Todd Haley made a controversial choice to scale down the Chiefs training camp this season and after Week One you’re welcome to wonder if that wasn’t a big mistake.
The Chiefs were dreadful in all phases of the game against the Bills and got blown out as a result. They fumbled the opening kickoff, turned the ball over twice more on offense and watched Ryan Fitzpatrick shred their defense all afternoon. Some of that was due to the knee injury that knocked Eric Berry out of the game in the first quarter, but the rest of the Chiefs defender don’t have any easy excuses for allowing Fred Jackson to gash them for 112 yards.
Fitzpatrick finished 17-of-26 for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Two of the scoring tosses went to tight end Scott Chandler, a heretofore unknown cog in the Buffalo offensive machine. Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson also caught scores as the Bills looked very comfortable playing Chan Gailey’s open offensive style. They even got C.J. Spiller, the 2010 first rounder who underwhelmed as a rookie, into the mix. He scored his first career rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Bills poured it on after a Matt Cassel interception.
If there was a disappointment, it was that big free agent acquisition Brad Smith was mostly an afterthought. He ran three times for six yards and threw a pick on his lone pass attempt. It is hard to blame Gailey for relying on Fitzpatrick given the way things went for the Bills on Sunday, though.
There seemed to be a premonition among Chiefs fans that nothing good was going to happen on Sunday. Arrowhead Stadium never filled up and it was essentially empty once the fourth quarter rolled around. For a stadium revered for its home field advantage, that’s very troubling.
The dismal opener will only serve to feed the perception that Haley is sitting on an increasingly toasty seat in Kansas City. The fact that the loss came to Gailey probably makes it even worse. Gailey, fired by Haley as offensive coordinator two years ago, seemed to relish being on top of a huge rout. Smith’s interception came on a deep pass down the middle with less than five minutes to play, which indicates he didn’t mind running up the score a bit.