The Kansas City Chiefs look to get back on track when they host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Can the Chiefs reward their “sellout” crowd with a victory? Will the Bills provide interim head coach Perry Fewell with his first win on the road?
Here are three players (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) from each team to keep your eyes on.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
Charles has been the key for the Chiefs offense since he took over for Larry Johnson as the team’s starting running back and that isn’t going to change this week. The Bills are giving up over 170 yards a game on the ground and were gouged for 249 by the Jets last week. If there was ever a game tailor made for Charles to explode, this is it.
With Matt Cassel coming off the worst game of his career, Todd Haley will look to run the ball upwards of 40 times with Charles taking as many of those as his body will allow.
Defense: Glenn Dorsey
Last week Tamba Hali was the lone bright spot for the Chiefs defense with 10 tackles and 3 sacks. With Buffalo’s starting left tackle expected to miss the game, there will be ample opportunity to get pressure off the edge. Hali should expect double teams all day long and that should open the door for Dorsey up front. He only had 2 tackles against the Broncos, but the three games prior he averaged nearly 6.
Special Teams: Quinten Lawrence
If Charles gets the kind of carries most of us expect, Lawrence will have to exclusively handle kickoff returns against the Bills. Last week he averaged a pedestrian 21 yards on 6 returns and at no point did he put a scare into the Broncos special teams.
Speed kills in this league, but in his short time with the Chiefs the rookie has yet to put his lethal ability to work.
Offense: Fred Jackson
For all the talk about Buffalo’s terrible run defense, people seem to forget that Kansas City gives up over 140 yards per game on the ground. And in a lot of ways Jackson is similar to Jamaal Charles. He’s taking over for a trouble making “star” running back (Marshawn Lynch) and is always a threat to hit for a big play no matter the situation. Jackson has also had trouble finding the end zone, but that’s more of an indictment on his offensive line than his abilities.
If the Chiefs defense sleeps on Jackson, he will deliver his longest play of the season.
Defense: Bryan Scott
Jamaal Charles works best when he gets outside and waiting for him will be the safety-turned-outside linebacker Scott. In his four games since returning from an ankle injury, all Scott has done is average just under 10 tackles per game. Against most teams it would be a huge disadvantage to have such a small outside linebacker (6-1, 220) but he will be the Bills best chance to keep up with Charles’ speed.
Special Teams: Roscoe Parrish
The Chiefs most consistent player this season has been punter Dustin Colquitt. He has already set a team record for most punts inside the 20, but the Chiefs have given away one of their few advantages with a few long returns. Parrish is a guy that has not been a big factor yet this year, but was absolutely deadly the last three seasons. During each of those years, Parrish took a punt to the house. Steve Hoffman’s special team’s crew needs to make sure they aren’t the unit that wakes up Buffalo’s dangerous return man.