Posted September 12, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Buffalo Bills picked up right where they left off in 2011, allowing 40-plus points while being routed on the road. Now missing two of their biggest offensive weapons for an extended period of time, regrouping Sunday likely won't be easy against a visiting Kansas City Chiefs defense returning Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali and seeking to avenge a blowout in last year's season opener. Buffalo (0-1) was overmatched in a 49-21 loss at New England in the 2011 season finale, and few - if any - offseason improvements were evident in last week's 48-28 road defeat to the New York Jets. The defense, despite adding prized defensive end Mario Williams in the offseason, couldn't defend against shorter fields following two Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions - he finished with three total - and the special teams unit allowed a punt return before the Bills were able to get points on the board. "We definitely didn't do what we needed to do to win," Williams said. "The biggest thing was that we didn't get sacks. Starting with myself, we definitely have to put the quarterback on his back with any means necessary." Making matters worse, starting running back Fred Jackson, who missed the last six games of 2011 with a broken leg, went down with a sprained knee ligament after only six carries for 15 yards. Wide receiver David Nelson then tore a right knee ligament in the fourth quarter. Jackson will miss at least four weeks, while Nelson was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season. ''It's a setback,'' coach Chan Gailey said. ''You lose experience and you lose versatility. But I think our guys can adjust.'' C.J. Spiller proved up to the task of replacing Jackson, running for a 56-yard touchdown for Buffalo's first score and finishing with a career-high 169 yards. ''It's a huge blow,'' Spiller said of the injuries. ''But we can't sit around and mope and not regain focus. This just means somebody on offense has got to step up.'' Spiller scored a touchdown for an offense that shined in Buffalo's 41-7 win over Kansas City in last year's season opener. Fitzpatrick threw for 208 yards and a career high-tying four touchdowns, including two to tight end Scott Chandler, who caught one of three Fitzpatrick TD passes against the Jets. Hali had a sack in last season's meeting, and the Chiefs defense will look to slow down the Bills in Week 2 after a rough performance last week. Hali missed Sunday's 40-24 loss to Atlanta while serving a one-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy after finishing with 12 sacks in 2011. His absence, along with those of safety Kendrick Lewis, cornerback Brandon Flowers and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio, seemed noticeable as the Falcons were forced to punt just once and faced only 10 third downs. While Hali will return, the others were limited in practice this week and are questionable. "I think as a whole we need to continue to work and get better," Hali told the team's official website. "Every guy has to do their job. We'll continue to study film and study our opponent. We just need to be on top of our game." Fellow linebacker Derrick Johnson said the Chiefs (0-1) simply need to move on. "We're trying to get the bad vibe over after this next game," Johnson said. "We've been through that being behind and trying to catch up and at the end of the year. We just need to start winning now, count our wins, and play better." The offense played well at times last week, converting 11 of 16 third downs and hitting the 20-point mark after being held to 19 or less in its final nine games last season. Jamaal Charles seems fully recovered from a torn ACL that kept him out of the final 14 games of 2011, rushing 16 times for 87 yards. Matt Cassel finished 21 for 33 with 258 yards and hit Kevin Boss with a 22-yard touchdown pass, but he also threw two interceptions. "I think the main thing is just not turning the ball over," Cassel said. "We've got to try to get ourselves into manageable third-down situations and stay out of those third-and-long situations." The Bills have won four of the last five meetings with the Chiefs, and they're expected to have second-year defensive tackle Marcell Dareus despite him mourning the shooting death of his younger brother last weekend.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
RIP

Murder victim was Bills DT's brother

The 19-year-old brother of Marcell Dareus was reportedly one of the victims of a triple homicide in Alabama over the weekend. 

Bills’ Marcell Dareus loses his brother

Players View would like to extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and his family. Dareus’ brother Simeon Gilmore was only 19 years-old and was among three people that were murdered in Pelham, Alabama on Sunday. Read This Story

Bills DT Dareus excused after brother killed

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been excused to be with his family after his younger brother was one of three people shot and killed in a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., last weekend. Coach Chan Gailey expressed his condolences to Dareus and his family. Gailey added on Wednesday that Dareus plans to return in time to play in Buffalo's home-opener against the Kansas...

Bills DT excused after brother killed

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been excused to be with his family after his younger brother was one of three people shot and killed in a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., last weekend. Coach Chan Gailey expressed his condolences to Dareus and his family. Gailey added on Wednesday that Dareus plans to return in time to play in Buffalo's home-opener against the Kansas...

Marcell Dareus back at practice, four days after brother’s murder

Only four days after the murder of his 19-year-old brother, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus returned to the practice field today (Credit: AP Photo) Only four days after his 19-year-old brother was murdered, Marcell Dareus is back on the practice field with the Buffalo Bills. Dareus was on the field at the start of practice today. Dareus traveled to Alabama to be with...

Buffalo Bills RB CJ Spiller Ready for Stardom

The National Football League is all about opportunities and after Fred Jackson suffered an injury Sunday against the Jets that will keep him out of the lineup for almost a month, it is time for C.J. Spiller to take advantage of the biggest opportunity of his career. In a game that was pretty much over by the time Jackson exited the game, Spiller was electrifying, as he torched...

Chan Gailey says the sky isn’t falling in Buffalo

Even after Sunday’s blow out loss to the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey isn’t worried about what people are thinking right now. “I can’t control everybody else,” Gailey said. “I really can’t. I can control what I think our football team thinks and believes and the way they go about their business. That’s my responsibility. I understand that. “I...

Field Goals: How to fix the Bills problems

A primary foil of the 2011 Buffalo Bills was the injury bug. It would seem as if 2012 Bills may suffer from the injury blues yet again. With Fred Jackson shelved for the better portion of the next three to five weeks and David Nelson lost for the year, the Bills have lost two major weapons and will need to patch together the holes in their offense to keep the ball rolling...

ESPN Analyst Damien Woody Calls Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams Pathetic

While ESPN analyst Damien Woody may have been praising the Buffalo Bills throughout the offseason, even going as far to predict that they would make the NFL Playoffs after signing free agent DE Mario Williams, the retired offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and New York Jets now has changed his tune on the biggest signing over the past year. After watching...

Out of Bounds: Must Win in Buffalo?

On the latest edition of Out of Bounds, we look back one more time at the Falcons loss and look ahead to the Buffalo Bills.

RotoWire NFL Injury Analysis

Fred Jackson After recovering from a broken fibula suffered last November, the Buffalo running back was hoping to prove his impressive start to the year last season was no fluke. Unfortunately Jackson's right leg is once again an issue after he suffered a knee injury after taking a hit from Jets safety LaRon Landry. The MRI performed Monday was inconclusive and a specific diagnosis...

Talkamania 17: Bills/Jets review and rich athletes

Talkamania 17 is here. I'm joined by The Barrister from Dear God, Why Us? Sports to review the Bills/Jets. We also talk about Fitzpatrick playing poorly, Mario Williams speech about the refs, our perceptions of rich athletes and our experience at Met Life Stadium. Enjoy.   Talkamania17 by Joe Pinzone

Apologetic Hali addresses suspension

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A reflective and remorseful Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali spoke to the media for the first time Wednesday since he was suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Hali began to answer the opening question from a reporter about the Chiefs' loss to Atlanta, then stopped in mid-sentence to make a statement. "I want to apologize...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.