The Kansas City Chiefs have to forget about Week 1. It's over.
The 40-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons is tough to take on the surface, but in reality isn't the end of the world. While the Chiefs should certainly be concerned with the atrocious play of their highly-touted defense, it's only one game.
When Tamba Hali makes his return on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, much of the pass-rushing problem will be fixed.Not only does Hali require attention from multiple players, he opens up lanes for others by doing so. Justin Houston will have a much-easier time getting to Ryan Fitzpatrick since he's not the focus of the offensive line anymore.
The one looming issue is Brandon Flowers. When will he return? Kansas City desperately needs him back in the lineup because Jacques Reeves is horrible. I hate to be cruel to a man who left the NFL to tend to his ailing mother, but he's just not a decent player at this point. Reeves was constantly getting torched, leaving the rest of the defense helpless.
If Flowers returns and is close to 100 percent, the Chiefs will have an excellent defense. The Falcons exposed the unit while it was injured and kudos to them. I'm willing to bet it doesn't happen to a healthy Kansas City team.
Looking forward, the Bills are in rough shape at the moment on offense. C.J. Spiller looks like he's ready to get some national attention, but he's not Fred Jackson. Jackson is a complete package who can hurt you in a variety of ways. Spiller is yet to prove he can play two good games in a row.
Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions against the New York Jets, further making pundits wonder whether or not he can be a legitimate starting quarterback on a winning team. So far, the returns are inconclusive.
The Chiefs have to win this game, or their season is down the drain for all intents and purposes. An 0-2 start with a trip to New Orleans spells doom. Kansas City can right the ship, but it needs to start with a much better effort on defense and special teams.
Offensively, the Chiefs looked terrific through two and a half quarters. Matt Cassel was playing some of the best football we've ever seen out of him and Jamaal Charles is unquestionably back. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll also seems like a good fit.
Despite Cassel throwing two interceptions (one of which that can be attributed to him, and it was ugly), I have total faith in the offense. Their job late in the contest was made almost impossible with a defense that couldn't stop a high school team. Give Charles and that ground attack a lead and they'll be a machine with a mauling front line.
If Kansas City can grab a road win come Sunday everything will be back on track. It's time to move on.