Chiefs Show Depth of Roster on Sunday in Win Over Bills

With two starters along the OL out with injuries, the Chiefs needed guys to step up

The Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) showed the depth of their roster during Sunday's 30-22 victory over the Buffalo Bills (5-6), and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game that their success is a direct result of the hard work of the personnel staff.

"I'm always going to tell you, (general manager) John Dorsey and his crew do a phenomenal job of bringing these guys in," he noted.

That statement couldn't have been truer.

The Chiefs are on their third running back, lost two starting offensive linemen during the game and All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston left early with a knee injury as well.

These aren't minor injuries; these are major issues at key spots.

But the Chiefs still move forward because the talent is there and the coaches have these guys ready to play.

Last season, running back Spencer Ware didn't have a place to play. He was signed as a free agent after the season ended and spent some time on the practice squad for the Chiefs earlier this season.

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He was called up after the season-ending injury to Jamaal Charles back in Week 5.

On Sunday, he carried the ball 19 times for 114 yards and a touchdown and helped lead the Chiefs to a huge win over the Bills.

Instead of being at home watching the game on television like he was last season, Ware was busy breaking tackles and proving the only personnel staff that gave him an opportunity correct.

It was the Chiefs personnel staff that recognized Ware's talent enough to give him an opportunity, and it's the coaching staff that has had him ready to play.

"[Chiefs running back's coach] Eric Bieniemy is a heck of a coach," Reid explained. "You saw how hard [Ware] was running that football.

"That was a powerful, powerful man out there rolling."

With 10:01 remaining in the game and the Chiefs holding a slim 27-22 lead, the offense had the ball at their own 10-yard line with an opportunity to try and grind some time off the clock.

That'd be a lot easier said than done considering they lost two starters along the offensive line earlier in the game. Left tackle Eric Fisher left late in the first half with a neck injury and center Mitch Morse left early with a concussion.

When you add in the fact that left guard Jeff Allen got rolled up on earlier in the game and left early with an ankle injury before returning, the battle was an uphill one if the Chiefs were going to have success running the ball in obvious running situations.

But that's exactly what they did.

Zach Fulton stepped in at center for Morse while Donald Stephenson stepped in at left tackle for Fisher, and Allen played through some pain as he was the fifth and last offensive lineman on the Chiefs active roster.

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There was nobody left.

"I'm proud of those guys," Reid said of this group. "You have a couple starters go down, banged up, especially for Zach [Fulton] to have to come in and play center in these weather conditions, let alone just play center for the first time.

"I'm proud of them."

Reid said he could tell Allen was battling through some pain as he fought to get back on the field.

"[Allen] was hurting and he had to really push himself, push himself through that."

Photos from the Chiefs Week 12 matchup against the Bills

After an 11-play, 70-yard drive that took 6:31 off the clock, Cairo Santos hit a 37-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 30-22 lead with just 3:34 left in the game.

Of those 70 yards, 50 came via Ware and the ground game.

With just four healthy lineman and Allen battling through some pain, the offensive line grinded out the most important drive of the game and showed everyone what they're about in the process.

"Being able to put together a drive at the end of the game and kind of seal it for us, that's big time," Allen said after the game. "That's what we hang our head on as an O-line. When we have an opportunity to put the game on our shoulders, we have to deliver and I think we did that."

Despite the injuries, Allen said it's about trusting that the guy next to you is going to do his job.

"You just have to band together," he explained. "We're a group of brothers. We know each and every one of us are going to go out there and fight and compete, no matter what the situation is.

"We're going to scratch and claw and try to find a way."

While much of the credit goes to the players for performing and the coaches for having them ready, there needs to be a healthy amount of credit thrown in the direction of the group of guys tasked with bringing in the kinds of players who *would *have themselves ready to go in these situations.

Dorsey and his staff have had the depth of their roster tested recently, and they've passed.

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