KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Jamall Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Nick Barnett #50 and Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Chiefs-Bills Recap: Todd Haley Says 'We Were Bad From Start To Finish'

The Chiefs had a miserable first day of the regular season, and Todd Haley and company have a lot of work to do to right the 2011 season.

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Chiefs-Bills Recap: Todd Haley Says 'We Were Bad From Start To Finish'

He’s absolutely right. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said after the 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills that his Chiefs team was bad from start to finish. From the fumble on the opening kickoff by Dexter McCluster to allowing late a touchdown to C.J. Spiller, the Chiefs were handled in every aspect of the game by a four-win (2010) Buffalo Bills team that was supposed to be an easy victory on an otherwise tough schedule for KC. Now they’re staring at 0-1 and heading to an upstart Detroit Lions team that looks the part of playoff sleeper.

The numbers tell the same story that Haley said in that first sequence. The Chiefs allowed three turnovers and the Bills used those opportunities to move ahead early in the game. They went 3 for 13 on third down conversions, which will always lose the game with a percentage that low. The Chiefs also suffered from the horribly short passing game that plagued them in late season losses, as Matt Cassel averaged 2.9 yards/pass.

Meanwhile, the Bills were made to look like a legitimate contender. Perhaps the season will tell us that the Bills were much better than anyone figured heading into the season, but let’s be honest that Ryan Fitzpatrick probably played his best game he’s going to have this year with 4 touchdowns. The Bills ran and passed the ball at will, doing whatever they wanted along the way. The Chiefs defense was on the field for way too long, but part of that was their own fault as well. It was just a poorly played game through and through.

Blame will be shifted toward players and coaches alike by fans. Some will blame the playcalling that avoided establishing a running game. Others will wonder why Steve Breaston wasn’t utilized properly. At this point, every person from top to bottom is to blame and the Chiefs absolutely need a win this week at Detroit to right the ship early on in the season.

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Chiefs-Bills Recap: Three Things We Learned About Kansas City Chiefs

Even though the loss was miserable for everyone in Kansas City, the Chiefs have plenty to take away from a day like today as they move forward in the season. Even when a team fails, it can figure out what went wrong and move forward, and that’s going to be the mantra for the Chiefs as they head into practice this week and try to right the ship against the Detroit Lions in week two on the road. That said, it’s going to be a hard week after the 41-7 loss to the Bills at home to open the season.

The Chiefs have plenty to learn from a loss like this, but here are a few key things that stick out to us:

1. The Running Game Is Vital – Even though the Bills were up by a couple of scores, the Chiefs cannot afford to abandon their ground game. Thomas Jones didn’t even get a chance to get going, and Jamaal Charles was impressive in what limited carries he received. He was averaging over 6 yards per carry at halftime yet he only had 8 carries.

The Chiefs are built to run the ball and pound it away and the team focused on keeping that central with their acquisition of Le’Ron McClain in the offseason. There was no reason to abandon it so early in the game, and their inability to control the clock allowed the Bills to ring up so many points to put the game away.

2. Stretch the Field – At the same time, the team has to be able to stretch the field. Chiefs starting QB Matt Cassel had a horrible and finished with only 119 yards passing despite 22 completions. That’s completely unacceptable as the Bills’ secondary was never tested for most of the afternoon. Receivers like Steve Breaston were brought in to stretch a defense, and that has to become a part of the game plan after establishing Charles in the run game.

3. Depth is Needed – The Chiefs had the money to spend this offseason, but chose to let every other team sign a million free agents. They ended up with a secondary filled with Jon McGraw and Sabby Piscitelli among others. One injury to Eric Berry later, the Chiefs are wishing they could have their personnel choices back.

The same could be said along the offensive line where the Chiefs are also woefully thin. Instead of sitting on a bankroll of $30 million extra, the Chiefs could have used some depth today versus the Bills.

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Kansas City Chiefs Lose Home Opener To Buffalo Bills, 41-7

If it was possible to get a mulligan for the 2011 season, the Kansas City Chiefs would have already used theirs halfway through this afternoon to redeem their downright embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills today, 41-7. It was a day that absolutely nothing went right for the Chiefs, as every aspect of the team failed to perform up to expectations.

The Bills were made to look like the New England Patriots on offense, as Fred Jackson ran for 112 yards and Ryan Fitzpatrick had 4 passing touchdowns. On the flip side, Matt Cassel looked horrible under center, going 22 for 36 for only 119 yards and 1 touchdown to go with 1 interception. He had a 64.5 rating on the day.

The vaunted Chiefs running game couldn’t save the say since the Chiefs were playing catch-up for most of the afternoon. Buffalo raced out to a 14-0 lead early on after the Chiefs fumbled the opening kickoff and it went downhill from there. Fitzpatrick made easy work of the short field he was given time and again by the Chiefs.

Simply put, the Bills looked prepared and ready to go for the season, even though they failed to make significant changes this off-season to a team that won four games all of last year. Most sportswriters and fans believed that this was one of the easy games on KC’s schedule compared to the monster teams waiting later. Apparently, this is going to be a longer season than most people thought.

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Kansas City Chiefs Look Absolutely Pathetic In Buffalo Bills Game

There’s no other phrase to use. Perhaps you could say horrible. “Embarrasing” comes to mind. Kent Babb perhaps said it best over Twitter: “Who could blame people for leaving? This is claw-your-eyes-out bad.” The bottom line is that the Chiefs failed to properly execute anything meaningful on Sunday in a game that should have been a victory given the Bills performance last season and the Arrowhead location. Instead, the Chiefs have been schooled on their home turf and must face the constant barrage of “pretender” status for the next week.

Is that true? Are the Chiefs just pretenders who parlayed a light schedule in 2010 into a 10-win season? Were they lucky the Chargers stunk it up at the right time as well? It’s hard to say at this point, but it’s important to note that there’s still a lot of talent on both sides of the ball for the Chiefs to not right the ship to some degree. While the playoffs might seem funny to even bring up at this point, it is only one game.

However, it’s a telling game. It’s definitely one that leaves an impression that the Kansas City Chiefs are a team that simply were not ready for the regular season in any way, shape or form. Jamaal Charles impressed today when given limited chances. Tamba Hali got his quarterback sack. Other than that, the Chiefs have looked miserable midway through the fourth quarter. We’ll have more analysis later, but Chiefs fans (and personnel) must be miserable on a day like today.

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