A warning: I will not apologize for being happy and having fun with the Bills being 1-0. Proof: let’s bring back the sounds of “Fitzmagic.“
— Less than a year ago, the Buffalo Bills went into Kansas City with roughly the same offense and moved to 0-7 with a 13-10 loss. Those 10 points would’ve been enough to eke out a win this week, but the Bills decided 41 points were a better idea.
It would be wrong to get over-excited in a true football sense about this win, but to not be a downright giddy Bills fan this afternoon is to watch sports for the wrong reasons. I don’t care if that sounds condescending: Week One’s win over KC is awesome.
— Last season, the Chiefs were middle of the pack in nearly every defensive statistic and made the playoffs with Matt Cassel at quarterback. As I stated in evaluating the Raiders last year, the AFC West was garbage casserole outside of Phillip Rivers, but there is no denying a 34-point win when both teams had all summer to prepare for the opponent.
— That said, my one knock for the day on Chan Gailey is putting it into snooze mode at the end of the first half with a 13-point lead.
— Fitz overcame a very inaccurate start — apart from a laser between two Chiefs and the numbers on Scott Chandler’s jersey — to be one of the stars of the 41-7 win. His inaccuracy cost him incompletions, not interceptions, which is a middle of the road Fitz day. However his throws in the face of heat — Tamba Hali won the day versus Erik Pears — were brilliant including the second touchdown to Chandler.
— Fitz is now in sole possession of third place for most 4-TD pass games in Bills history, breaking his tie with Drew Bledsoe (2). Joe Ferguson is two ahead (5), while Jim Kelly had 10. I find it hard to believe Jimbo didn’t have more, but he also had Thurman Thomas and Kenny Davis toting the rock.
— The Bills defense was stout up the middle, but I fear teams that can run to the outside better than Kansas City. Chris Kelsay doesn’t have the range if they continue to insist he’s a starting OLB and that could start to hurt come next week against Darren McFadden. Nick Barnett was an improvement in covering tight ends over Paul Posluszny, but not by a ton. The run defense needs work, but Marcel Dareus, Kyle Williams and Spencer Johnson did A-okay.
— At safety, Bryan Scott was all over the field with eight tackles and a sack, but George Wilson had a poor game. Neither was able to fill-in for Donte Whitner at uselessly jumping onto already-finished tackles, and that was terribly disappointing.
— Drayton Florence had a hit-or-miss day with more hits than misses, including an interception. He still gets caught too often with his back to the pass while guarding receivers, which lends itself to needless yellow flags.
— Draft status of non-backs to make catches today: 4th round (Chandler), 7th round (Stevie Johns0n), undrafted (Donald Jones & David Nelson).
— Johnson’s touchdown catch was scintillating, but what was more impressive was the veteran and somewhat-subtle push-offs he twice worked on KC corners. Guy is a stud.
Stat line I liked…
Scott Chandler, 5 catches, 62 yards, TD
— Not only is he super tall, but I’m not sure he’s dropped a ball since stone-handing the first pass of the preseason.
Stat line I didn’t like…
C.J. Spiller, five rushes, 16 yards, TD
– Looking forward is important, but he still looks too indecisive between the tackles, even with a nice touchdown run.
— His third-down conversion very late in the first half was an unheralded but hard-nosed pick-up that stamped the Bills resolve upon the game.His 5.6 yards-per-carry and 117 all-purpose yards were a welcome sign that age ain’t nothing but a number for No. 22.
I hope this will stop people from pretending the preseason dictates the direction of a franchise, even though I know it will not.
One of the more overlooked teams in football, the Oakland Raiders. I have great fears of McFadden, but I think the home crowd has a good chance at moving this favorable schedule to 0-2. I’m staying positive and picking Buffalo, 23-16.