ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Chiefs' offense had little going for it in Sunday's 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills.
It was outgained 470 yards to 210, and the Bills had 25 first downs to the Chiefs' 15. Some of that could be attributed to Buffalo having more possessions because two Chiefs defensive scores kept the offense on the sidelines.
But Buffalo still outgained the Chiefs 6.1 yards per play to 3.9. And yet, the Chiefs improved to 9-0 despite not scoring an offensive touchdown.
"We moved the ball at times really well but just couldn't finish any drives," said quarterback Alex Smith. "We all had a hand in it, between penalties and just (missed) throws and some drops . . . The type of defense and the way they were playing, if you hit a couple of those, you really change the game because they would have been big, big plays.
"What can I say? You've got to hit them."
This was the fifth game the Chiefs have won without Smith throwing a touchdown pass. Entering the weekend, the rest of the league was 12-33 in such games. It also was the fifth time the Chiefs have won while being outgained.
Smith completed 19 of 29 passes for a season-low 124 yards, with a long completion of 20 yards. But it could have been better, especially had Dexter McCluster not dropped a pass when wide open at the Buffalo 30 late in the second quarter. Had he caught it, McCluster likely would have scored.
"The only reason I can say I dropped that ball was a lack of concentration," McCluster said. "I tried to run before I caught the ball. It happened. You have to move on. Next time, make the play."
McCluster wasn't alone in missing some plays. Dwayne Bowe, who was targeted 12 times and had a season-best seven receptions for 67 yards, also had a drop. And Smith wasn't always on target.
"We were pressing," Bowe said. "All the playmakers were trying to make a play and over (compensating). We came out in the second half and knew we had to make it one play at a time, and that's what we did."
Two holding penalties on left guard Jeff Allen, one on center Rodney Hudson and a false start on left tackle Branden Albert, all against a team that ranked second to the Chiefs in sacks, hurt Kansas City's offensive continuity.
Before the Chiefs' final drive, Jamaal Charles gathered his offensive mates around him.
"I said, 'Let's go and move the ball. We have to put some points on the board,' " Charles said. "We ended up putting up three points, but we have to put six points on the board to help our defense out.
"Our defense was fighting the whole game, so basically they were playing offense for us, but we have to do a better job on offense."
Charles gained 22 yards in five carries, and Bowe caught a 10-yard pass on that final drive, setting up Ryan Succop's game-clinching 39-yard field goal.
"During the fourth quarter, when we had to get points to seal that game, to make it a two-score game, we did it," Smith said. "Once again, it was on the back of the offensive line. Those guys made holes when they had to late in the game, really kind of putting their will in the game and really getting the yards, the tough yards, when we had to get them."
(c)2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services