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
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
”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
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
”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
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
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
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.