For the third straight week, the Kansas City Chiefs may not know which opposing quarterback they’ll face. The undefeated Chiefs hit the road on Sunday and square off against the Buffalo Bills, who are uncertain if second-year quarterback Thad Lewis can play through a rib injury. According to the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs didn’t know who the Houston Texans or Cleveland Browns would start in the previous two weeks, but it didn’t make much difference, only letting up a combined 33 points.
Showing signs of injury in Week Eight’s 35-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Lewis was sacked four times while throwing one pick and losing two of his three fumbles. Lewis has since been held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Facing the NFL’s stingiest defense in the Chiefs, Buffalo could turn to either rookie Jeff Tuel or veteran Matt Flynn. Undrafted out of Washington State, Tuel filled in for EJ Manuel in Week Five, going 8-for-20 for 80 yards and an interception in a 37-24 loss to Cleveland.
Released by the Oakland Raiders earlier this season, Flynn was signed on Oct. 14 to provide some depth after Manuel sprained the LCL in his right knee.
Whoever is under center will have to deal with linebackers Justin Houston and Tamaba Hali and a Chiefs pass rush that’s ripped through opposing offensive lines for an NFL-best 36 sacks. The Texans have totaled 11 sacks, and eight-year veteran Hali’s nine sacks put him on pace to surpass his career high of 14.5 set in 2010.
Buffalo received some good news regarding running back C.J. Spiller, who head coach Doug Marrone said should play, according to NFL.com. Spiller, who has 362 rushing yards on the season, missed the Saints game with his nagging ankle injury.
The Bills defense has shown the ability to rush the passer and force turnovers, ranking second with 27.0 team sacks and 13 interceptions, but are 29th in total defense surrendering 381.1 offense yards a game. Buffalo’s secondary has also let up a league-worst 12 plays of 40-plus yards.
Bills defensive end Mario Williams has as many sacks as four NFL teams (11), while linebacker Kiko Alonso is tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions. Williams and Alonso will be called upon to contain Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles, who’s second in the NFL with 635 rushing yards and six touchdowns, and is also Kansas City's leading receiver with 41 catches for 383 yards.
Charles returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session due to a knee injury. According to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com, Charles is expected to play.
Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (groin) and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee and ankle) were limited in practice, while safety Kendrick Lewis was a full participant for the first time since Week Three.
Betting Odds: Kansas City favored by 3 points
Over/Under: 40.5 points
Where To Watch Online: NFL Sunday Ticket
TV Channel: CBS
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern Time
Prediction: Kansas City 17, Buffalo 10