Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Players Who Will Step Up vs. Bills
Before I begin, I want to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives on this tragic day. I want to thank the firefighters, police officers, EMTs and doctors who rushed to the scene to do whatever they could to help people escape the towers.
For those attending an NFL game today, you may see a special tribute before the game or during halftime. Tonight on Sunday Night Football, there will be a huge tribute special.
Happy Patriot Day and enjoy today's game! Let me know what you think!
RB Jamaal Charles
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This one should come as no surprise to anyone. The Chiefs ranked first in the league in rushing while the Bills finished last in stopping the run. This is the biggest mismatch of Week 1 in the NFL.
This will be the fourth consecutive season the Chiefs host the Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Charles has managed to find individual success any time the Chiefs play the Bills.
2010 vs Bills: 22 carries for 177 yards, 4 catches for 24 yards.
2009 vs Bills: 20 carries for 143 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 catch for 7 yards.
2008 vs Bills: 2 carries for 22 yards, 3 catches for 45 yards and 1 touchdown.
Charles has amassed 418 yards in three career games against the Bills. Today could be another great game for him against a weak Bills defense. You can also expect a good game from Thomas Jones.
RB/KR Dexter McCluster
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This one will be interesting to watch, as I have said throughout the preseason. After suffering a high ankle sprain last season, Dexter McCluster is back and ready to run. With a new role, how will the Chiefs use McCluster’s dangerous speed?
The Chiefs know what they have in McCluster, who is the team’s offensive weapon. McCluster can help the Chiefs by moving the chains on third down plays and picking up a lot of yards with his quickness.
McCluster can also be a factor in the special teams game today.
Once again, the Chiefs will use his speed to get whatever they can gain.
OLB Tamba Hali
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He might be the most important player on the team this season. The Chiefs will be facing a lot of elite quarterbacks. As for the not-so-elite quarterbacks the Chiefs are going up against, they’re still pretty good.
For a team with little talent on the roster, the Bills liked what they saw in Ryan Fitzpatrick as he earned an 81.8 quarterback rating after throwing for 3,000 yards, 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Tamba Hali will continue to do what he does best and that is to stress out the opposing quarterback by applying pressure. With a better corps of pass rushers on the team, Hali will not be alone in this game.
CB Brandon Flowers
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Brandon Flowers is beginning to take the stage as one of the better cornerbacks in the league today.
With Hali and company providing the pressure, Flowers will have an easier time playing against Steve Johnson. Johnson started in 13 games for the Bills and came away with over 1,000 receiving yards along with 10 touchdowns after catching for only 10 yards the season before.
While the Bills started off 0-8, they went 4-4 in the second half of the season, thanks to the connection Fitzpatrick built with Johnson.
Flowers hopes to give Johnson a slow start to the new season and pull away with an interception in this game. Flowers is one of the better open field tacklers in the game today and wants to improve in his takeaway total after only recording an interception in Weeks 2 and 3.
S Eric Berry
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Eric Berry is already known as one of the best safeties in the league. Berry and Flowers are working on forming the strongest cornerback-safety duo in the league and with the help of Hali up front, it can help construct a strong defense.
Berry got off to a slow start last season in the opener against San Diego on Monday Night Football. He allowed Antonio Gates to get by him for the first touchdown of the game. He was also not on the same page as Brandon Carr after allowing Legedu Naanee run through for a 59-yard touchdown play in the same game.
Throughout the season, Berry improved and made fewer errors as the weeks unfolded in 2010. Eventually, Berry became a game changer and helped the Chiefs continue to win.
His most heroic moment during his rookie season was against the Bills when Fitzpatrick threw a slippery pass to Berry. Had Berry not been at the right place at the right time, the Bills could have eventually kicked a field goal to stun the Chiefs on that drive.
With a full season under his belt, it shouldn’t come off as a surprise if Berry has an eye-grabbing game.