Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/17/12

1.) C.J. Spiller is a Bona Fide Superstar.

The Bills raised some eyebrows when they took Spiller ninth overall in the 2010 draft despite already having a backfield that included Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson.

The concerns seemed warranted after Spiller racked up just 667 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving) and 3 total TDs in his first 24 games as a member of the Bills. But after trading Lynch to the Seahawks and a string of injuries to Fred Jackson, we are now seeing a steady showcase of the talent that made Spiller such a superstar at Clemson.

In his last eight games dating back to last year (all of which Fred Jackson has been injured), Spiller has racked up 997 yards from scrimmage and 8 total TDs.

Spiller looks strong, agile and blazingly fast, all the tools necessary to be a featured three-down RB. At this pace, look for Spiller to join the ranks of the NFL’s elite RBs by season’s end.  

2.)  The Chiefs are not making the playoffs.

After making the playoffs in 2010 and an injury-plagued season in 2011, hopes were high for a talented and young Chiefs team in a very winnable division. But, after a 40-24 loss at home to the Falcons in week one, the Chiefs showed no signs of life against the Bills on Sunday.

Defensively they generated little to no pass rush and didn’t force a single turnover on a Bills team that turned it over four times a week ago. Offensively the Chiefs weren’t able to score their first touchdown until garbage time in the fourth quarter. Philip Rivers appears to have returned to form and has the Chargers at 2-0.

If last Sunday night was any indication, Peyton Manning will be captaining a tough-to-beat Broncos team. The Chiefs next four games before their bye are at New Orleans, home against the Chargers and Ravens, then at a tough looking Tampa Bay team. Unless they start getting games off to better starts, they could be staring 1-5 in the face.

3.) The Bills defensive line is the real deal.

The Bills’ defensive line was disappointing in week one, generating little pressure to speak of and recording 0 sacks against a mixed Jets offensive line.

After signing Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to go along with defensive tackles Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams, the Bills defensive line entered the 2012 season much hyped and with high expectations.

On Sunday we saw some of that promise come to fruition as the Bills recorded five sacks and held the Chiefs to just three points through three quarters. Dareus and K. Williams caused havoc in the middle combining for three sacks. Mario Williams has still not recorded a sack, I expect once he gets going the Bills defensive line will be one to be reckoned with.  

4.) Gameplan: With Fitzpatrick, less is more.

The NFL has morphed into an up-tempo pass first league making the QB, pass rushers and offensive tackles the most important players on the field…for most teams

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the ball 568 times in 2011, compare that to Aaron Rodgers who threw the ball 502 times the same year. Important in being a successful football club is knowing your strengths and playing to them. The 49ers did not get to the NFC championship game last year by having Alex Smith throw the ball fifty times a game; they controlled the clock and played to their strengths defensively and in the run game.

With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the backfield and infant-handed Ryan Fitzpatrick as his QB, it appears that Chan Gailey is coming around to how to win games with his team. Run the ball, a lot. If Spiller continues to play this well and the defense shows it can keep opposing offenses at bay, Gailey should be running his team a lot like the 49ers did last year. It’s like my friend Dave always says, “You can’t go broke from making a profit”.

5.) Dwayne Bowe will be back with the Chiefs in 2013

Despite being too little too late in the fourth quarter against the Bills, Bowe once again showed us that he is an elite NFL WR with physical tools matched by only a few.

After being unable to secure long-term deal with the Chiefs this past offseason, Bowe signed a one-year franchise tender worth about $9.4 million. Bowe will turn 28 this week, meaning he is smack-dab in the middle of his prime The Chiefs, according to NFL.com, had $16.5 million in cap room this past July while they were negotiating with Bowe; if they are smart, they will lock this stud up as soon as possible.  Bowe now has 5,082 yards receiving and 38 TDs and is in his sixth year all with the Chiefs.



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