Re-Focused – Bills @ Chiefs, Week 1

| September 13, 2011

The Kansas City Chiefs are not an easy team to beat at Arrowhead Stadium, as they herald one of the league’s more imposing home field advantages. On paper, this looked like a perfect matchup for the Chiefs seeing as how they have one of the league’s best run games and were set to face a Buffalo Bills team that had a lot of trouble stopping the run a season ago.

Regardless of how this matchup may have looked on paper, the reigning AFC West champion Chiefs suffered a 41-7 beat down at the hands of Chan Gailey’s Bills in their season opener.
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In truth, the Chiefs’ inability to contain Buffalo’s offense coupled with their less than stellar ball movement is a great cause for concern for a team that many critics picked to make the playoffs this season.
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For Buffalo, Gailey proved to the NFL that they are no longer the automatic win that they used to be and that they are ready to compete in a tough AFC East.
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Buffalo – Three Things of Note
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1)  Fitzpatrick – Top QB of the Week?

Ryan Fitzpatrick topped ESPN’s new Total QBR for Week 1. Now don’t get us wrong, he played well and he certainly put up some good numbers but he wasn’t playing at an elite level.  What he did do, was give his receivers a chance to make plays on a couple of occasions, but that was partially due to the Chiefs’ inability to pressure the quarterback and effectively disguise their zone defense.  In short, the Chiefs’ defense wasn’t all that hard to pick apart, and although Fitzpatrick did an admirable job at it, he wasn’t playing at the same level as Tom Brady.
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2)  Why Fred Jackson remains a PFF favorite

Not only did Fred Jackson have a pretty decent game, but he was responsible for some of the best plays I’ve seen all week.  On a 3rd and 1 play, Jackson avoided a Chiefs linebacker that had made it unblocked into the backfield with a neat sidestep.  He then proceeded to carry Brandon Flowers, who is not a corner that is used to getting beaten physically, on his back past the first down marker.  Throughout the course of the game, Jackson was able to rip off big chunks of yardage all day long, finishing with over 100 yards on 20 carries for a 5.6 average.
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.3)  O-line still needs help

If the Bills still have holes, and most of them are on the offensive line.  Although their left side performed well in this game, they struggled at other positions as both Eric Wood and Erik Pears received negative grades.  The Chiefs weren’t able to do much to test the offensive line, but the Bills will face some much sterner competition in the New England Patriots and the New York Jets and if they are hoping to compete in the AFC East, they will need to upgrade their offensive line.
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Kansas City – Three Things of Note
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1)  Kelly Gregg on the decline?

We’ve been long time fans of Kelly Gregg here at PFF, but we may be witnessing a player firmly on the down-slope of his career.  2010 saw a marked decline from his past excellence, and this opening game showed a player that was barely recognizable from the Gregg of old.  His -2.1 PFF grade represents a player that was unable to anchor the middle of a defense, something he has made an art-form out of in the past. Gregg also failed to make a real impact in any area of the game, being completely blanked from the stat sheet except for the dubious honor of notching a missed tackle on one of the few plays where he was able to beat his blocker.
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2)  Problems without Berry               

Eric Berry left the game early with an ACL injury that was later revealed would sideline him for the rest of the season. That left Kendrick Lewis (-3.9), Sabby Piscitelli (-2.2) and Jon McGraw (-0.5) as the Chiefs’ only safeties.  Because we’ve seen decent play from Lewis in the past, we will give him the benefit of the doubt, but those negative grades are all too familiar for Piscitelli and McGraw,which poses some pretty significant issues if those two are to be relied upon for an extended period of time.
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3)  A fine performance from Albert 

It wasn’t all bad for the Chiefs, and the performance of Branden Albert is something to note in a positive light.  Albert’s +2.9 PFF grade represented a reasonable day run blocking and a perfect game in pass-protection. Although he’ll face better defensive units than the Bills this year, it’s a fine start to the year for him.
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Game Notes

● The Chiefs combined for eight missed tackles on defense.

● Pass rush was not abundant in this game, as both teams combined for just nine total pressures on the opposing quarterback

● Eric Berry was on the field for just five snaps, but lasted long enough to give up a touchdown on the Bills’ first drive on a shortened field.
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PFF Game Ball: 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills

Hard to look beyond the passer who wasn’t quite Tom Brady, but was more than good enough to get it done.

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  • motorcycle

    In what formation did Buffalo’s defence line up for most of the snaps please?

  • harryddunn

    It seems like they run a 4-1-6?