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Bills Report Card: Honor Roll Grades After Conquering Chiefs

Both lines played great. So did the secondary and practically every other position group.

Josh Allen felt like the Bills left points out there in Sunday night's 38-20 win at Kansas City.

He pointed to the team's first series of the second half, when Stefon Diggs broke one way on a simple third-and-short route and Allen mistakenly thought he was going the other. Three-and-out.

In fact, the Bills were forced to punt on all three third-quarter possessions and picked up just one first down in that span.

But in what was arguably their biggest regular-season game since the Sean McDermott era began in 2017, they nearly doubled up the two-time defending AFC champs on the road.

For that, our report cards from Week 5 are marked on a generous curve that should leave the parents of all their players happy to sign them and return them to us by no later than Wednesday.

So here we go:

Quarterback: B+

Allen was right. He could have played better, been more alert at times. On the other hand, his scrambling/running abilities and instincts more than made up for the things he did wrong in this one.

Allen threw for 315 yards on just 15 completions and also was their leading rusher with 59 yards on 11 attempts that included three kneel-downs at the end.

When he hurdled Kansas City defender L'Jarius Sneed in the fourth quarter, it was essentially Game Over.

Running back: B-

Too early to tell if Devin Singletary has solved his fumbling issues. But on seven touches in slippery conditions, the ball never popped out. And he averaged 4.2 yards per carry.

Zack Moss continues to progress, and both were solid in pass protection.

Tight end: A

The transformation from a player fighting for a spot on the 53 to a Pro-Bowl candidate continues for Dawson Knox, who caught three passes for 117 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown. That's his fifth of the year or the same total as his previous two seasons combined.

Aside from his numbers, there's his blocking.

"I've mentioned before, he's one of our better blockers," Allen said. "I'd say he's one of the better blocking tight ends in the league and just comes to work each and every day and just wants to help the team win football games."

Wide receiver: B

This group combined for just seven catches, but they proved to be more than enough. And two of them were touchdowns by Emmanuel Sanders, a newcomer who's up to 19 catches for 422 yards and four TDs.

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Sanders was signed essentially to replace John Brown, who departed in free agency, and he's done more than just fill that role.

Offensive line: A

Allen was not sacked and was hit just once. And although some of that had to do with him eluding rushers who broke free, he often had time to scan the field for targets who needed time to break away from physical, grabby defenders.

He also averaged 5.4 yards on 11 carries, almost all designed runs, en route to the Bills finishing with 121 yards on the ground and averaging a staggering 8.1 yards per offensive play.

Defensive line: A

Left alone with no blitz help to attack the most dynamic quarterback in the game, the players responded with consistent pressure that led to two sacks, two interceptions and eight total hits on Patrick Mahomes.

All the hits came from the linemen.

Rookie Greg Rousseau recorded five tackles, including a sack, and added the first interception of his promising career.

Linebacker: A

No Matt Milano, no problem. A.J. Klein stepped up to match fellow linebacker Tremaine Edmunds' total of nine tackles.

In a physical game that left the middle of the field open because of Buffalo's game plan, the linebackers responded by holding all Chiefs not named Mahomes to 3.9 yards per rushing attempt.

Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce had six catches, but only for 57 yards and one TD and none that went for more than 15.

Secondary: B+

CB Tre'Davious White was flagged for holding and pass interference. But he's still Tre'Davious White.

Nickel corner Taron Johnson responded to a lucrative contract extension he signed the day before by leading the team with 12 tackles and a pass breakup.

Safeties Jordan Poyer (eight tackles, one pass breakup) and Micah Hyde (two tackles, interception) played typically excellent games and kept the ball from going over their heads. Only one of the Chiefs' 33 pass completions were good for more than 20 yards.

Special teams: C

Isaiah McKenzie had trouble with a slippery ball on a short kickoff. His one punt return was for 7 yards., Punter Matt Haack's net average was low (35.0). Kicker Tyler Bass was perfect on all extra-point attempts and made good on a 30-yard field goal, but one of his kickoffs was returned 33 yards.

Coaching: A

Brilliant plan and even better adjustments enabled Bills to make the most of limited possession time on offense and make Kansas City's offense work extra hard for everything it was able to get, which was not much against a fired-up defense.

The Bills did not go flat despite an hour-long game suspension at halftime due to foul weather — another testament to coach Sean McDermott and the staff being prepared for that because of the same experience in other cities.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to