Notes & Quotes – First Play Killer For Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

RB Dexter McCluster was not around in the Chiefs locker room after the game. But his words were not needed to describe how backbreaking his fumble of the opening kickoff was for the Chiefs on Sunday against the Bills.

“Coach, what moment did you sense Buffalo was more prepared for this game than the Chiefs?” one of the media horde asked Todd Haley after the game.

“Probably the first kickoff return,” the Chiefs head coach said.

McCluster took Rian Lindell’s line drive kickoff just a step inside the end zone. After a pre-season where there were so many touchbacks because of the new kickoff rules, a kick like this was welcomed by the Chiefs kickoff return unit. McCluster got the kick out to the 26-yard line where he was smacked from behind by Buffalo LB Chris White. The ball came loose and was eventually recovered by another Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard.

Five snaps later, the Bills had their first touchdown and the game’s momentum, which they never gave up.

“That was huge,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. “You can never minimize how important a play like that is, and then to go put it in the end zone on top of that. That was big not to settle for a field goal there.”


It was part of a rough afternoon for the Chiefs special teams. K Ryan Succop missed a 49-yard field goal wide right with as little wind in Arrowhead Stadium as he will ever see. P Dustin Colquitt kicked eight times and averaged 41 yards a kick, but he also had kicks of 27, 34 and 36 yards. That 36-yarder was returned 28 yards by Buffalo’s Roscoe Parrish and set up the Bills in great field position. They scored their fourth TD on the possession.

Brad Smith had a 21-yard kickoff return and Succop had one touchback. McCluster and Javier Arenas averaged 21 yards on seven kickoff returns, with the longest return being 35 yards. Arenas had one punt return for 15 yards.

“We weren’t ready to go,” Todd Haley said of his kicking game. “That is my responsibility. I will have them more ready to go next week.”


The Chiefs announced a paid crowd of 68,755 and I’d say most of those butts were in the seats. It was the best “actual” crowd the Chiefs have had in some time. It was a sea of red as it appeared just about everybody in the building was wearing a red t-shirt or a Chiefs jersey.

At no point did the crowd actually affect the game, because the Bills got the lead so early and the Chiefs did not get close.

“When you get a turnover and put it in the end zone, it gives them very few opportunities to get riled up,” Gailey said. “That was a concern for us. After we scored a couple times, they were more concerned about getting on their own team than they were about disrupting us.”

By the start of the fourth quarter, down 34-7, most of the fans were already headed to the exits or back at the tailgate.


Scott Green and his crew ran a fairly clean game, as just six penalties were walked off against the teams.

The Chiefs saw three flags:


Offender Penalty


Play lost


Justin Houston Pass Interference




Unknown Holding on kick return.


Lost 12 yards on return


Jon Asamoah Holding



There were two replay reviews, one by the booth, the other asked for by Todd Haley. The Chiefs saw a TD pass from Matt Cassel to Leonard Pope overturned when the booth reviewed the score. It was a good call.

Later, Haley threw the red challenge flag on a fumble by Jamaal Charles that was recovered by the Bills. At that point in the game, it was worth a shot although the replay was pretty clear that it was a fumble.


Serving as captains on Sunday were QB Matt Cassel and RB Thomas Jones on offense, LB Derrick Johnson and SS Eric Berry on defense and WR Terrance Copper and LB Demorrio Williams on special teams.

There were 12 players that made their first official appearance in a Chiefs uniform in Sunday’s game: WR Steve Breaston, WR Jerheme Urban, NT Kelly Gregg, OLB Justin Houston, S Sabby Piscitelli, FB Le’Ron McClain, LB Cameron Sheffield, OL Rodney Hudson, WR Keary Colbert, DL Allen Bailey and DL Amon Gordon. New OT Steve Maneri was active, but he did not play.

One surprise in the defensive starting lineup was rookie Houston jumping ahead of Andy Studebaker at the LOLB spot.

Inactive players for the Chiefs were: QB Ricky Stanzi, DB Donald Washington, CB Jalil Brown, OT Jared Gaither, WR Jonathan Baldwin, DE Brandon Bair, NT Jerrell Powe. Among the inactive players for the Bills was former Chiefs draft choice G Colin Brown.

Saturday night the Chiefs made a move with their practice squad, signing OL Lucas Patterson who was part of their roster during the pre-season. Patterson originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent defensive lineman, but was moved after the first practice of training camp to the offensive line. To make room for Patterson, they released FB Shane Bannon from the practice squad.


SS Jon McGraw led the Chiefs defense in tackles with 8 total … OLB Tamba Hali had the Chiefs only sack … ILB Demorrio Williams contributed two tackles on special teams … former Chargers LB Shawne Merriman was not a factor in the game, as he was credited with just one tackle … Bills CB Terrence McGee left the game after the first Chiefs offensive play with a hamstring injury. He did not return … Field position was good for Buffalo – the Bills average starting spot was their 43-yard line. For the Chiefs, it was their 20-yard line. That’s a huge difference.

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