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Scouting Report - Week 2

Posted Sep 14, 2012


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Eric Winston vs. Mario Williams
Two former teammates in Houston, Winston and Williams are all too familiar with one another having squared off in practice for the last six years. It will be very interesting to see how much the Chiefs choose to leave Winston in one-on-one situations with the dangerous pass rusher.

2 – Stanford Routt vs. Stevie JohnsonRoutt made a free agent visit to Buffalo, but ultimately chose to sign with Kansas City. Now he’ll be entrusted with the task of neutralizing Johnson, unless Romeo Crennel chooses to have Brandon Flowers follow Johnson all over the field.

3 – Eric Berry vs. Scott ChandlerAfter Berry got hurt in last year’s opener against the Bills, Chandler went off with five catches including a pair of touchdowns. Berry offers uncommon cover ability at the safety position, but Chandler is a size mismatch for every safety in the league.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Pass rush –
Despite their failings in Week 1 to generate pass pressure, Buffalo’s front four should be able to put heat on Kansas City’s Matt Cassel. The Chiefs gave up three sacks last week to the Falcons, a team that finished 25th in the league in sacks per play last season.

Best advantage – Run game – Despite the loss of Fred Jackson, Buffalo is in capable hands with C.J. Spiller now handling the majority of the workload. Kansas City has a capable run front, but Spiller is capable of breaking a big run on any given play. His 169-yard rushing effort in Week 1 was enough to have the Bills leading the league in rushing yards per game.

Bills Number 1 Must
Ball security –
Buffalo failed to protect the football in Week 1 and it cost them as the Jets scored 24 points off the Bills four turnovers in their loss at New York. Giving the ball up is not an option in what is expected to be a nip and tuck game.

Scouting Eye
Secondary recovery?
The Chiefs secondary came into Week 1 shorthanded as they were without the services of their best cornerback Brandon Flowers and starting FS Kendrick Lewis. The result was a leaky pass defense that gave up three touchdowns through the air and 40 points total in a loss to the Falcons. Flowers is dealing with a heel injury while Lewis has a shoulder problem. Both were limited in practice this week.

Hurry up Chiefs
Kansas City’s offense mixed in some of their no huddle attack on their second possession against the Falcons in Week 1, and used it for entire scoring drives at times. On the series in which they used the no huddle throughout Kansas City scored a pair of touchdowns a field goal and had a miss on another field goal attempt.

Thunder and lightning
The Chiefs used to have a power and speed combination in Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes. They appear to have that again in Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles. The only difference with Hillis and Charles is both are capable pass catchers out of the backfield. The two combined for 103 yards rushing in Week 1 and Hillis also added three receptions on checkdowns by Matt Cassel. Charles has averaged 7.4 yards per carry in four career games against the Bills.

McCluster’s role defined
Dexter McCluster was described as a running back-wide receiver hybrid when he was drafted by the Chiefs and served largely in that capacity his first couple of years in the league. Last year he filled in for Jamaal Charles at tailback after he was lost to a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2011 season. This season he appears to have found a home in the team’s slot receiver role. McCluster was the team’s leading receiver last week with 82 yards on six receptions including some key third down conversions. He was targeted almost twice as much as any other receiving option in last week’s game.

Hali off the bench
Kansas City’s top pass rusher was on the bench in Week 1. Tamba Hali was serving a one-game league-imposed suspension. Hali’s 26.5 sacks over the past two seasons are good for fourth-most in the NFL behind only DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen and Jason Babin. Hali had one sack in last year’s season opener against the Bills.

Cassel coughing it up
Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick took a lot of heat for committing three turnovers in the Bills season opener, but Matt Cassel was just as turnover prone. Cassel threw a pair of interceptions and was stripped of the ball on a sack that was recovered by Atlanta. In Cassel’s last 10 games stretching back to last season he has thrown 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and lost three fumbles.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the Week
“No tear. I’m good. It’s about getting the knee healthy and strong again so I can get out there and play well, but I’ll definitely be back in four weeks.”
--RB Fred Jackson

Stat of the Week
The Bills have won seven of their past eight games at home against the Chiefs.

Milestones in reach
Leodis McKelvin – needs 159 kick return yards to move into third place in team history.

C.J. Spiller – needs a 100-yard rushing effort Sunday to become just the fourth player in Bills history to start the season with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. (Fred Jackson – 2011, Thurman Thomas – 1991, O.J. Simpson 1973, 1975)

Mario Williams – needs two sacks to reach 55 in his career.

Final note
Stevie Johnson has posted touchdowns in each of his last two games against Kansas City.