ORCHARD PARK —
ORCHARD PARK — Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was exhausted after he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
"I was definitely happy I made it," Smith said. "I wanted to celebrate, but I was too tired."
That's fine, because the Chiefs are suddenly breathing easier after their defense kept Kansas City's perfect start intact.
Smith's interception and linebacker Tamba Hali's 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown aided the Chiefs in overcoming a pedestrian offense and their own leaky defense in securing a 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Kansas City (9-0) remained the NFL's only undefeated team and matched the best start in franchise history set in 2003. The Chiefs now enter their bye week before a key AFC West showdown against the Denver Broncos (7-1) on Nov. 17.
If the only thing perfect about the Chiefs is their record so far, coach Andy Reid refuses to make any apologies.
"We're not going to make excuses for it," said Reid, who in his first year has the Chiefs continuing their worst-to-first run after a 2-14 finish last season. "We're pretty happy that we got the touchdowns. We'll take them any way we can get them."
The Chiefs' defense led the way, outscoring the Alex Smith-led offense, which was limited to three field goals. And the defense had to compensate for its own problems in having difficulty containing a Buffalo offense headed by Jeff Tuel, an undrafted rookie making his first career start.
Despite allowing a season-worst 470 yards of offense and 25 first downs, the Chiefs were opportunistic in holding their ninth consecutive opponent to 17 points or less to match an NFL record set by the 1977 Atlanta Falcons.
Smith's interception turned the momentum, tying the score at 10 after Tuel had marched the Bills 79 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter.