Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis (9) passes as center Doug Legursky (59) blocks against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bengals beat the Bills 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills: Getting To Know The Enemy

If you would have asked even the most die-hard Chiefs enthusiast at the beginning of the season, what would the Chiefs record be after eight games, they most certainly wouldn’t have said 8-0. Simply amazing.

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Outsiders want to quickly point to the fact that the Chiefs haven’t played anyone. Well to that I say, DUH!! The Chiefs were the worst team in the league last year, they were supposed to have the easiest schedule!

The Chiefs have done exactly what good teams do, they win the games they’re supposed to and it’s not like the Chiefs have been favored in every game they have played.

The NFL is such a week-to-week league and people judge way too hard on power rankings and lists that change every single Tuesday morning. To me, power rankings are just water cooler talk. A list of teams that people put together and debate for countless, heated hours about who the best team in the NFL is right now.

It’s silly, there isn’t a clear cut, best team in the NFL in week 8 of the season. Every single team on the list is flawed and every team has enough talent to beat the next. For those reasons alone, I don’t buy into a power rankings list that is put together by ESPN or NFL.com. I just don’t do it.

I’m tired of hearing from fans, especially in Louisiana where I live, telling me the Chiefs aren’t the best team in the league and they haven’t played anyone. I’m fully aware that the Chiefs are not the best team in the league and I’m equally aware that they have played an easier schedule than normal. Thank you for clarifying that for me.

All you can do is shrug it off and simply remind them that, you are the ONLY team who is yet to lose, something no one else has done this season, but I digress.

This week, the Chiefs continue their “easy” schedule when they travel to Buffalo to take on the pesky Bills. Kansas City hasn’t won in Buffalo since 1986 and this win could be very crucial for the Chiefs moving forward. Lets take a look at the numbers.

A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS:

Buffalo (3-5) started the 2013 season with a lot of promise from their first round pick, quarterback E.J. Manuel. The Bills were questioned heavily on their selection of Manuel in the first round, but he quickly put that questioning to a stop. Manuel kept the Bills competitive, completing 85 passes for 985 yards and 5 touchdowns, before injuring his knee against the Cleveland Browns in week 5.

Since his injury, the Bills had to turn to 2nd year practice squad player, Thad Lewis. The move actually hasn’t been that bad for the Bills. Lewis has started three games, throwing for 652 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

The problem with Lewis has been his ability to protect the football while in the pocket. Lewis has fumbled the ball six times in three games, losing three of them to the opposing team. Not good for a team who’s tied for third worst in sacks allowed with 28.

Their offensive numbers as a whole really don’t jump out at you. The Bills are 18th in points scored (22.0), 19th in yards (329.0), 30th in pass yards (195.1), but are one of the best rushing offenses in the league with their 7th best 133.9 yards per game.

The Bills also have the 26th best defense, surrendering 26.6 points per game. They’re 7th worst against opposing teams running attacks, giving up an average of 117.8 yards per game on the ground. That’s great news for Jamaal Charles, who’s attempting to tie O.J. Simpson‘s record of consecutive games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage.

MATCH-UPS TO WATCH:

Bills defensive end, Mario Williams, is on an absolute terror this season. Williams has already racked up 11 sacks, and is on pace to break the single season record (22) held by former New York Giant, Michael Strahan. Mario Williams only had 10.5 sacks all last season, so Bills fans have been delighted to see his emergence, especially after his very healthy free agent contract.

This week, Williams will be matched up with an offensive line that has been very streaky for the Chiefs. Rookie right tackle, Eric Fisher, has struggled mightily this season, especially at the beginning of games. You have to imagine that the Bills will be trying to match-up Williams with Fisher as much as possible. It’s important that the Chiefs keep an eye on where Williams is at all times.

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills wide receiver group is one with a ton of talent. Stevie Johnson, the controversial player who was accused of throwing a cheap low block on Eric Berry in 2011, is the Bills leading receiver with 387 yards and 3 touchdowns. His loud mouth would love nothing more than to eat up a Chiefs secondary that has been very good to him in the past.

Johnson’s career numbers vs. the Chiefs are, 11 receptions for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the three games he’s played against the Chiefs, he’s caught at least on touchdown and the Chiefs secondary should have the urge to blank him in that category.

Opposite of Johnson is rookie wide out, Robert Woods. Woods was a stand out at the University of Southern California and has been nothing but solid for the Bills so far in his rookie campaign. He’s third in receiving, catching 22 passes for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Chiefs rookie, Marcus Cooper, will likely be matched up on him most of the day. With Thad Lewis’s ability to scramble and make plays, it’s important for our secondary to stay with their guys down field, much like they had to against Oakland.

CONCLUSION:

Dating back to 2008, this will be the sixth year in a row that these two teams play. You know how many of those the Chiefs have won? One, and it took over time to do it at home. As I mentioned earlier, Kansas City hasn’t won in Buffalo since 1986 and even then it was only a three point game.

It’s important for Kansas City to enter their bye week 9-0 before they begin a three game stretch against division rival’s Denver and San Diego. If the Chiefs drop this game, they will be going into Denver trying to take the lead back in the AFC West, rather than protecting or potentially taking the division by the throat.

Kansas City is only a 3 point favorite in Buffalo and I like that line. I’ll take the Chiefs and the points, moving KC to 9-0 for only the second time in franchise history.

 

Tags: Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs NFL

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