1 – Eric Winston vs. Mario Williams – Former teammates in Houston, Winston and Williams know each other from practicing against each other for six seasons. Keep an eye on how much Kansas City chooses to leave Winston in one-on-one situations with Williams. Williams can be a dangerous pass rusher but his sack totals have dwindled since 2006. Williams hasn't seen double-digit sacks since 2007. Last season, Williams had just one sack and has no sacks yet this season.
Winston admitted this week that he's not above needing help. Mario Williams is somebody Kansas City has to account for but I feel very comfortable with Winston.
2 – Brandon Flowers (or Stanford Routt) vs. Stevie Johnson – Earlier this week Brandon Flowers was cleared to play by the doctor. On the Chiefs official website his game status is questionable. Flowers told the media and it was tweeted that Flowers would play. Flowers hasn't practiced in nearly two months. I'm confident in Flowers ability but I also understand he hasn't practiced in weeks. Is Flowers up to the task? Honestly, I don't know. Routt made a free agent visit to Buffalo, but signed with Kansas City. My hope is Kansas City brings a pass rush making it easier on Flowers or Routt whoever covers Johnson.
3 – Eric Berry vs. Scott Chandler – Chandler had a touchdown in the Bills loss to the New York Jets with 38 yards receiving. Last season Chandler caught six touchdowns. It will be Berry's tasks to cover Chandler. After Berry left the game in last year's opener to Buffalo Chandler had a terrific game with two receiving touchdowns. Chandler has the size difference but Berry's not afraid to tackle anybody. Berry's also a ball hawk having four interceptions his rookie year.
Bills – Pass rush: Week one the Bills didn’t generate a pass pressure, so Buffalo’s looking to place the heat on Matt Cassel. KC gave up three sacks last week to the Falcons, a team that's not known for sacking the QB. Falcons were 25th in the NFL in sacks last season. Cassel showed he can be rattled, so the Bills will look to repeat what the Atlanta Falcons did.
Chiefs – Run game: Kansas City put up the offensive numbers against the Falcons. After week one Kansas City is 7th in the NFL with 393 total yards. Running the ball Kansas City gained 152 yards on the ground, 5th best in the NFL. This was without Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis storming the ground. Charles had a long of 46 yards against the Falcons, but Charles 15 other carries averaged less than three yards a carry. Hillis had less than three yards per carry. Currently, the Chiefs are 11th in the NFL in time of possession. The New York Jets controlled the ball for over 30 min. against the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City's run game is a way the Chiefs can control the temp week two.
A Chief Must
Buffalo failed to protect the football in Week one costing them 24 points off four turnovers against the Jets. While KC didn’t generate a pass rush against Atlanta, with Tamba Hali back that could quickly change. With better coverage from Brandon Flowers – hopefully – Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick could be hanging onto the football a tad longer. Just enough time for Hali to squeeze in. Justin Houston could also benefit from Hali being back applying more pressure.
Fix the Leak
Week one Kansas City was short on defense without their best cornerback Brandon Flowers and starting safety Kendrick Lewis. The result was Matt Ryan throwing three touchdowns. Crennel played is safe with a prevent style defense, but Flowers will need to catch up in a hurry missing a lot of time. Lewis is listed as out for the game. BUT…Fitzpatrick isn't Matt Ryan.
X-Factor – Dexter McCluster
Dexter McCluster started out a running back/receiver combo when he was taken by the Chiefs in the second round. His speed - so fast he blew out his shoe OTA’s his first season - was instantly seen. Speed's what kept McCluster in KC, that and attitude. Last season McCluster filled in for Jamaal Charles and was successful in the second half of the season. This season the Chiefs told McCluster to make it work in the slot, sort of like how Hali had to adapt to stay with the Chiefs at linebacker. So far like Hali Dexter has overcame very well. For those who took McCluster with their last pick of the fantasy draft they just might have drafted their best flex player yet. McCluster was the Chiefs leading receiver week one with 82 yards on six receptions having several key conversions. McCluster is Cassel's favorite target; don't look for that to change.
Hali is back
Having the top defensive player on the bench week one hurt. Why Hali was out shocked many, he missed up. Tamba Hali was serving a one-game league-imposed suspension. Hali's 26.5 sacks over the past two seasons are the fourth-most in the NFL behind DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen and Jason Babin. Hali was a little sore after practice this week, but a lift to the team. Derrick Johnson said having Hali back will help on Sunday.
Cassel don't choke
Both Fitzpatrick and Cassel turned it over week one. For Cassel who did great for three quarters it happened suddenly. Plainly put, Matt Cassel turns it over the Chiefs don't win. In Cassel's last 10 games stretching back to last season he has thrown 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and lost three fumbles.
The Bills have won seven of their past eight games at home against the Chiefs. Stevie Johnson has posted touchdowns in each of his last two games against Kansas City.
I don't like thinking "must win" week two, but the players were saying it in the locker room this week. Starting 0-2 isn't what you want, especially against a beatable Bills team. The Bills have had good success against the Chiefs, but on paper the Chiefs are better. On paper...
Good day, Chiefs fans!