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Up Next: The Chiefs’ Doppleganger


 

I really like the 24-hour rule that pros and coaches have: don’t celebrate or dwell on a game for longer than 24 hours. My dwelling on the season opener ended Monday afternoon. It was painful, but I’m over it, and am now focused on the Bills like a hungry diner staring at a plate full of ribs.

I mean the Chiefs. I mean the Bills. I mean the Chiefs.

As it turns out, the Bills are the Chiefs’ doppleganger, and this Sunday’s game will be like playing against ourselves while looking in a mirror. To wit:

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Cassel are twins separated at birth. Both run hot and cold. Both have even been called “Jekyll and Hyde” by various members of the local and national press. In Week 1, Fitzpatrick went 18-32 for 195 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. But check this out:

  • First half: 80 yards, two interceptions, 38.9 passer rating
  • Second half: 115 yards, three touchdowns

Now who does that remind you of? Cassel could do no wrong in the first half of the Falcons game. The second half was the return of Mr. Hyde, including that woeful cross-field interception. I would still take Cassel over Fitzpatrick any day of the week, but the streakiness is real.

Need more evidence?

Let’s look at the rushing attack. Although Fred Jackson injured his knee, C.J. Spiller ran for 169 yards. The Chiefs are also built for the run and ran for 152 yards against the Falcons. Between Jackson/Spiller and Jamaal/Peyton, both teams understand their core strength.

Dominant pass rusher? The Bills are built around new acquisition Mario Williams. We have Tamba Hali of course. Williams, honestly, played like crap last Sunday; Tamba didn’t play at all. Both defenses suffered immeasurably and neither had a go-to #2 rusher to get the job done with any consistency.

On special teams, the young Bills team surrendered a punt return for a touchdown against the Jets. The Chiefs gave up a 77-yard kickoff return because two rookies couldn’t keep their lane.

I could go on and on. In a nutshell, the Chiefs and Bills are way more alike then different. Both have quarterbacks that run hot and cold. Both have defenses with great potential on paper, but get blown out more often than we think they ought to. Both have stellar running games but can’t seem to maintain the complementary passing game needed to win. Both teams have young, and sometimes undisciplined players. And both teams are maddeningly frustrating to diehard fans!

So what do we do about this situation–essentially playing ourselves–on Sunday? Both teams have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both teams will be fired up for redemption. Left to their own devices, the Chiefs and the Bills would probably draw up similar game plans coming into this Sunday’s contest. But in chess, if you continue to mirror your opponent’s exact move, you will get checkmated quickly.

So what will be the new wrinkle, the variation in the plan that creates one victor out of two very similar teams?

It won’t be on offense. For both teams, their best defense is a good offense. That means both the Bills and the Chiefs will try to win the time of possession battle. Against the Falcons, we held the ball for 32 minutes and the Falcons for 28. We need an even greater margin, and nix the turnovers. And both teams will try to keep defenses off balance, in order to create more opportunities for the quarterbacks. Daboll did a great job of playcalling through two quarters against the Falcons. His use of McCluster and Moeaki was superb, and you gotta love seeing Cassel take the occasional medium-length pass every now and again.

It won’t be defense, either. Hali and Mario Williams will have similar games and both units will try to contain, not stop, the opposing offenses.

I think the twist this Sunday may involve special teams play, and more specifically, the return game. Which special teams unit will have the discipline to stay in their lane? Which unit will break one free for a touchdown? With two such evenly matched teams, this game rides on the shoulders of our kickoff and punt units, on both sides of the ball. Javier Arenas, Andy Studebaker, Terrance Copper–this game is all about you!

What’s do you think, Addicts? What will be the unusual variation that puts the Chiefs over the top this week?!!!

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • tm1946

    Sure you have the right doppleganger? It seems to me the only shadow is the condition of the QB position. Would not Atlanta been a better match? GM from NE, stars in their own right, same 4 uear period. Of course, Atl has been a little more in tune with the NFL.

  • Spencer

    the fact that you tried to say that the bills and chiefs are anything alike made this article crap IMO, Cassel-no run gave in 2nd half, Fitz-run game all 1st half and all game…Fitz just sucked 1st half and the jets just said we run in 2nd half-Cassel played his ass off in 1st half despite defense-then run game stopped and defense-our own team defeated Cassel………..

    So that ends even the Cassel itz comparisons from last week-fitz just played like crap all game, 3 tds with only 115 yrds in a half-that is called running like crazy….Cassel at least passed for over 250 yrds, rather then what 140 by fitz?……..Bills had to try and win dispite Fitz, KC had to try to win despite our defense………..

    Defensively completly dfferent-different schemes, they had no one hurt, we had Flowers, Lewis, Hali and somewhat Toribio all gone-they were perfectly healthy on that side of the ball but still sucked against the JETS who scored a whooping 1 td all preseason, which was done by their 3rd string qb, not 1st or 2nd………..

    Bills simply sucked enormously…….Chiefs were at least competitive and actually went against a good offense AND defense can be to blame by the fact that we had 3 starters missing AGAIN-fuck last week felt like last year, this week should feel like the Packers game but we should be scoring tds rather then the sum 50 failed attepts in the red-zone that orton had……

  • DT58bestLBever

    Did you forget that we have Dex, Bowe, Breaston, Moeaki, and Boss? Who do the Bills have? Stevie “Cheap Shot” Johnson…. and then???
    P.S. I hope Berry blows up Stevie! Nothing cheap, but definately something HARD!!!!

  • ArrowFan

    The refs will play a part in the out come that is sure and the FG teams as well.

    • KCMikeG

      I hope someone is paying attention to the refs. They are letting them “play”. I would love to see the stats but I’m seeing lots of pass interference and OL holding going uncalled. Hope RAC & Co. is coaching our guys accordingly.