This Chiefs offense is very back-friendly, with Knile Davis piling up stats in the stretches he's been in the lineup with Jamaal Charles sidelined. Now that Charles is healthy again, how much can we expect to see of Davis on Sunday?
Thorman: The Chiefs are so game plan specific that it's hard to tell. Davis has four games with 16 or more rushes but he also has three games with three or less rushes. The overarching goal with him is to provide some power to Charles' speed, but to also have Davis come in as the feature back when the Chiefs have the game in hand and need to burn the clock in the second half. Since I don't see the Chiefs winning this one handily, I'll take a guess and say Davis will have six carries on Sunday.
Expanding on the back-friendly theme, and knowing that tight ends (Travis Kelce in particular) are dominating the passing attack, here's a question: how sustainable is the Chiefs' success with only Dwayne Bowe contributing at wide receiver?
Thorman: That's the question we keep asking, but through eight games the Chiefs are scoring 25 points per game. Alex Smith is completing over 67 percent of his passes, so he's consistently completing those shorter passes. The Chiefs personnel, in some ways, dictated this type of offense. Charles, Kelce, De'Anthony Thomas, and to some degree Bowe are all players who can break tackles and make players miss, so catching high percentage passes close to the line of scrimmage and pilling up the YAC has been working for this team. I don't think it's an offense that works for everyone, but it fits the Chiefs really well.
Speaking of Kelce: he's been sort of a revelation, eh? I know he plays less than Anthony Fasano, so what can Bills fans expect in terms of how and when Kelce comes onto the field, and where he lines up?
Thorman: Based on what we know, Fasano will play almost all the snaps and Kelce will be around the 50-60 percent mark. Of course we all want him to play more because despite those lower snap counts he leads the team in receiving. He will line up in two tight end sets, which are somewhat new to the Chiefs this year (at least in this quantity) as well as in the slot. He is a deep-ish threat but I think his best routes are ones that stay near the line of scrimmage and give him an opportunity to get into space because he is deceptively elusive at his size (6'5", 260 pounds).
Justin Houston has a sack in seven of eight games this season, and multiple sacks in four of eight. Have teams tried anything specific to try to slow his roll? Are fans thinking about his potentially setting the single-season sack record yet?
Thorman: We are talking about whether he can set the single-season sack record. Through eight games, he's on pace to break it (24 to Michael Strahan's 22.5). Houston really is the full package. You have some guys who only have a finesse move and others who are technicians with their hands (like Tamba Hali) and others who can rush the passer but can't stop the run. Houston can do it all. He is a strong, strong man who will bull rush over a tackle if he needs to. Sure you can leave another back in there to chip him or put extra protection on his side, but Hali is still a decent player on the other side. It's almost a pick-your-poison type of situation with those two. The best way to stop them is to get the ball out quickly, which is what we've seen from quarterbacks like Peyton Manning.
Eric Berry just returned to the lineup last week after missing several games with an ankle issue. How did he look against the Jets, and should we expect to see as much (or more) of him this week in Buffalo?
Thorman: Berry was replaced by Ron Parker at safety while he was injured. Parker did a pretty good job there and merited playing time even after Berry came back. Berry, who played on the line and deep safety last week, played in 51 of the 68 snaps in his first game back and I wouldn't be surprised if he played a similar amount next week in Buffalo. He used to play every down, but with Parker emerging the Chiefs have a lot more options in the secondary. They'll rotate fresh players in and regularly use six defensive backs.