The Kansas City Chiefs were thoroughly beaten in every facet of the game by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. From the opening kickoff that was fumbled by Chiefs returner, Dexter McCluster, it seemed as if things were just going to go the Bills was on this day. And it did. There's no other way to explain this game but to say that the Bills were the more physical, more disciplined, and more hungry team on the day. They flat-out seemed as if they wanted to win this game more than the Chiefs.
The Chiefs were put in a reactionary mode from the opening kickoff with McCluster's fumble. But any energy garnered from the home crowd on opening day was immediately taken away when Buffalo scored on a four-yard touchdown reception on third and goal from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to tight-end Scott Chandler. It calmed a crowd that was hoping to see more of the team that beat the Chargers during the home opener in 2010, instead, they saw a similar team as the second-half Chiefs against the Ravens in the playoff game that ended the Chiefs season a year ago.
While things weren't necessarily looking great at the beginning of the game for the Chiefs, there were still a few plays during this game that kind of defined how things went on the day.
One of those plays was early in the second quarter with the Chiefs behind 14-0. Just after a pass that was originally ruled as a touchdown from Matt Cassel to Leonard Pope was reversed because Pope didn't maintain control of the ball heading to the ground. Matt Cassel took a 12-yard sack that made a would-have-been 37-yard field goal attempt, a 49-yard attempt. Needless to say that Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop missed the field goal and squashed any possible-momentum that getting on the board may have provided at this point in the game.
It's hard to say whether or not this play would have changed anything regarding the outcome of the game, but at the time it seemed to take a little wind out of the sails of the Chiefs players and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium.
The next time that the momentum really seemed to sway towards the Bills and ultimately began to see the Bills pull away from the Chiefs was a Chiefs drive early in the 3rd quarter. They were trailing 20-7 at the time and on 1st and 10 Matt Cassel's pass was batted at the line of scrimmage right back at him, which he caught and was tackled. This 4-yard loss wasn't a good look on 1st and 10 and ultimately it was this play that stalled the drive, forcing the Chiefs to punt and give the ball back to the Bills.
The next swing was from the Bills very next drive. The Chiefs knew that going down 27-7 would ultimately put them all but out of the game and forcing a field goal would at least keep some sliver of hope alive.
The Bills drove the ball all the way down to the Chiefs one-yard line, then proceeded to have a couple of penalties that pushed them back and force a 3rd and goal from the 11-yard line. The Chiefs blitzed seven on the next play and it seems from the replay that Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis was the one defender that wasn't locked up on a Bills receiver. That may have been why Scott Chandler caught a wide-open touchdown pass to break the game open and pretty much seal the deal for the Bills as they took a 27-7 lead.
The Buffalo Bills were the better team for the majority of snaps on Sunday and these three particular plays seemed to be key to their victory over the Chiefs. You've got to give the Bills credit for going out and making plays, but you also must wonder how long it will take for the light to come on for the Chiefs. They now have a weeks worth of practice to get ready for a Detroit Lions team they'll face next week in Detroit.