KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Undefeated, but not unconcerned, the Kansas City Chiefs head into their bye week needing to add some punch before trying to outscore the Denver Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning.
Meantime, after keeping their record clean with a 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs were looking forward to two things: a mini-vacation during the bye week and then a Sunday night game, Nov. 17, against the Broncos in Denver.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid rewarded his team with a full week away from meetings and practices. He is giving the coaching staff a long weekend off as well. Somewhere in the quiet time, Reid must figure out what to do with his offense.
The Chiefs (9-0) earned their latest win without an offensive touchdown. As they eyeball the trip to Denver, the Chiefs know their offense must improve.
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith and his unit didn't get near the end zone against a Buffalo defense that allowed 22 touchdowns in the Bills' first eight games.
The numbers were all the worst of the season for the Chiefs' offense: fewest plays (54), fewest total yards (210), fewest rushing yards (95), fewest passing yards (115) and fewest first downs (15).
After nine games, the Chiefs' offense is averaging 1.8 touchdowns per game, with just seven TDs in the past five games. Big plays were nowhere to be found against the Bills: No play gained more than 20 yards, and only three gained 12 yards or more. The only positive was that the Kansas City offense did not commit a turnover.
"We moved the ball at times really well but just couldn't finish any drives," Smith said. "Between penalties, some throws and some drops ... the type of defense they were playing, I think if you hit a couple of those, you really change the game. But you've got to hit them.
"There are little things in every game. I don't care how well you play, there are things you always want back and you want to do again. The great thing is finding a way to win. For us, no question we have to be better, but that's always easier after a victory."
Right now, the frustration with the offense is soothed by the perfect record and the play of the Chiefs' defense. However, the offensive struggles were a talking point late in Sunday's game.
"I tried to get the offense together," running back Jamaal Charles said. "I said, 'Let's go and move the ball. We have to put some points on the board.' We ended up putting three points up there, but we have to put (up) six points to help out our defense. They were basically playing offense for us. We have to do a better job."
For the first time this season, Charles did not have 100-plus total yards. He ran 17 times for 90 yards, and he caught six passes for only 6 yards.
"They had two people on me sometimes and they were watching out for me, especially on the screen plays," Charles said. "They were hugging me and playing the screen routes well. ... They made some good adjustments on me and the offensive scheme today."
Over the next two weeks, Reid and his offensive coaching staff must make adjustments.
"We need to go back in, as a staff, and do another self-scout," Reid said. "We do it weekly, but you go back and go through the whole thing again. Then, you start preparation for Denver. ... There are a lot of things we can improve on."