Fitzpatrick, Spiller lead Bills in win

C.J. Spiller gladly accepted Fred Jackson’s challenge.

And this time, the rest of the Bills – on offense, defense and

special teams – showed up to support Spiller who scored twice and

finished with 123 yards rushing to spark a 35-17 win over the

Kansas City Chiefs in Buffalo’s home opener. It was a much better

effort than how Buffalo opened the season with a bumbling 48-28

loss to the New York Jets last week.

The same can’t be said for the Chiefs, who followed up one dud

with another a week after opening the season with a 40-24 loss to

Atlanta.

Spiller picked up where he left off a week earlier, after he had

career-best 169 yards rushing in taking over after Jackson sprained

his right knee against the Jets.

”It’s always better to answer the questions when you win,”

said Spiller, who giggled several times at the podium. ”Fred

Jackson challenged me today, when he told me to put the team on my

back. So when that comes down from the leader in our room, you have

to step your game up. I was ready to go today.”

With Jackson expected to miss another three weeks, Spiller

scored on 17- and 5-yard runs to put the Bills ahead 14-0 early in

the second quarter, a lead that would balloon to 35-3 late in the

third.

”C.J.’s a stud. That kid can run,” center Eric Wood said.

”We’ve got plenty of weapons, and the good thing is we’re going to

get Fred back.”

With 292 yards on 29 carries, Spiller is off to such a hot start

that he’s averaging 10.1 yards per rush. That’s the highest average

by an NFL player with a minimum of 25 carries through the first two

games of a season since 1963, when Jim Brown averaged 11.3 yards

(34 carries for 394 yards).

The Bills’ defense finally showed signs of its high-priced

potential after failing to make a dent last week.

Kyle Williams had two of Buffalo’s five sacks. Mario Williams –

the team’s high-prized offseason free agent – recovered quarterback

Matt Cassel’s fumble, which set up Scott Chandler’s 10-yard

touchdown catch.

And linebacker Nick Barnett had a momentum-turning play late in

the first half. That’s when he forced Kansas City running back

Peyton Hillis to fumble at the goal line to preserve Buffalo’s 21-0

lead.

”We had a sense of urgency. It was just different from the very

beginning,” Mario Williams said. ”We went out there and put it

all on the line. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen last week, but

we have to build on this and continue.”

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick shrugged off last week’s

three-interception outing by going 10 of 19 for 178 yards and two

touchdowns, including a 49-yarder to Stevie Johnson. And Buffalo’s

special teams contributed: Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 88

yards.

It was a complete reversal for the Bills who turned the ball

over four times against the Jets, failed to get any pressure on

Mark Sanchez and allowed Jeremy Kerley to return a punt 68 yards

for a score.

For the Chiefs, it was the same-old sloppiness, for a team

that’s been outscored 75-41 and is opening a season 0-2 for the

sixth time in seven years.

”I thought that we would be better, and we’re not,” coach

Romeo Crennel said. ”So we have to try and figure out what that

is. From what I’ve seen, if we do what we’re supposed to do, then

we would be better.”

KC’s offense managed just 71 yards on its first five possessions

and then coughed up the ball on its sixth, when Hillis fumbled at

the goal line.

”I messed up and let the team down,” Hillis said. ”I put the

blame on myself.”

Cassel finished 23 of 42 for 301 yards with two touchdowns and

an interception, with much of that production coming in the fourth

quarter. Dwayne Bowe scored both touchdowns on 33- and 2-yard

catches.

The Chiefs defense wasn’t much better, even while welcoming back

two regulars, linebacker Tamba Hali (NFL suspension) and cornerback

Brandon Flowers (foot injury).

The Chiefs were so thoroughly outplayed on both sides of the

ball in the first half that Spiller’s 139 yards from scrimmage

nearly matched Kansas City’s 148 yards net offense.

The Bills had additional incentive to win the game in paying

tribute to Marcell Dareus. The second-year defensive tackle played

after traveling to his native Alabama to mourn the shooting death

of his younger brother.

”He’s going through a rough time, but he felt responsibilities

here,” Kyle Williams said. ”He always picks our team up and we’re

glad that he’s back.”

Despite being bothered by a shoulder injury, Dareus had a sack,

two tackles, including one for a loss.

”The team rallied up around me. This is my release from

whatever is going on in the outside world,” Dareus said. ”I

focused in on the football field and took everything else out of my

head.”

Notes: Spiller became the fourth Bills player to reach 100

yards in the first two games of a season, joining Jackson, Thurman

Thomas and O.J. Simpson, who did that twice. … Chiefs TE Kevin

Boss will be re-evaluated after leaving the game with a head injury

in the second quarter. CB Javier Arenas hurt his neck and did not

return. … McKelvin’s TD return was the second of his career, and

the second-longest in team history, 3 yards short of the record set

by Keith Moody in 1977.