Uploaded post-game audio/video with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus and Leodis McKelvin. It’s sideways, but I’ll do better next time.
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My prediction from last week’s column:
“GREAT news: the Chiefs are still not very good at American football and they are traveling to the Ralph, which is a good spot for a home opener even in lean times. I’m going to stay positive and not label this year as part of the lean times just yet, so Buffalo 31, Kansas City 17.”
Not bad, Mendola. Not bad.
— Ryan Fitzpatrick is essentially Jekyll & Hyde, not from game-to-game but from throw-to-throw. Take this sequence of three pass attempts in the third quarter:
1) Bullet past the finger tips of a Chiefs defender into the hands of Scott Chandler for 43 yards.
2) Awful telegraphed floater to the sideline that should’ve been picked.
3) Nearly-perfect seam throw to Stevie Johnson for 49-yard touchdown strike.
The Bills weren’t as bad as they appeared in Week One and neither was Fitz. The Bills aren’t as good as they appeared in Week Two, but I think the Fitz you saw is indeed the Ryan Fitzpatrick you can count on seeing more often than not. Buffalo’s back at .500, and I imagine that’s a mark fans will find familiar as the year goes on.
— The Bills defense started the game with a very stout third-down stoppage rate of four-for-four, a figure that stands in stark contrast to the four stops they made of 14 Jets third downs in Week One.
— Marcell Dareus… what else can you say except “please don’t get hurt!” He is by far the most impactful player on the defense. Love this guy as a potential future Wall of Famer.
— Leodis McKelvin has struggled so much for the Bills in his career, but he’s always been extremely likable. For this reason I was super happy to see him return a punt 88 yards for a score, and also very forgiving of his 32-minute celebration that extended down the sideline.
— Summer Sanders is a Bills fan. My childhood crush apparently married a Bills fan. USA! USA! USA!
— Stephon Gilmore had a “what just happened?” moment early in the second half. After being interfered with on an almost-INT, Gilmore stopped to tie his shoe rather than return to the line of scrimmage. Cassel immediately spotted the absence and worked a quick first down pass.
In fact, it feels silly to say in a blow-out win, but there were still a ton of growing pains for Gilmore and Aaron Williams (two Dwayne Bowe touchdowns). While both made some significant physical and mental plays, it’s still not a group I want facing Tom Brady… or even Mark Sanchez.
— The Chiefs has trouble running. They had trouble passing to the sidelines and deep. Oddly enough, though, they were able to find the soft center of the defense. The Chiefs were able to find wide receivers as well as tight ends, but linebacking pass coverage is probably the No. 1 concern outside of quarterback. The year is 2012 and it might as well basically be any other year since the turn of the century.
— Cassel had 300+ yards and no interceptions… probably the worst 300+ yard/zero pick performance in a long, long, long time (I’m assuming the Byrd ‘Hail Mary’ pick gets reversed, as it appeared his back hit out-of-bounds before his feet touched down).
— Kraig Urbik and Tyson Jackson had a shoving match after a block Jackson deemed offensive (pun intended) and late Andy Levitre mixed it up with the Chiefs entire line (seemingly). The nasty notes are emblematic of a Bills offensive line that continuously hit KC in the mouth.
— Darryl Talley tweeted early in the game that, “Spiller looks like OJ when he runs the ball.” Little did he knows — presumably — that Spiller would later become the fourth player in Bills history to start the season with back-to-back 100 yard games (Fred Jackson, Thurman Thomas, O.J. Simpson). The Clemson kid is back to looking like his Clemsonian self… and it sure looks great.
Stat line I liked…
Bills pass rush, five sacks
— The entire first unit was fantastic.
Stat line I didn’t like…
Chiefs rushers, 5.9 yards-per-carry
— Hard to find one, especially since KC ran their numbers up late, but the Chiefs sprung a number of long runs (even if the Bills held them mostly in check).
— He looked like a mix of Marshall Faulk and Chris Johnson… on awesome juice. Yes, let’s get ahead of ourselves for a week.
Winning by a lot is so much more fun than losing by a lot.
Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson put in solid performances for the Browns this week. Cleveland’s better than the Chiefs and Buffalo will likely have to pass. The Browns did a very good job against the Bengals and the game will be in Ohio next week. Look for the Bills to do just enough to move to 2-1. Buffalo 19, Cleveland 13.