In Week 1, everything went wrong for the Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets. This week, the Bills welcome the Kansas City Chiefs into Ralph Wilson Stadium in hopes of improving their record to 1-1. Here are five players to keep an eye on tomorrow at "The Ralph."
Fitzpatrick will need plenty of help Sunday.
Spiller should find success against Kansas City.
Okay, this is an obvious pick. For the Bills to succeed against the Chiefs, C.J. Spiller will need to perform well. Somewhere around 125 total yards may be necessary. I think this is very attainable as he'll be utilized both as a running back and wide receiver. Spiller found success against a very good Jets defense breaking off two big runs as well as a 30-yard reception.
C.J. Spiller knows that he needs to prove himself weekly in the NFL and is ready for the opportunity:
"It definitely gives you confidence to know that you can do it,'' said Spiller who averaged nearly 90 yards rushing in each of the final three games last season. "But the quote that I am going to stick by for the whole year is `past success doesn't guarantee future success.' I can't just bank on what I did the last six weeks to say I'm capable.''
Look for the Bills to run Spiller towards Tambi Hali on Sunday. Hali is listed as a linebacker in the Chiefs 3-4 defense, but a large part of his game is rushing the passer. The Bills would be wise to use Hali's aggressiveness against him.
Jones should receive plenty of targets in the slot.
Jones had a decent game against the Jets catching five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Some of the receptions came in garbage time, but there was plenty to be encouraged about. In 2011, Jones had issues catching the ball, but against the Jets he looked sure-handed.
“I can do everything that they ask of a slot receiver,” said Jones. “Whether that’s blocking down on an end, blocking a linebacker. Anything they want, screens to any type of routes I can do it all. Whatever they ask me to do I’ll do it and I’ll be good at it.”
Jones has had success in the slot, so don't be surprised if Jones is the Bills leading receiver after tomorrow's game.
T.J. Graham will have to learn on the fly in his rookie season.
T.J. Graham was a healthy scratch against the Jets, but he will definitely suit up against the Chiefs on Sunday. With the Bills being extremely thin at wide receiver, Graham is going to get his opportunity and Ryan Fitzpatrick is confident in his rookie wide-receiver:
“He’s a guy that we think highly of,” said Fitzpatrick. “As a young guy you tend to go crazy sometimes just thinking about everything and getting caught up in the moment. Getting him out there, getting him comfortable and getting his feet wet a little bit, I think he’s going to do a good job."
Bills fans will look for T.J. Graham to get open deep and keep the Chiefs defense honest. Against the Falcons, the Chiefs gave up plays for 25 yards or more to Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Graham is not in the same class as any of the aforementioned players, but the Bills would be wise to utilize his speed in the passing game as well as on end-around runs and bubble screens.
The Bills will need a few big plays on offense if they want to earn their first win of the season.
Mario Williams needs a big game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Mario Williams played poorly against the Jets and didn't endear himself to the media by making excuses post-game. If Williams can disrupt Matt Cassel and cause a turnover, the media will be silenced.
Williams will get his chance at redemption in front of the Bills faithful on Sunday. His opponent, however, is no push-over. Williams will be going one-on-one with arguably the best right tackle in the NFL, Eric Winston. Williams has the ability to beat any right tackle in the league and I think he'll have the opportunity to sack Cassel on Sunday.
Don't expect to hear anything about the replacement referees, hands to the face, or an undisclosed injury from Williams post-game Sunday night. Williams knows that he needs a big game, and I expect him to deliver.
Gilmore needs to play a lot better against the Chiefs.
In the preseason, it appeared that Stephon Gilmore was going to be a star. He was aggressive, played excellent in man-to-man coverage, and seemed like a veteran on the field.
The game against the Jets was a rude awakening. Gilmore was beaten a few times throughout the game by Stephen Hill, a rookie in his own right.
Chan Gailey was brutally honest in his assessment of Gilmore:
“A little soft. He played a little tentative," said Gailey. "He played a little tentative early in preseason and then the last preseason game he played a lot more physical. He got off balance and played a little tentative against the Jets. He has shown to be a much more physical and much more dominant force in one-on-one coverage than he did (Sunday). I think he’ll learn from this and become a better football player. He’s got all the tools.”
Gilmore agreed with his coach and knows what needs to be done:
“I think I played kind of tentative, but sometimes I played aggressive,” Gilmore said. “I think I just have to play and not worry about anything else. Just play my game and play physical.”
Gilmore will be tested Sunday against Dwayne Bowe. To keep Bowe and the Kansas City offense in check, Gilmore will need to show the aggressiveness that he played with in the preseason.