Chief Concerns: Susie Hodson
Our Kansas City Chiefs are 8-0 as we travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York to play the Buffalo Bills. Our Chiefs have quadrupled their win total from last year. Head Coach Andy Reid is 8-0 for the first time in his career and his players intend to keep it that way.
“We love what’s going on around here as far as winning,” linebacker Tamba Hali said. “None of us have been in this position where this team is 8-0. To keep winning, to go 1-0 every week, I think we have a sense of urgency to keep getting wins.”
Keys to Winning in Buffalo
Rush the Passer – Whoever It May Be. For possibly the fourth time this season, the Chiefs could be facing a backup quarterback. Buffalo’s starting quarterback Thad Lewis could be sidelined with a rib contusion and he is also fighting a flu bug. At press time, Bills’ Head Coach Doug Marrone says Lewis is “50-50″ to play Sunday. Backup quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Matt Flynn could be starting in place of Lewis. Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel has returned to the practice field but is already ruled out as his doctors have not cleared him to play. We didn’t witness the usual stellar pass rush last Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns. However, the Chiefs still dominate the National Football League in that category. I’m sure Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton worked with the defense on that during practice this week.
Stop Fred Jackson. Even though he’s battling a sore knee, running back Fred Jackson is always dangerous. Johnson had seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown in last Sunday’s loss in New Orleans; however he has scored a touchdown in three straight games against the Chiefs.
Quarterback Alex Smith and the Rest of the Kansas City Chiefs Offense. We are beginning to see glimpses of Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith finding his vertical game. Against the Cleveland Browns, he went 24-36, two touchdowns and no interceptions for his best quarterback rating this season thus far (102.2). However, he was sacked six times. The offensive line must protect Alex Smith at all costs. It’s no wonder he’s the second leading running back behind Jamaal Charles. He’s running for his life. If the offense shapes up, we could have a high-scoring game on the Chiefs’ side of the ball. The Buffalo Bills’ defense is ranked 25th in the National Football League – allowing 26.6 points per game thus far.
Speaking of Jamaal Charles, he is a workhorse. Yet the Buffalo Bills seem to have him pegged. He ran for 376 yards and averaged 7.2 per carry in his previous three games against the Bills before being held to three yards on six attempts during a 35-17 loss at Buffalo on September 16, 2012.
This Sunday could be a game in which Alex Smith and his receiving corps could shine.
Despite the fact that we’re still undefeated, going into a very hostile environment such as Buffalo (and I speak from experience, my friends), a win will not come easy. At home, Buffalo leads the Chiefs (going back to the 1960s and the Dallas Texans) 14-6-1. They also lead the entire series (again since 1960) 25-18-1. They have won five of the last six meetings against the Chiefs and both in the last two seasons by a combined score of 76-24. However, Buffalo has lost three of their last four games and is dealing with a host of injuries as it tries to continue this dominance over our Kansas City Chiefs.
Let’s hope that dominance comes to a screeching halt on Sunday. Let’s remain perfect as we go into our bye week. GO CHIEFS!!!