Chiefs push run to 5 after 5-game skid
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs were mostly written off after a 1-5 start.
Five wins later, they have scribbled their name in the middle of the AFC playoff picture.
Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns, Spencer Ware ran for 114 yards and a score, and the Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 30-22 on Sunday in a matchup teams in the thick of the wildcard race.
Jeremy Maclin had nine receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown, and Cairo Santos hit three field goals for the Chiefs (6-5), who also now own the tiebreaker over the Bills.
Tyrod Taylor had 291 yards passing and three touchdowns for Buffalo (5-6), but he was mostly held in check in the second half. So was Sammie Watkins, who had all six catches for 158 yards and his two touchdowns over the first 30 minutes.
The Bills had a chance for a tying touchdown when they took over at their own 10 with 3:25 left. But after picking up a quick first down, Taylor was stopped short of the marker on fourth-and-9 with 2:16 left, allowing the Chiefs to put the game away.
Both teams sustained a rash of injuries as rain lashed Arrowhead Stadium all afternoon.
All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston was tripped by his Chiefs teammate in the first half and did not return with a knee injury. Left tackle Eric Fisher hurt his neck while center Mitch Morse sustained a concussion, and neither made it back onto the field.
Bills running back Karlos Williams hurt his shoulder, while defensive lineman Alex Carrington – starting with Mario Williams and Kyle Williams out – was carted off with a right knee injury.
The first half amounted to a showcase for Watkins, who made a mockery of Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith and still had success when Kansas City rotated safeties over to help.
Watkins caught a 48-yard reception on the game’s opening drive to set up Dan Carpenter’s 27-yard field goal in the slop. Then, two series later, Watkins ran away from the coverage for a 28-yard touchdown reception that gave Buffalo a 10-0 lead.
Watkins added a 33-yard reception later in the first half, shucking Chiefs safety Ron Parker in the process, to set up his own 21-yard touchdown reception over Smith’s flailing arms.
Perhaps inspired, the Chiefs began to air it out, too.
Smith hit Maclin for 37 yards early in the second quarter to set up Ware’s short TD run, and then found Maclin for a 41-yard touchdown reception to get within 16-14 at the half.
He beat Bills cornerback Ronald Darby, who just returned after undergoing concussion tests.
Kansas City took its first lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce early in the second half, and Santos knocked through a 49-yard field goal to make it 24-16, before Taylor found an answer for Buffalo with a short touchdown pass to McCoy later in the third quarter.
Santos kicked his second field goal early in the fourth, then capped a 13-play drive that took 6 minutes, 31 seconds with a 37-yarder with 3:30 left that helped put the game away.
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