Chiefs vs. Bills: What Do We Make of Up-and-Down Buffalo?
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NFL head coaches often caution their players not to get too low off a loss or too high off a win. The Buffalo Bills have experienced both extremes in the span of seven days, following up their 48-28 Week 1 loss to the New York Jets with a 35-17 win in their home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It's important not to make all-encompassing generalizations after two games, but at this point, all we know about the Bills is that they have the potential to be the force they were predicted to be all offseason or to be the same Bills we've seen for over a decade.
It's hard to imagine how the opener could have gone any worse for the Bills. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions, raising questions about him as the future of the team at the most important position on the field. Around him, running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver David Nelson both went down with injury.
The Bills were firing on all cylinders. It looks like they adjusted to the loss of those two weapons rather nicely; Fitzpatrick spread the ball to six different receivers on 10 completions.
Wait..10 completions? In a Chan Gailey offense?
The passing game took a big back seat to the running game, with 36 rush attempts against 19 pass attempts on the day. Running back C.J. Spiller has put to bed any questions as to whether he could sub in effectively for Jackson. He has now totaled 292 yards rushing (10.1 YPA), 364 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns through two games.
Without a deep core of pass-catchers, the Bills would be wise to rely on the running game more than they have in years past. That's especially true if the offensive line plays as well as they did this Week 2 contest, paving the way for 201 rushing yards and an average of 5.6 yards per carry while holding the Chiefs front seven without a sack.
That running game and offensive line will be a huge luxury if the Bills are playing ball control as much as they did against the Chiefs, and that will be the case if their defense continues to play as well as they did on Sunday. They forced a punt on the first four drives, two of which were three-and-out for the KC offense.
The fifth drive ended in a sack-fumble by Bills defensive tackle Alex Carrington.
Speaking of the defensive line, the group as a whole brought down Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel five times. The D-line was gashed on the ground for 150 yards and an average of 6.3 yards per carry, but the brunt of the damage came with the game well out of hand.
The Bills rinsed with Listerine after the Jets left a bitter taste in their mouths in Week 1. They filled the cavities of the losses of Jackson and Nelson. They flossed between the cracks of a pass defense that gave up a 123.4 passer rating to Mark freaking Sanchez last week.
But oral hygiene, much like the football season, is an ongoing process that means nothing unless it is consistent.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.
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