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Grading the Bills - Game 1: Bills v Chiefs

 

In a phenomenal exhibition all around, the Buffalo Bills routed the Kansas City Chiefs in a 41-7 blowout.  Quite a turnaround from a year ago in which offensive struggles were only offset by the defense. Indeed, not only does this win set a positive tone for the year (especially beating a highly touted team), but it shows how well changes are being implemented across the board.  While I am still going to take the Bills progress on a week by week basis, one cannot deny that the Bills look more competitive and ready to fight a whole 60 minutes to win games this year.  Here's my breakdown.

Run Offense: A

It seemed every time that Fred Jackson got the ball, Chief defenders were either bouncing off of him or getting dragged an additional four or five yards.  By partway through the fourth Fred Jackson had rushed for 112 yards on just 20 carries (5.6 average).  Backups C.J. Spiller and Johnny White meanwhile struggled a bit during the game averaging just over 3 yards a carry each, but Spiller helped to seal the victory with a nice 9 yard TD in the fourth.  Brad Smith meanwhile had mixed success in the wildcat.

Pass Offense: A

At times Ryan Fitzpatrick had some really poor throws, but then rebounded with precision shots.  By time the aerial attack subsided though, Fitz had thrown 4 TDs, going 17 for 25 and 208 yards passing.  Perhaps the best parts of the passing game was the inclusion of TE Scott Chandler who ended the day with an impressive 5 catches for 63 yards and 2 TDs.  Also refreshing was seeing Steve Johnson making 4 grabs for 66 yards and a nice TD in tight coverage.  Donald Jones had a quiet starting debut with only 2 receptions for 3 yards, but one was a touchdown.  David Nelson looked strong tying Stevie with 4 receptions for 66 yards.

Blocking Offense: B

At times the Bills tackles (Bell and Pears) seemed undone by the Chiefs pass rushers, but managed to bounce back or give Fitz enough time to get rid of the ball surrendering a single sack.  Run blocking seemed to be a bit stronger although a few missed blocks happened from time to time.  In the end, it was a good performance.

Run Defense: B+

After letting the Chiefs run all over the field (274 yards) last year, the Bills defense proved to be a lot stouter giving up only 108 yards on the ground today.  In the first half particularly, the Bills stopped all-star Jamal Charles and forced a fumble.  The defense looked a hundred times better although they could try to keep the average run per attempt (6 yards today) by not allowing several big runs through.

Pass Defense: A+

Aside from one drive by Matt Cassel, the Bills secondary did a great job to contain the Chiefs in the air limiting them to just 119 yards.  Coverage was good overall with Jairus Byrd all over the field.  Bryan Scott dodged a bullet on a near touchdown early on in the game but otherwise played well.  McKelvin likewise had his ups and downs starting.  Terrence McGee went down with an early injury but Drayton Florence stepped in with an interception later in the game.  

Pass Rush Defense: B-

With a lot of hype coming in, the Bills attackers had a quiet afternoon with two sacks by Bryan Scott and Spencer Johnson.  Williams, Dareus, Merriman and Kelsay showed good pressure at times forcing Cassel to dump off the ball more often than not which helped contain the Chief's offense all day long.

Special Teams: A

The kick coverage unit, which say a lot of playing time today, was solid all throughout pinning the Chiefs deep in their territory.  Chris White forced a fumble on the opening kickoff which Kelvin Sheppard recovered. Roscoe Parrish had a good punt return of 28 yards.  Rian Lindell was 2-2 on field goals while Brian Moorman had an impressive 51.4 yard average on 5 punts during the game. 

Coaching: A+

Chan Gailey got much deserved revenge on the Chiefs for firing him a few years back with a dominating performance by his players from the start.  Chan capitalized on early Chief's mistakes and didn't let his team break until they led by more than 30 points in which he gave the backups more playing time.  Play calling was excellent 


Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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