Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday October 31st, 2010 1:00 PM EST
Line: Kansas City -7 1/2
Arrowhead is the toughest place to play in the NFL. The Chiefs have the biggest home field advantage in the NFL. They earn the title because of the dramatic discrepancy between their home play vs their away performances. They are 1-2 on the road, with their only win coming against the Browns and only by two points.
At home, the Chiefs are an undefeated 3-0. What is even more impressive is that they have won the three games by a combined margin of 50 points. The Chiefs are dominating their division and it’s due to their hostile home crowd.
The Bills are winless, both on the road and at home. They shocked the Ravens last week by forcing them into overtime on the road. The spread is set at 7 1/2, which may seem to big of a margin due to the Bills performance last week, but the Bills season is not nullified by one positive performance.
Keys to the Game
All right Ryan Fitzpatrick, you might be better than I anticipated. Since Fitzpatrick has been the starting quarterback, he has thrown for eleven touchdowns and four picks. Last week, he threw for 382 yards and four touchdowns against the Ravens defense.
Fitzpatrick’s ability to make plays set him apart from Trent Edwards. Fitzpatrick is obviously not an elite quarterback, but he makes the Bills offense dangerous. The Bills have been anything but dangerous in the recent past. The Bills may not have a win to show for this season, but quarterback is not their weak link.
Although the Chiefs have been solid against the run, they have struggled when teams come out throwing the ball. They have a very talented group of defensive backs, but they are also all very raw. There is no doubt that in a few years, they will develop into the players they are capable of being. The Bills need to come out throwing in order to soften up the Chiefs from the very start of the game.
The Chiefs have the best running game in the league, averaging a jaw dropping 176.5 yards a game. This makes the Bills easy prey, as they come in dead last in run defense, allowing 174.5 yards a game. The Chiefs are going to have their way with the Bills. The Bills are vulnerable all over the field, but the Chiefs are going to be able to exploit them up the middle for the most yards.
Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles have the ability to expose just about anyone. Thomas Jones is going to be able to carve up the Bills up the middle and do all the dirty work. Charles has the ability to dominate defenses on the outside.
The Bills lack team speed, especially at linebacker. They are undoubtedly going to game plan and preach containment, but there is no way to harness Charles’ speed with the personnel the Bills have on defense.
The Bills have allowed 34 or more points in their last five games. The Bills won’t see a victory this season if they can’t contain their opponent whatsoever. They are improving offensively, but asking their offense to put up the 40 points necessary to come away with a victory is asking too much.
The Bills have nothing to lose, so being more aggressive defensively certainly won’t hurt them. One thing is certain, they need to draft for defense next year. It is crucial to the well being of their team that they bring in talent. While some player on the defensive ball are playing to the best of their abilities, there is no reason they should be starting in the NFL.
Lee Evans is a monster and he is finally emerging as the number one receiver on the Bills. In the last two games, he has allotted 192 yards and hauled in four touchdowns. He has been completely shut down thus far this season, so the Bills have to be excited about his progress. Evans has a real opportunity to have another big game this week.
While the Bills are playing better and better every week, their strides are being taken in vain. This week, the Chiefs are playing at home and coming off a statement victory against the Jags. If this game was in Buffalo, I might pick the Bills to win outright. As it stands, they are going into Arrowhead. Inevitably, the Bills are going to regress into their usual selves. Cheer up Buffalo, a victory lies ahead in the near future.
Free NFL Pick: Kansas City -7 1/2