Be afraid! Be very, very afraid!
Okay, maybe not all that afraid, but a little nervous, anyway. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills this Sunday for what they hope will turn into a grand Halloween Party. Many Chiefs fans will be planning to top off a weekend of fun by celebrating a blowout at Arrowhead over the winless Bills. The win would treat the Chiefs to another week of first place in the AFC West. With a win the favored Chiefs would be at least two games up on the Broncos, and would probably have a three game lead over the stumbling, bumbling, underachieving Chargers. Sunday’s party couldn’t have been planned any better, right?
Not so fast. This is a scary game for the Chiefs, and Todd Haley better have his young team prepared, or he’ll be the one finding rocks in his candy bag this year, not Charlie Brown.
More frightening thoughts after the jump:
Starting in the second half of the Houston game, the Chiefs defense has been exploited. It’s one thing for one of the league’s top offenses lead by Matt Schaub to pick apart the defense. It’s what Houston does. Chalk it up to a lack of focus. But when a 38 year old farmer gets off his tractor in Minnesota to start his first NFL game in five years and looks like he actually belongs in the NFL against the Chiefs defense, it’s cause for a little anxiety. Up until late in the third quarter when Todd Bouman finally made a mistake in the form of a pick-6, the Chiefs were clinging to a one point lead. The final score made it look like the Jaguars were manhandled, but that wasn’t the case. But, now we’re talking about the loser Bills coming into Kansas City. This should be an automatic win, right? Wrong.
Buffalo’s numbers are far from impressive – ask the Chargers what good numbers do for a team in the win-loss column. Even so, Buffalo’s offensive numbers are a bit skewed. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a quarterback rating second only to Peyton Manning since being named the starter three games ago. He’s thrown 11 touch down passes and only four interceptions in that stint. Last Sunday, the Bills put up 34 points against an eighth ranked defense overall and against the pass losing only in overtime. Lee Evans and Steve Johnson combined for 14 catches and 263 yards, including four touch downs. And if you think the Chiefs have experienced some bad calls lately, try watching some of the Bills game against the Ravens. There was horrible officiating throughout that game which kept the Ravens in it, and even helped set up the game winning field goal for them.
The Bills will come in slinging the ball against the Chiefs 25thranked pass defense. They will pass it early. They will pass it often. They are conident they will pass it well, so the Chiefs better be ready to defend it. The Bills are better than their winless record shows and they should have beaten a playoff caliber team on the road – but they didn’t. Sound familiar?
If Buffalo needs any more incentive to get the winless monkey off their backs, Chan Gailey would like nothing more to get his first win this year over the Kansas City Chiefs. He must feel he deserved more than a one year tour with the Chiefs after Haley let him go last year. Revenge always makes a good Halloween theme.
The Bills have the NFL’s worst defense both in points, and rushing yards allowed, so the Chiefs number one ranked rushing attack should look like a chainsaw massacre. The Chiefs better have an effective day running the ball, because they don’t want to get in a shoot out with the Bills and have the game rest on on Matt Cassel’s shoulders. Although, it was encouraging to see him improve his play in the second half of the last game completing a few deep passes along with a good completion rate, with Dexter McCluster probably out for the game, and Chris Chambers becoming the newest occupant of Haley’s doghouse, the Chiefs are short on wide receiver weapons. If the Chiefs defense can keep the scoring down, the Cheifs shouldn’t have to test the Bills ninth ranked pass defense that often. But the Chiefs defense hasn’t been doing that of late – that’s the scary part.
The Bills winless streak is just long enough for them to play with desparation, but not long enough to make them stop caring. I don’t think Haley will let his team look past Buffalo this weekend, but looking at division rival Oakland on the horizon could be tempting. If the Chiefs aren’t well prepared and focused to beat Buffalo this Halloween, Arrowhead could turn into more of a haunted house than any of the Chiefs faithful care to see.