Sunday, September 16, 2012

Deciding Factors: Chiefs at Bills


The Buffalo Bills (0-1) are looking for a stronger showing in their home-opener Sunday after an embarrassing performance against the New York Jets in Week 1. Buffalo takes on the Kansas City Chiefs (0-1), a team that has a bit to prove themselves after a thrashing in their home-opener at the hands of Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

As both teams will look to hunker down their porous secondaries, Buffalo will also be shuffling its offense as best it can to account for two big losses this season, starters Fred Jackson and David Nelson. The Bills' coaching staff has assured their fans and the media that nobody is panicking yet, but another big loss could be cause for early concern in Buffalo.

Deciding Factors:

Spiller time. The high point in last week's routing was the job C.J. Spiller did filling in for the loss of Jackson, coming out with nearly 170 yards on only 14 carries. That will be tough to duplicate, especially given the re-additions on defense the Chiefs will have in Week 2, namely linebacker Tamba Hali (photo: oplotni, Flickr) and defensive back Brandon Flowers.

Gut-check for Bills' defense. On top of their dismal performance last week, the Bills sadly had to cope with the sudden death of Marcell Dareus's brother, who was shot and killed in a robbery in Alabama this week. Dareus was excused from practice for a majority of the week but intends to play Sunday. This tragedy could act as a bonding agent among a squad in desperate need of a turnaround. Either way, the defense will be looking to increase its turnover ratio and sacks against the Chiefs, who allowed three of each last week.

Return of the K.C. D: The Chiefs' defensive squad will have a chance to redeem itself from a year ago, when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up the crew for four touchdowns. They will be looking more to match their turnover numbers, finishing the year second in the AFC in interceptions behind New England.

Getting in for six. The Chiefs scored only 212 total points last season and only 18 offensive touchdowns. The Packers, by comparison, got in for six 63 times with their offense. While nobody expects Kansas City to tally that many TDs, the pressure will be on the offense to produce much more this season, namely Dwayne Bowe, their leading scorer from last year, and Peyton Hillis, the ground-and-pound addition to their rushing attack. A good place to start will be their red-zone efficiency, which was a league-worst last year is but 100 percent thus far.

Bills posts from this week:

Week 2 AFC East game picks: Chiefs at Bills

Bills' WR corps readjusting for year without Nelson

Spiller Time: C.J. to take full reigns at RB for now