Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Live-blog
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 11, 2011 @ 12:20pm
Game Balls: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, Bryan Scott, Scott Chandler.
———————————End of Game, 41-7 Buffalo—————————-
:09—It’s over! The Bills complete a resounding road win over Kansas City, 41-7. No one saw this coming. 1-0, Buffalo!
2:24—Twitter follower Pat Meyers retweets Marty Biron, who’s also a Bills fan, apparently: “Marty never lies RT @martybiron43 “The Bills make me wanna SHOUT!!!”
2:24 —Johnny White is smashed by Mario Williams—not the Texans’ OLB—who decides it’s a smart idea to stomp around and glare in celebration. It’s too bad that there aren’t any fans left to watch you, Mario. 41-7, Bills still. I can’t write that enough.
4:14—Punishing solo tackle by Aaron Williams on Keary Colbert. Williams’ instincts may not be those of a veteran’s, but physically, he’s ready for prime-time.
4:32—The Bills are simply toying with the Chiefs right now. Brad Smith lobs a deep ball, almost a punt, that’s picked off by Brandon Flowers. Pass intended for Roscoe Parrish. KC takes over at its own 11.
4:53 —Another Mendola Tweet: “Through most of their Week One games, it’s a dead-heat between Lee Evans (0 rec, 0 yds) and 4th-round pick (0 rec, 0 yds). #Bills.”
5:41—Suddenly Twitter-savvy Sullivan has this to say: “You know, I might have underestimated this team just a tad.”
5:41—Kellen Heard and Alex Carrington sightings in the game. The secondary is still mostly starters, as Wilson and Scott remain in the game. KC will punt for the sixth time. Can you believe it’s 41-7 Buffalo?
6:36—Telling Tweet by @MarkLud12: “How happy is Chan Gailey right now? Fired by Todd Haley two years ago, totally embarrasses his former team on opening weekend. #Bills.”
6:36 —Todd Haley’s expression has shifted from angry to glum. Or maybe that’s perplexed. I don’t think Cassel was that affected by the rib injury that he brought into the game—he simply doesn’t have enough weapons, and the McCluster and Charles turnovers were the Chiefs’ undoing.
8:50—Uh oh—The Johnny White—Tyler Thigpen duo is in the game. Who would have expected Buffalo to be on the winning side of a blowout? All their detractors are quiet now. A Rodney McKissic favorite, Johnny White is NFL caliber when he’s running straight ahead, but he’s not an east/west runner by any means.
9:30—Colquitt punts for seemingly the 50th time. More Tim Graham tweeting: “All Bills tight ends combined last season: 23 catches, 187 yards, 1 touchdown. Chandler so far today: 5 catches, 63 yards, two TDs.”
9:51—Valuable experience for CB Aaron Williams with McGee out—he won’t have the luxury of facing Matt Cassel and a weak WR corps like KC every week, so this is a perfect chance to get his feet wet. Jason Campbell and the Raiders shouldn’t boast much of a threat next week, either.
11:12—208 yards passing an 4 TDs for Fitzpatrick in a fairly easy game for the Bills’ starter. Aside from the pretty first half toss to David Nelson and the tight window TD throw to Donald Jones, he hasn’t been forced to make many tough tosses.
11:50—Funny retweet by Green Bay beat writer Tyler Dunne: “RT @McClain_on_NFL Colts WR coach, Frank Reich, is warming up on sideline. Houston fans cringe!”
11:50 —C.J. Spiller jaunts off right end and jogs into the end zone for another score. Fine block by tight end David Martin, which sprung the Clemson star for a TD. Spiller’s first NFL rushing TD finally arrives. 41-7 Buffalo.
12:47—Jovan Belcher and Kendrick Lewis are guilty of missed tackles on Jackson’s angular first down run. Jackson catches a pass from Fitz’s bootleg and lands inside the 10.
14:14—With a new set of downs, Cassel heaves an ugly duckling down the left sideline, and Drayton Florence intercepts the pass—not quite with ease, but an INT nonetheless. Jerheme Urban was the intended receiver, and Florence jumped the route smartly. Buffalo starts at the KC 28.
15:00—Buffalo has outgained Kansas City 310 to 160 in total yards. Jamaal Charles only has 8 carries for 52 yards. Nick Barnett hauls down Breaston after a completed crossing pattern over the middle. Barnett is known as excellent in coverage, and his stop sets up a 4th and 4. The Chiefs will go for it at their own 35. Marcell Dareus tries to anticipate the snap count and leaps offsides. He slaps himself in the helmet in anger.
—————————End of 3rd Quarter, 34-7 Buffalo————————-
:04—Drayton Florence almost picks off Cassel’s deep throw toward Bowe. The ball was briefly in his hands, but he couldn’t bring it to the ground.
:14 —Tweet from The Goose’s Roost: “Did Donald Jones just do the ‘Michael Jackson on top of a cab’ yell?” Rian Lindell with a solid special teams tackle on Dexter McCluster, who gives KC excellent field position.
:14 —Fitzpatrick connects with Donald Jones in the back of the end zone on a post pattern for yet another score. 34-7 Buffalo after Donald Jones’ first score. Is there a chance we’ll see Tyler Thigpen shortly?
:14—You know you’re a big deal when your name is trending in Buffalo—get some Scott Chandler, get some.
1:53—Buffalo’s at the Kansas City 22—Donald Jones dives with the outside of his left hand but can’t quite corral Fitzpatrick’s toss to the end zone. 3rd and 11 now. Stevie Johnson runs his route past the first down marker, then curls back for an easy first down reception. Brandon Carr, who’s been picked on all afternoon, has no chance. First and goal from the 7.
2:58—The Bills have KC on its heels—there’s plenty of space to operate now as Fitz hits Stevie Johnson along the right sideline on a comeback route.
3:42—Bryan Scott has been awesome today. He racks up another tackle on Jamaal Charles in the open field; Yahoo has him at 7 tackles and a sack. Roscoe breaks the punt return back into Chiefs’ territory. and more boos rain down on Haley and the Chiefs.
4:14—Stafford to Calvin Johnson strikes for the second time in the Detroit/Tampa Bay game. Bryan Scott rolls in for another tackle on Keary Colbert, the Carolina Panthers’ cast-off. And that’s saying something!
4:18—Nice to see Corey McIntyre in on a special teams tackle. Would not be surprised to see Kansas City throw in the towel here, but there hasn’t been much passion there to begin with. The Chiefs are still suffering from the Glenn Dorsey & Tyson Jackson high picks of the mid-to-late 2000s—neither player is a difference-maker, but for some reason, the Chiefs won’t turn the page.
4:19— A second Scott Chandler touchdown on 3rd and goal from the 11 takes the air out of the Chiefs—Chandler was completely uncovered in the center of the end zone. Brandon Carr, the Chiefs’ corner, flails his arms in disbelief. 27-7, Buffalo.
5:25—Nice hit by Jovan Belcher to push Jackson away from the goal-line. On third and goal from the 2, Brad Smith operates out of the Wildcat. Chad Rinehart jumps early though, making it 3rd and goal from the 7 now.
7:19—Marv Albert calls Chandler’s afternoon a “career day.” Of course, Marv, this is basically his first NFL start. Chandler snagged another out from Fitz to set up a first and goal from the 6. Jackson tugs McGraw all the way down to the 2.
8:10 —Brad Smith converts another 3rd and 1 out of the Wildcat. Man, credit Gailey and the Bills’ organization to spend a few extra dollars on Smith, because he’s been automatic on third and short as a rusher.
10:09—Kansas City’s run defense is in shambles right now. Jackson just exploded for a 24 yard game—fantastic block by Scott Chandler—and Buffalo is already at the Chiefs’ 35. Another nine yards by Freddy, and he’s making it look easy. Fred earned five extra yards himself on that play.
10:11 —Another Tweet from Tim Graham: “Great read there by Chris Kelsay. And that’s the first time I’ve typed that sentence.”
10:37—Bryan Scott has quietly turned in a nice game. He’s been flying to the ball and sure with his tackling. Dwayne Bowe, feeling the pressure from a cover man, drops an easy pass over the middle. Nick Barnett and Aaron Williams were prepared to lay the lumber on Bowe. The Bills take over again.
11:41—Cassel play-actions right before throwing a dart to his new favorite target Leonard Pope. Tony Moeaki, out for the season with a knee injury, is a better athlete than Pope, but the journeyman tight end has proven that he’s at least serviceable.
12:01—Atlanta’s new “air-it-out” offense looks pretty tame after two and a half quarters. Only 6 points? Matty Ice may need a little while to get his feet under him.
12:01—Tamba Hali smacks Erik Pears on the noggin and sacks Fitzpatrick to end the Bills’ drive. That’s the Chiefs’ first sack of the afternoon—honestly not too bad considering the state of the Bills’ offensive line. Establishing the run with Jackson has gone a long way towards occupying the KC pass rushers.
13:56—Freddy Jackson has turned his own beast mode on, rattling off 14 yards and trampling several defenders in the process. Bad missed tackles by Kelly Gregg and Kendrick Lewis. Grantland quote part two!
15:00—Buffalo starts at its 20. David Nelson frees himself on the left after Fitz bootlegs—nicely designed play. Remember, Sabby Piscitelli cannot cover a child.
Halftime—Can’t believe the Steelers are getting pounded this thoroughly by the Ravens. Joe Flacco looks like a man on a mission this year. Lee Evans has yet to record a reception, though.
Halftime—Funny Tweet from Nick Mendola (@nicholasmendola) in regard to the pathetic Colts: “Would be very cruel if Manning-less #Colts got the 1st pick and Luck hung out with Peyton for two years before cont. dynastic QBing.”
Halftime—Jerry Sullivan, now on Twitter as TBNSully, has this to say about Fred Jackson: “How tough is Fred Jackson? The guy simply gets the most out of every run.”
Halftime—All Scott Chandler wanted to do was spike the football after his first NFL touchdown, but the spike was blocked by an excited Bills’ receiver! Interesting.
Halftime—Good tweet from WGR’s Joe Buscaglia in regard to Aaron Williams’ gamble on Charles’ touchdown: “Good to see #Bills DB coach, George Catavalos, calmly explain what Williams should have done there. It takes time for young CBs to learn.”
———————————Halftime, Buffalo 20-7——————————-
:48—Clock is reset to 48 seconds. Fred Jackson puts Brandon Flowers on his back and lugs him beyond the first down marker—sheer will by Freddy got that first down. Fitzpatrick kneels down to end the half.
:44—Stevie Johnson lowers his shoulder for inside position on Brandon Carr and grabs a 14 yard gain. 3rd and 1 for the Bills with 38 ticks left. Gannon and Albert are singing Johnson’s praises right now.
1:39—False start on the Bills’ Erik Pears. Draw play to Fred Jackson—and a quick spin move—nets only one yard. 2nd and 15—so no gain actually.
1:39—Brad Smith looks heavy-legged and hesitant today—that’s the second time he’s looked indecisive in choosing a gap. Buffalo’s drive start is inside its own 15 as a result.
1:51—On second and goal from the 6, Cassel tosses the ball out of the back of the end zone. Sound coverage and enough of a rush for Cassel to feel heat. Jamaal Charles hauls in a quick out, just narrowly out of Aaron Williams’ reach. Should Williams have gambled there? It could have been six the other way, I suppose, but it was a pretty easy score for Charles. 20-7 Bills after Charles’ receiving score.
2:00—Buffalo News’ enterprising writer Tim Graham tweets this in response to the Chiefs’ current drive: “THIS KC offense certainly can beat the Bills in the second half. Where was any indication of this for 25 minutes?”
3:38—Dwan Edwards can’t quite shed his blocker in time to corral Dexter McCluster, who rips his way into Buffalo territory—a 23 yard gain. McCluster and Charles don’t really have much of a “change-of-pace” feel—it’s fast and really fast. Charles follows suit with a run down to the Bills’ 30. Steve Breaston, the former Wolverine star, catches a crossing pattern for another first down.
5:14—Barnett and Merriman pull down McCluster after a two yard gain, but Cassel hits Charles out of the backfield on 3rd and 8 for a much-needed first down. Kansas City’s defense needs a breather after all the offense’s turnovers. Bryan Scott lays out and plants Jamaal Charles after only a one yard gain.
5:32—Nice special teams tackle by Leodis McKelvin, who’s more than happy to celebrate after the play. KC starts at its 19. Great break on the ball by McKelvin leads to a pass defensed—intended for Dwayne Bowe.
5:42—I’m concerned that Donald Jones isn’t ready for the spotlight of the #2 receiver job. Brandon Flowers smothered him on the play, refusing to allow him to even back a play on the ball. Well done by one of the top cover corners in the league. Lindell boots the 38 yard field goal, and it’s now 20-0 Bills.
6:23—Great adjustment in the air by Donald Jones, but he only manages to keep one foot in bounds. The right foot definitely landed on the white of the sideline. It’s true, Shawne Merriman was back in the game on the last fumble recovery. Fred Jackson loses a yard, setting up a 3rd and 11.
6:27—Reports are that Merriman was back on the field for the last down. The ruling on the field stands, and Buffalo keeps the ball.
6:27—Jamaal Charles coughs up the football on a counter to the right, and Leodis McKelvin pounces on the football deep in Chiefs’ territory. McCluster and Charles have committed huge turnovers in the first half. George Wilson forced the fumble. Can Buffalo put the Chiefs into an even deeper hole heading into halftime? The red challenge flag has been thrown by an infuriated Todd Haley, who is absolutely beside himself.
7:15 —The Matt Stafford-to-Calvin Johnson connection clicks for the first time this year, putting the Lions ahead of the Bucs 13-10. Expect a lot more of where that came from. Think of the Culpepper-Moss duo in their primes.
7:15—CJ Spiller loses a yard on an inside hand-off. He shakes his head as he jogs to the sidelines. 3rd and 3 from the KC 11. Good coverage in isolation by Brandon Carr on Stevie Johnson, and a slightly errant throw from Fitzpatrick falls incomplete. Lindell’s 28 yard field goal is good, though, and Buffalo sends the lead to 17.
8:50—After the first down run, Buffalo has a new set of downs at the 31. Chandler, lined up against Justin Houston again, beating him to the sideline for a first down at the KC 18. A draw play to Fred Jackson churns out 8 more yards. Buffalo is picking up yards at will with a solid mix of run and pass.
9:32 —Brad Smith runs the Wildcat on third and one—the slash QB/WR sneaks through the A gap for the first down. A nice use of the Wildcat there—by removing the QB from the equation, Smith could choose a running lane quicker and avoid any complications with a hand-off. The Wildcat is a fine alternative to a power formation, in that instance.
11:21—Scott Chandler, facing a smaller safety in Jon McGraw, bobbles a bootleg pass briefly before reeling it in for a 19 yard gain. Fred Jackson pounds the ball in disgust after a six yard run—he was one missed tackle from paydirt, he thinks. Jackson rumbles for three on 2nd and 4, setting up a third and short.
12:10 —Ha, I’m right—Yahoo credited Johnson with the sack as well. One of the Bills’ keys to the season was to generate pressure with its front four, and so far, so good.
12:16—Todd Haley is snarling at anyone who will look at him. Credit Spencer Johnson for a sack on the following play, but it looks like the commentators are giving it to Kyle Williams. The sack pushes KC back where Ryan Succop must try a 49 yard attempt—and it’s no good! Wide right. Still 14-0 Buffalo after a reversed touchdown and a big sack from the Bills’ D-line.
12:16—Video evidence looks conclusive that Jairus Byrd’s shin knocked the ball loose as Pope fell to the turf. The referees get it right, and the pass is ruled incomplete. The Bills dodge a bit of a bullet there.
12:38—Did Pope maintain possession all the way to the turf? The touchdown is under review.
12:38—George Wilson stands up Jamaal Charles for only a short gain. Cassel finds Leonard Pope between the two safeties in the end zone—and it’s a 19 yard touchdown for the Chiefs. 14-7 Buffalo.
13:30—Buffalo’s defense struggled against tight ends last year, and it appears to be no different this year. Jake O’Connell snagged a 15 yard reception, and then Dwayne Bowe created separation from McKelvin for another 15 yard gain. 1st and 10 for the Chiefs at Buffalo’s 21.
15:00—The Bills’ Twitter account notes that Shawne Merriman has been taken to the locker-room to have his shoulder examined. Definitely not good at all.
——————————-End of First Quarter, 14-0 Buffalo————————
:18—Hopefully Arian Foster’s fantasy owners handcuffed their injured back, as both Derrick Ward and Ben Tate have scored touchdowns against the Colts.
:48—Jamaal Charles starts the second series in style for Kansas City, bouncing his run outside for a first down. Ball on their own 42.
:55—The boo-birds are already out in Kansas City, where the fans are unnerved by a lethargic offense and a vulnerable defense.
:55 —Touchdown, Stevie Johnson! The former Kentucky star used his height to out-leap Brandon Flowers for the 27 yard score. What a catch! 14-0 Buffalo.
1:33—Outstanding throw from Fitz to Nelson against cover-sieve Sabby Piscitelli, the former Buc. 33 yards and a first down to KC’s 27.
2:26—In the first Wildcat snap of 2011, Brad Smith dances behind the line and loses a yard. Erik Pears found himself on the ground quickly.
2:57—Smooth first down completion on an intermediate out from Fitzpatrick to lanky David Nelson. Very well executed. 1st and 10 and Buffalo’s 37.
4:21—Good coverage from the Chiefs despite a fine pocket for Fitzpatrick. The former Harvard QB scrambles for four yards up the middle. CJ Spiller tries to bounce his run outside but Jon McGraw wraps him up—McGraw is filling in for the injured Eric Berry. Both teams’ secondary depth is being tested early on.
5:30 —Drayton Florence gets away with pinning Bowe’s left arm in man-on-man coverage down the left side. Bowe nearly hauled in the pass with one hand, but it slipped free at the last instant. Colquitt punts again, and Parrish runs smack into Danny Batten on the return. Awkward.
5:47—Bad sign for the Bills as Shawne Merriman rushes to the bench with a shoulder injury. As Rich Gannon suggests, it may just be a stinger (very painful for a very short duration). 3rd and 4 for the Chiefs at their own 20.
6:25—Back out of town, Tampa corner Aqib Talib is relishing his matchup with Calvin Johnson, returning a Matt Stafford pass 28 yards for a score. TB leads 10-3 right now.
6:25—Jackson swim moves past Chiefs’ corner Donald Washington on first down for seven yards. Incomplete pass on second down sets up a 3rd and 3. The Chiefs only send four rushers, but Wallace Gilberry stunts and beats Levitre—forcing a high throw from Fitzpatrick to Nelson. Incomplete—Moorman will punt again.
7:30—Jairus Byrd reads the swing pass to Charles beautifully and stops him behind the line of scrimmage. Great read and react by the former Oregon safety. Colquitt’s punt is atrocious, and Buffalo starts on KC’s side of midfield.
8:08—Cassel’s throw is behind Leonard Pope, and despite the former Cardinal’s attempts to adjust, he can’t reel it in. Charles churns out four yards up the middle out of the single back set, bringing up a third down. News breaks that Terrence McGee has pulled his hamstring and will not return.
8:37—KC’s Javier Arenas, former teammate of Bills’ first rounder Marcell Dareus, disrupted the timing of the third down play with a corner blitz. Fitzpatrick released the ball earlier than he wanted, and Johnson couldn’t quite reach the first down marker.
8:37—Marv Albert is quoting the Grantland piece on Ryan Fitzpatrick! Troubling. The article didn’t present Buffalo in the most positive of lights. Here’s the link to the article. 3rd and 9 for the Bills from their own 26. A comeback route to Stevie Johnson along the left sideline falls incomplete.
9:55—A timing play to Spiller in the right flat moves the chains. Eric Berry’s injury—the second time he’s been down on the turf in the early going—looks more serious. Knee, possibly.
10:13—C.J. Spiller takes the first carry of the second series, juking in and out of defenders and finding seven yards.
11:00—And who let Rich Gannon have a football in the press box!
11:00—I’m baffled why CBS is showing Chase Daniel’s stats on the bottom line. First of all, Chase Daniel didn’t play for the Saints against Green Bay on Thursday, so I have no clue where they’re getting the numbers from. Someone fix this!
11:00—Chris Kelsay’s rush forces Cassel to step up in the pocket, and Dareus’ big mitt slows him down before Cassel falls to the turf—the Chiefs are forced to punt. Bryan Scott is credited with the sack on the play, but it was a team effort. 7-0 Buffalo.
11:32—Good hit in run support by Jairus Byrd along the left sideline on Charles’ first run. Byrd’s worked hard on improving as a run defender, but he’s still certainly not a natural. The McGee injury is a little unnerving, as he’s been injury prone over the past two years.
12:09—Penalty flag thrown as McCluster opts to bring the ball out of his end zone. Holding on KC and a facemask on Johnny White lead to the ball being placed on KC’s 13. Leonard Pope catches a play-action bootleg pass from Cassel, plows through George Wilson’s arm tackle and earns a first down. Terrence McGee is shaken up.
12:14—Fitzpatrick links up with tight end Scott Chandler for a touchdown on Buffalo’s opening drive! Great to see Fitzpatrick using the tight end, particularly in the red zone. Chandler stands 6’7, and despite a few cases of the drops in the preseason, should be a valuable check down target for Fitzpatrick. 7-0 Buffalo.
13:29—Messy exchange between Fitzpatrick and Wood wastes a down for Buffalo. On second down, the Chiefs rush three and drop eight into coverage—Jackson scampers to the three on the draw play. 3rd and goal from the 4.
13:51 —Out of town, Joe Flacco starts the season hot for Baltimore, hooking up with Anquan Boldin from 27 yards out for a score. Ray Rice put up 39 yards on the ground on that drive.
13:51—Jackson cuts back behind Demetrius Bell and Scott Chandler to earn a first down. 1st and goal for Buffalo as Eric Berry is being attended to on the field. The injury doesn’t look too serious.
14:50—Fitzpatrick draws a pass interference penalty on Justin Houston on first down—the linebacker on Roscoe Parrish is a wonderful matchup for the Bills. Freddy scampers for nine off left guard.
15:00: Kansas City returner Dexter McCluster puts the ball on the ground on the kick return, and Kelvin Sheppard recovers the fumble! Buffalo ball inside the Chief 30 yard line.
Pre-game: The Bills are sporting their new road uniforms—white jerseys and pants with blue numbers and red trim. Kansas City has its home reds with white numbers with yellow trim. Rian Lindell is set to kickoff to the Chiefs, who won the toss and elected to receive.
Pre-game: A sea of red at Arrowhead where a moment of silence and the playing of “Taps” around the league recognized the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, remembering those who died and celebrating those who fought for America.
Pre-game: The carry split between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will be worth monitoring. During training camp, Jackson nearly requested a trade when rumors surfaced that Spiller was going to take on a larger role. Already 30 years old, Jackson doesn’t have much of his prime left.
Pre-game: Ryan Fitzpatrick starts the first season opener of his career today; Trent Edwards bombed out during the first two games of 2010 before Fitz supplanted him as Buffalo’s starter. Fitzpatrick will have limited passing weapons today with Lee Evans traded to Baltimore, but Donald Jones, David Nelson and Roscoe Parrish will be asked to step up in Evans’ stead.
Pre-game: Several touching stories have come to light today on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. I was in 8th grade history class at the time, staring in awe at an event I probably still cannot comprehend.
Pre-game: The game airs on CBS (Channel 4 locally) at 1 p.m. Despite a rib injury suffered in the final preseason game, Matt Cassel will be under center for the Chiefs. Notable inactives are Marcus Easley and Arthur Moats for Buffalo and tackle Jared Gaither and Jonathan Baldwin for the Chiefs.
Pre-game: Buffalo’s defense isn’t as leaky as 2010, though. Additions of first round pick Marcell Dareus and free agent linebacker Nick Barnett should shore up the undersized front seven, infusing both raw talent and experience. The true wild card is Shawne Merriman, the oft-injured outside linebacker who is near unblockable when healthy. Will today be the day when Merriman shows us he’s back?
Pre-game: “Stop Jamaal Charles” will be goals one, two and three today for a Bills’ run defense that finished dead last in the league last season.