It wasn't the best game execution-wise for either team last season in Week 8. That's largely why the game went to overtime and then went a full fifth quarter before Kansas City finally defeated the Buffalo 13-10 on a last second field goal by Ryan Succop. The sting from that game for a Bills team that at the time was still pursuing its first victory of the season under Chan Gailey, whose was let go by the Chiefs just a year earlier as their offensive coordinator, had a lasting effect. It's why the Bills players that were on the field for that game will be bringing a bit of added incentive to Arrowhead Stadium with them on Sunday.
"I think some of the guys here last year remember how much that one stung," said Dwan Edwards. "We've got to just come out this week in practice and put our best foot forward and make sure we're more ready for this game than we were last year."
"We took those guys into overtime and we felt that we should've won that game," said Torell Troup. "Even with how bad we played last year we still had a chance to win the game at the end of the game. I think this year we'll play a lot better and clean up a lot of the mistakes and go out there and dominate."
Saying they should've won the game might sound strange for a defense that surrendered 274 rushing yards, but Buffalo's pass defense was effective in keeping big plays to a minimum. Of the 74 plays run by Kansas City only five went for more than 10 yards, and two of those came on the ground. The Chiefs converted just 4-of-15 third down opportunities and went just 1-for-4 in the red zone. Buffalo's defense also sacked Matt Cassel three times in the game.
"We felt like we probably should've won the game. Whether we played good or bad on defense, it happened to us a few times," said Kyle Williams in reference to Buffalo's three overtime losses in 2010. "For the season in those games you realize how close you were."
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led an offense that ran 10 more plays than Kansas City's in that game, in reviewing the tape from that game last season is motivated to show the Chiefs his team's true colors this Sunday.
"We have watched that film from last year and when we do watch it we do think that we made some mistakes that could've made us better," he said. "There were a few plays that I could've made at the end of that game that might've changed the outcome. That was a hard loss for us and I know with our coaches a lot of them being from Kansas City this game means a lot them too. In that regard it gives me incentive to go out and play better."
Fitzpatrick is referring to the interception he threw with 32 seconds remaining in regulation at the Kansas City 41-yard line with Buffalo only 15 yards from being in field goal range for a shot a victory.
Rian Lindell also had a chance to give the Bills the victory midway through the overtime period, but his 53-yard attempt glanced off the right upright.
This year however, with a new and improved defense and an offense that has a year invested in Gailey's system, the Bills are expecting the outcome this time around to be different.
"It's a new year, new season, we've got some new additions and we feel like we're a better team than we were last year definitely going into that game," said Edwards. "It'll be up to us to go out there and prove it."
"We've added some good players," said Williams. "If we can go out there first game of the year, win, and get some early momentum, you never know what can happen."
Even Buffalo's head coach, who was relieved of his duties as Kansas City's offensive coordinator in 2009, and has four members from that former staff among his assistants, doesn't deny there's a little extra on the line in this one.
"When you've been somewhere and they fired you, if you said it didn't mean a little more you'd be lying," he said. "But I want to win them all. This is one of 16. I want to be 1-and-0 when this is over."