The Buffalo Bills play the Kansas City Chiefs this week, and one of the big story lines heading into the Week 2 matchup harkens back to Week 1 in 2011, when a downfield block from Bills receiver Stevie Johnson put Chiefs safety Eric Berry on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. (Or at least, that's how everyone remembers it; never mind that Berry returned to the game and actually got hurt on a play where he was untouched.)
I asked Joel Thorman of ArrowheadPride.com if Berry, who has openly wondered whether or not the Bills had a bounty on him, would seek any sort of retribution, or if this was all talk.
"It'll be a thing that that the media talks about, but I'm sure Berry has been schooled well on what to say about this - which is nothing," Thorman said. "He's had some cryptic messages in the past year or so indicating he may not be happy with the hit, but I think that's all you'll get out of him."
Still, that hasn't stopped irate Chiefs fans from dogging Johnson on Twitter all year, and it's reached a fever pitch this week. Johnson has acknowledged some of it - and he probably shouldn't have - but he also appears to be trying to take it in stride.
"Bills fans, you gotta look at this from our perspective - one of our favorite players goes down on a block that, while legal, didn't seem necessary and was away from the ball," Thorman explains for Chiefs fans. "I'm not saying it's dirty. That's not my intent here. I'm just pointing out our perspective, that a fan favorite was hurt on the play, so as fans it's very difficult to separate our anger from reality. In other words, we're cool."
Things do not seem too cool, however, in this thread.
Then again, Bills fans have gotten a taste of what Chiefs fans felt last year just this past week or so, when a low hit from LaRon Landry sidelined Fred Jackson. (The only difference: Jackson had the ball.) I've seen a lot of vitriol directed at Landry in the past few days; let's hope those fans can at least understand where Chiefs fans might be coming from.
With David Nelson out of the lineup, Johnson will be an even bigger focal point of Buffalo's passing attack than usual, despite the fact that he's still hobbled by a groin injury himself. It'll be interesting to see how many slants and crossing routes the Bills dial up for him this week, as that's Berry's territory.