Succop’s FG lifts Chiefs past Bills in OT 13-10
Monday, November 1, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Succop got a second chance to test out his new approach to dealing with the swirling wind at Arrowhead Stadium.
Flabbergasted at the way his 39-yard attempt in overtime hooked left, Kansas City’s place kicker took a different aim when given another opportunity to win the game.
This time, he sent the ball through the uprights from 35 yards, lifting the Chiefs to a 13-10 victory over Buffalo as time expired in a wild overtime Sunday.
“I hit (the first one) really well, as crazy as that sounds,” Succop said. “I guess I learned something from the first one and realized I’m going to have to put this ball outside the post because there was that much wind today. I feel very blessed to have the second opportunity.”
Blessed does not describe the way Succop’s Buffalo counterpart was feeling after his overtime miss led to the Bills’ third-worst start to a season in franchise history.
Rian Lindell kicked what would have been a 53-yard game-winner earlier in the overtime. But the kick was nullified because the Chiefs (5-2) had called a timeout. His second try was a wobbler in the wind that struck the right upright and gave Kansas City another chance.
“It’s kind of a goofy deal, but it is what it is,” he said. “I just wanted to hit a good ball. I didn’t really, and then they said time out and I tried it again. I just got way too much turf on it.
“I wasn’t hitting a very good ball all day and that was a good example of that.”
The victory kept the Chiefs comfortably atop the AFC West and made sure the Bills (0-7), with their second straight overtime loss, would remain the league’s only winless team.
“This one really hurts,” Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “The defense, for as well as they played today in terms of keeping the score down, and for us to take that drive late and tie it up, get into overtime and then just be handed numerous opportunities to do something and win the game and not do it. This one really hurts.”
“This is the first wild, wild one I’ve been in in the NFL,” said Chiefs’ rookie safety Eric Berry, whose interception of Fitzpatrick’s overthrown pass stopped Buffalo in Chiefs territory with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. “I’m just glad we came out on top.”
The Chiefs, the NFL’s No. 1 rushing offense, ran for 274 yards against Buffalo’s league-worst rushing defense, with Jamaal Charles piling up 177 yards on 22 carries. He also had 61 yards on four catches, including a 16-yard catch to start the winning 53-yard drive.
Thomas Jones had 77 yards on 19 carries as the Chiefs went over 200 yards three games in a row for the first time since 1978.
“We hung in there. The way we won actually says a lot more than the win itself,” Jones said.
Buffalo coach Chan Gailey, who was fired as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator right before the start of the 2009 season, called a timeout right before Succop’s first attempt. It’s called “icing the kicker,” and is one of football’s oldest tactics.
“Today I don’t like it. I don’t,” he said.
But he did not call time before the second try.
“Yeah, I wanted him to think I was,” he said. “That is part of it. You are playing a mind game, that is what it is all about is playing a mind game.”
If Succop’s second kick had missed, the game would have ended in the first tie in the NFL since Philadelphia and Cincinnati were knotted at 13 on Nov. 16, 2008.
The Bills won two challenges in a touchdown drive that tied it at 10 with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter.
Fitzpatrick, on fourth-and-goal from the 5, hit Stevie Johnson, who fell into the end zone, barely getting across the goal line before his shoulder touched the ground.
“It’s something we worked on one time throughout the week,” he said. “Coach called it. He said they will play off, come under and you’re going to have to bull rush your way in there. It was exactly how coach said it.”
Late in the first half, Charles snagged Cassel’s pass on a crossing pattern and went 31 yards to the 20. On the next play, he took a handoff and was pulled down at the 1.
Then Dwayne Bowe got open in the end zone with the Bills expecting a run and caught his fifth TD pass in three games.
After trying only nine running plays the entire first half, the Bills ran the ball nine times in a second-half drive that fell just three seconds short of nine minutes.
They had second-and-2 from the Kansas City 20, but a false-start penalty against tackle Cordaro Howard pushed them back 5 yards and Fitzpatrick missed on two straight passes.
Lindell’s 42-yard field goal provided Buffalo’s first points with a little more than six minutes left in the third.
Succop’s 28-yard field goal made it 10-3 in the third.
Notes: Jones has rushed for 500 yards for five different teams. ... Charles’ 31-yard catch-and-run was his longest of the season. ... Stevie Johnson tied a Buffalo record with touchdown in five straight games. ... Fitzpatrick’s touchdown pass gave him an eight-game streak, the longest by a Bills quarterback since 2002. ... It was the third time in Bills history they played back-to-back overtime games.
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