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.