Selfish Chiefs have a ball at Bills' expense

October 08, 1991|By Don Pierson | Don Pierson,Chicago Tribune

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- To show their football is up to date in Kansas City, the Chiefs surprised the Buffalo Bills with an occasional no-huddle offense of their own last night.

But it was old-fashioned power running and stifling defense by the Chiefs that knocked the Bills from the undefeated ranks, 33-6.

The Bills (5-1 lost five fumbles and much of their aura in this battle for early AFC bragging rights. Kansas City's Derrick Thomas was the all-star Thomas this night. He sacked Jim Kelly four times. Kelly fumbled three times.

Buffalo's Thurman Thomas gained only 51 yards rushing and 24 receiving. When the Bills weren't falling flat on their faces, the Chiefs (4-2) were knocking them there.

Christian Okoye scored two touchdowns in the third quarter after fumbles by Thomas and Kelly. Okoye rushed for 130 yards and rookie Harvey Williams rushed for 103, the first two Chiefs to get more than 100 since 1975 when Woody Green and MacArthur Lane did it.

It was the first time since 1988 the Bills had been held without a touchdown. They had the ball for only 15:54. Steve DeBerg grabbed the national spotlight from Kelly by directing a play-action, power-running offense that consumed 44:06 and outgained the Bills 397 yards to 211.

"We gave them so many gifts they should be happy until next Christmas," Kelly said. "Hopefully, we'll meet them again down the road."

Nick Lowery kicked four field goals, DeBerg hit Pete Holohan on a 1-yard touchdown pass, and Okoye scored on runs of 5 and 2 yards. Okoye's touchdowns came within two minutes late in the third period. The Bills were held to two field goals by Scott Norwood.

"I was proud of the way we played, but this wasn't the Buffalo Bills that have been playing the first few weeks," Kansas City coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "It wasn't the one that we're going to meet on down the road, if we get far enough."

The conservative Schottenheimer got his first Gatorade bath as the Chiefs pulled out all stops in their first home Monday night game since 1983. Fireworks opened the show outside Arrowhead Stadium and appeared to send the Bills into outer space.

"We're not as bad as we looked tonight," Bills coach Marv Levy said. "If a team can run as well as they ran and play defense like that, you're in for a long night."

The Bills played without defensive end Bruce Smith, who tested his knee against the Chicago Bears last week but came up too sore to play this week. The Chiefs promptly took advantage of a Bills defense ranked 24th against the run.

"They ran as well as any team has ever run against us," linebacker Shane Conlan said.

"All good teams get their butts kicked," linebacker Cornelius Bennett said. "It's happened to the 49ers, the Giants. You have to have enough character to come back next week."

The Bills get the winless Colts next week.

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