Behind four touchdown passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buffalo Bills started off the 2011 season in stylish, yet surprising fashion pounding the AFC West defending champion Kansas City Chiefs 41-7. Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes in the first and third quarters. Tight end Scott Chandler had two touchdowns and wide receivers Steve Johnson and Donald Jones each had a touchdown catch.
Running back Fred Jackson rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries to become the fifth Bills running back to rush for over 100 yards in a season opening game. Jackson joins O.J. Simpson, Larry Watkins, Thurman Thomas and Travis Henry as the only backs in Bills history to accomplish that feat. It hasn’t happened since 1993 when Thomas went for over 100 yards against the New England Patriots.
Buffalo’s retooled defense displayed a great improvement from a year ago. Last year in Arrowhead against the Chiefs, the Bills allowed 274 total rushing yards and 177 of them came by way of Jamaal Charles. Today, the Bills surrendered just 101 total rushing yards to Kansas City. Charles had 56 yards and Dexter McCluster had 42 rushing yards.
The Bills were able to force three turnovers (2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT) and get off the field on third downs. The Chiefs converted just 3-of-13 on third down attempts while the Bills went 7-of-14 on third down. Buffalo’s offensive line did a fine job of both protecting Fitzpatrick and opening up running lanes for Jackson. Tamba Hali registered the Chiefs’ only sack. Buffalo got two sacks, one apiece from Bryan Scott and Spencer Johnson. Marcell Dareus had two tackles in his NFL debut.
More to come later today on the Bills’ big win over the Chiefs.