The Chiefs played in front of a stadium close to being empty during the latter part of the fourth quarter. The stadium was mostly filled with Falcons fans than it was with Chiefs fans. Rightfully so—Chiefs fans left because of the poor performance the team put together in the second half.
The Chiefs must respond in Week 2 when they visit the Buffalo Bills, a team who blew them out last year during the season opener. The Chiefs not only have a shot at giving the Bills what they gave to the Chiefs, but they also have an opportunity to redeem themselves.
And why is it that the Chiefs can't win big this week on the road? They should.
The Chiefs are a completely different team today than they were one year ago during that blowout loss to the Bills.
The defense matured throughout the 2011 season and gave up fewer points against their opponents, creating some low-scoring matches during the second half of the season. The Chiefs gave up 14.3 points per game in the last six games last year. They did not allow more than 20 points in five of their last six contests to finish the season.
Head coach Romeo Crennel was pleased with the defensive effort, which is roughly similar to what the team has now. The Chiefs replaced Brandon Carr with Stanford Routt as the No. 2 cornerback. The Chiefs will get Tamba Hali back from suspension this week and Brandon Flowers was in full participation during practice on Thursday, making it more likely that he plays Sunday.
Offensively, the Chiefs were not good during the last six games in 2011. They did not score more than 19 points, despite helping their team finish 3-3 during that stretch. The Chiefs put up 11.3 points per game on average due to quarterback shifts with Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton. The team also played without Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki.
Now, the offense is injury free. Everyone on the Chiefs' offense is on board while the Bills have some issues of their own this year.
Running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver David Nelson each have knee injuries and their status for Sunday is uncertain. One thing that is certain is the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw three interceptions against the New York Jets last week.
If the Chiefs defense can cause some disruption with Hali and Justin Houston, Fitzpatrick's bad week could carry over. All the offense needs to do is take advantage of their defense. Their defense is not as solid and sound as they'd like to be, giving Matt Cassel and the Chiefs offense to make some noise in Week 2.
The Chiefs can turn around against the Bills this week. Expect the Chiefs to not only win, but win big on the road.