said. "That's 100 percent my fault."

Tuel finished 18 of 39 for 229 yards passing, and a 59-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin.

For Kansas City, Smith completed 19 of 29 passes for just 124 yards. Running back Jamaal Charles was held under 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time this season.

Kansas City also snapped a six-game losing streak at Orchard Park that included two playoff losses, winning there for the first time since Sept. 28, 1986.

Individual Statistics
Kansas City Passing:
Alex Smith 19 of 29 for 124 yards

Buffalo Passing:
Jeff Tuel 18 of 39 for 229 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions

Kansas City Rushing:
Jamaal Charles 17 carries for 90 yards
Alex Smith 4 carries for 7 yards
Anthony Sherman 1 carry for 2 yards
Dexter McCluster 1 carry for -4 yards

Buffalo Rushing:
C.J. Spiller 12 carries for 116 yards
Fred Jackson 16 carries for 77 yards
Tashard Choice 5 carries for 17 yards
Jeff Tuel 3 carries for 17 yards
Stevie Johnson 1 carry for 10 yards
Frank Summers 1 carry for 4 yards

Kansas City Receiving:
Dwayne Bowe 7 receptions for 67 yards
Donnie Avery 3 receptions for 22 yards
Anthony Fasano 1 reception for 20  yards
Dexter McCluster 2 receptions for 9 yards
Jamaal Charles 6 receptions for 6 yards

Buffalo Receiving:
Marquise Goodwin 2 receptions for 64 yards and 1 touchdown
Robert Woods 4 receptions for 44 yards
C.J. Spiller 2 receptions for 39 yards
Stevie Johnson 5 receptions for 36 yards
Scott Chandler 3 receptions for 26 yards
Fred Jackson 1 reception for 22 yards
T.J. Graham 1 reception for -2 yards

Kansas City Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Brandon Flowers 6-0-0, Kendrick Lewis 6-3-0, Dontari Poe 5-4-0, Derrick Johnson 4-3-0, Akeem Jordan 4-1-0, Eric Berry 3-3-0, Marcus Cooper 3-0-0, Justin Houston 3-1-0, Tyson Jackson 3-1-0, Mike DeVito 2-7-0, Tamba Hali 2-2-0, Dezman Moses 1-0-0, Sean Smith 1-1-0, Anthony Toribio 1-0-0, Husain Abdullah 0-1-0, Quintin Demps 0-1-0

Buffalo Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Aaron Williams 7-1-0, Stephon Gilmore 6-1-0, Marcell Dareus 4-1-0, Kiko Alonso 3-5-1, Jairus Byrd 3-1-0, Nigel Bradham 2-0-0, Stefan Charles 2-0-0, Manny Lawson 2-1-0, Leodis McKelvin 2-0-0, Alan Branch 1-1-0, Jerry Hughes 1-0-1, Arthur Moats 1-0-0, Nickell Robey 1-0-0, Da'Norris Searcy 1-0-0, Mario Williams 1-0-0

Kansas City Fumble Recoveries:
Tamba Hali 1 for 11 yards and 1 touchdown

Buffalo Fumble Recoveries:

Kansas City Interceptions:
Sean Smith 1 for 100 yards and 1 touchdown
Kendrick Lewis 1 for 1 yard

Buffalo Interceptions: