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Examiner
  • Mistakes, decisions cost Chiefs another chance at win

  • Missed opportunities, questionable decision making and a half-full Arrowhead Stadium dominated the conversation following the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 loss Sunday afternoon.

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  • Missed opportunities, questionable decision making and a half-full Arrowhead Stadium dominated the conversation following the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 loss Sunday afternoon.
    Twice Mark Bradley had his man beat in the end zone, and twice quarterback Matt Cassel overthrew the wide receiver; twice the Chiefs had the ball inside the 10 and came away empty handed on an unsuccessful Cassel run on fourth-and-one and an interception; and a team that needed to sell 3,500 tickets Friday witnessed countless empty seats as Arrowhead looked more like the site of a preseason game than a regular season contest.
    “Publicly, I just want to thank the fans,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said after a lengthy postgame session with his team. “I thought the fans were tremendous for us. I thought they were loud and a disruption for the Bills for most of the game.”
    But that loud disruption couldn’t overcome four interceptions and two fumbles (both of which the Chiefs were able to recover).
    “We went into that game with a clear-cut key that if we could win the turnover battle we would have a very good chance to win the game,” the beleaguered Chiefs coach said after his team fell to 3-10.
    “The biggest thing is not capitalizing on missed opportunities, whether it’s giving up a sack in field goal range or coming out of there early with zero points in the red [zone] area when we had a very good opportunity.”
    Buffalo led 13-3 early in the third quarter when Jamaal Charles broke free for a 76-yard touchdown run, the longest of the young Chiefs running back’s career.
    “He’s showing signs that he has a chance to be a real good back in the league,” Haley said. “It’s a big job and he takes a beating, so we’ve got to keep track and try not to overdo it as hard as that is. Any run you look at you’re going to wish he was in, but you’ve got to be smart and have a balance from doing too much.”
    Charles, who usually returns kickoffs, was not used in that capacity Sunday.
    “Yeah, they’re just trying to get me ready to run the ball more and get ready and focused on just trying to be a running back,” said Charles, who finished with 143 yards on just 20 carries. “I think it worked today, but I still would have gone in on special teams to help my team out.”
    The Bills expanded their lead to 16-10 following a 36-yard Rian Lindell field goal that came after Cassel’s third interception of the game.
    The Chiefs blew a golden opportunity to win the game when Chris Chambers dropped a Cassel pass on the 4-yard line with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I know the ball was thrown in his direction,” said Cassel, who did his best to deflect any blame from Chambers, “but I didn’t see the end result. I don’t know what happened.”
    The Chiefs defense forced a quick three-and-out on the Bills next series and the Chiefs got the ball with one minute left.
    Cassel moved the Chiefs to the Bill’ 38-yard line, but a Hail Mary pass to the end zone was picked off by Buffalo’s George Wilson as time expired.
    Cassel, who was booed much of the game, said the fans’ reaction had no effect on his 26-of-43 performance that resulted in 224 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions.
    “We have to go out and perform,” said Cassel, whose quarterback rating was 35.4 Sunday. “They pay good money for their tickets. They’re frustrated and we’re frustrated.”
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