Chiefs vs. Bills: 5 Things We Learned in Kansas City's 35-17 Loss
In what was supposed to serve as a revenge game for Kansas City to ultimately put last year's season-opening 41-7 loss to Buffalo in the rearview mirror, the Chiefs came out flat and the Bills capitalized.
Here are a few things we learned in Sunday's loss.
Matt Cassel Is Not Proving His Detractors Wrong
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While you couldn't tell it by simply glancing at Matt Cassel's final stat line (23-of-42 for 301 yards, two touchdowns and one interception), the quarterback is doing nothing in the way of proving those wrong who believe that he isn't capable of leading the Chiefs to an extended run through the playoffs.
Cassel has the weapons around him to, at least, match his production from the 2010 season (3,116 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions), but he has stumbled out of the gate through the first two games in 2012.
If he doesn't right the ship soon, those boos he heard during the celebrity softball game during Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities in Kansas City will become a permanent fixture at Arrowhead Stadium
Chiefs Need to Stick to Running the Football
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Success for the Chiefs this season will come primarily through Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and the ground game.
Kansas City is averaging 151 rushing yards through the first two weeks, but it still seems more needs to be done to keep the identity of this offense focused on what the team does best.
While the Chiefs have some nice pieces in the passing game, Cassel has shown a lack of steadiness and isn't the type of quarterback who can win many with his arm.
This Is More Than Likely Dwayne Bowe's Last Season in Kansas City
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Dwayne Bowe is the Chiefs No. 1 pass-catching target. After the Bills already had the game sewn up, the wide receiver was able to haul in two touchdown passes.
Those who watched the game see Bowe's performance for exactly what it was: Cassel's crutch during garbage time.
However, those evaluating his performance, as it relates to dollar signs for a potential monster free-agent contract, see Bowe as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
While the Chiefs are obviously a better team with Bowe, his statistical output this year will more than likely price him out of Kansas City.
Nobody Wants to Step Up for the Chiefs
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It is painfully obvious through the first two weeks of the season that the Chiefs lack leadership on the football field.
While there are several names that pop out as potential candidates—Eric Winston, Jamaal Charles, Steve Breaston, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Eric Berry—none seem willing to come up with the big play or call out those not giving their all.
There is no excuse for a team as talented as the Chiefs to be in the position they are currently in—two blowout losses. But, if no one wants to step up for this team, Kansas City is in for a long year.
Injuries Will Play a Huge Part This Season as Well
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While it seems that no amount of injuries will compare to the hand the Chiefs were dealt last season, there is already a number of health concerns that have certainly affected the outcomes of both games this season.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers was able to finally find the field, but tight end Kevin Boss took a vicious hit in the loss to the Bills and did not return to action. Running back Jamaal Charles, returning from his ACL tear from last season, also came up limp in the first half and saw limited action the rest of the way.
Kendrick Lewis, Anthony Toribio and Allen Bailey have yet to see any action this season as well.
Every NFL team deals with injuries, but it isn't difficult to see just how the inability to field the best possible 53 players is affecting the Chiefs early on in 2012.