ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs fumbles the ball after being tackled by Alex Carrington #92 of the Buffalo Bills in an NFL game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Yeah, so I waited as long as I could before I started this. Does it help to say we're only 2 games back with 14 to play? Didn't think so. Here's your Kansas City Chiefs news.
Days like this are lonely when you're the king, and maybe he embraced what is obvious to so many others who saw Sunday's loss: that another team he constructed looks lost and unprepared. No injuries and no excuses, no former head coach to blame, and no safety net below the Chiefs' most powerful football man.
The Chiefs' problems are with their coaches and players, but the bigger issue is about the man who brought in those coaches and players. Yes, this game and this season are on Pioli, and there's no denying that anymore.
Chiefs Will Never Win Big With Pioli In Charge from KC Star
For a symbol of the Chiefs' problems, start with their knuckleheaded star receiver pointing to the name on the back of his jersey after scoring an irrelevant fourth-quarter touchdown. Romeo Crennel is in charge of what might become the most talented 3-13 team in recent league history.
Pioli, of course, oversees it all with a misplaced faith in Matt Cassel and an overly conservative and think-too-much style that's four years into trying to replicate what Bill Belichick and Tom Brady created in New England.
KC star Photo Gallery: Bills 35, Chiefs 17
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Matt Cassel
KCChiefs.com Video: Postgame Wrap-Up With Mitch Holthus
"We have to figure out what's going on and we have to figure it out quick,'' linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We're 0-2. There's a sense of urgency going on right now. It's just like last year. We're not playing as well as we need to. Our expectations were high and we're not meeting them.
"We've got to do something different. I'm not saying it's our scheme. Maybe it's just our mindset. I don't know what it is.''
Chiefs Look For Answers After Another Lopsided Loss from KC Star
A stagnant running game contributed heavily to the Chiefs' slow start. The Bills defense interrupted three consecutive drives by stuffing
Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis and forcing the Chiefs into long-distance downs.
On 17 combined attempts, the Chiefs' two star backs gained only 69 yards. And that output, coupled with another breakout week by Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller, doomed the Chiefs in their first road game.
Slow Start Dooms Chiefs from The Mothership
Despite that, the Chiefs showed the strain of continually having to play with a deficit, something they frequently had to do against Atlanta, as well. They rushed for 150 yards but couldn't turn that efficiency into points.
"There's no doubt we're disappointed," Cassel said. "Every man in that (locker) room is disappointed, especially (with) how we've started. The good thing is, if there is a good thing, is that there are 14 games left, and I know these guys are going to work hard, and we're going to do everything we can to be critical of ourselves, evaluate ourselves and get better as we move forward."
The Bills fans still soaking up their team's 25-point lead were as loud as advertised. Jonathan Baldwin silenced them with one play.
On the left sideline, the second-year receiver jumped over cornerback Stephon Gilmore - Buffalo's first round draft pick this year - for a 26-yard completion that left only the Chiefs fans in Buffalo cheering.
It was Baldwin's first reception on the regular season, but it wasn't any different than the highlight-reel catches he snagged all summer at training camp.
Baldwin's Quiet Start Is Somewhat Surprising from The Mothership
"I was trying to get some second effort, and my elbow hit somebody, and when it did, it popped out," Hillis said. "But we've got to minimize those mistakes, no matter second effort ... I'm not supposed to do that. I need to hold on to the ball ... have another down to find another play. But I didn't do that. I wanted a touchdown, but it's not worth the ball.
"It's my fault, and I take full blame for it."
Hillis' Fumble At Goal Line Deflates Chiefs' Offense from KC Star
20-Plus Yard Completions: With five passes of 20 or more yards in today's contest, Cassel now has 103
career passes of 20 or more yards. He joins former Chiefs QBs Trent Green (274) and Elvis Grbac (133) as
the only Chiefs passers with more than 100 career completions of 20 yards or more.
Chiefs-Bills Game Notes from The Mothership
Did anyone see this one coming?
Well, maybe Buffalo coach Chan Gailey did, considering the way the Bills hammered the Chiefs last year, too. The Chiefs just haven't been able to match up with the Bills lately. Even their 13-10 overtime win in 2010 was aided by one of those bogus timeouts that negated a Rian Lindell field goal that would have won the game in regulation.
There were a few scrums involving frustrated Kansas City players, and Buffalo center Eric Wood accused the Chiefs of taking some cheap shots at the Bills, though he didn't name any individuals.
"Two plays in a row, they were taking cheap shots at us," Wood said. "They did the same thing last year in Kansas City. You start getting a team down, and you'll see their true colors. We're not going to sit back and take it. We've got a physical group up front, and if they want to take shots at us, we're going to take them back."
Chiefs Notebook: Special Teams Burned Again from KC Star
The Chiefs were dealt their second straight defeat, falling 35-17 to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The loss comes on the heels of last week's 40-24 drubbing against the Atlanta Falcons, and puts Kansas City in a familiar position.
The Chiefs opened a season 0-2 for the sixth time in seven years, which includes last season when they opened with a 41-7 home loss to Buffalo.
Kansas City Chiefs Not In Synch In Dropping Second Straight to Start Season from The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Thanks to C.J. Spiller and an opportunistic defense, the Buffalo Bills suddenly didn't look anywhere near as bad on Sunday as they did in their season-opening dud.
The same can't be said for Kansas City, after the Chiefs were even worse in being routed for the second time in two weeks.Buffalo Bills Rout Kansas City Chiefs: C.J. Spiller Scores Twice To Spark Win from The Huffington Post
Fully admit to being late to the party here, but I'm confused. I thought the Kansas City Chiefs actually liked Romeo Crennel. Because if they do, they sure have an awfully funny way of showing it.
Because showings such as Sunday's general debacle in Orchard Park - Buffalo 35, Chiefs 3, garbage-time scores 14 - are the kind of matinees that tend to get NFL coaches (and general managers who hired said coaches) fired.
Is This All We'll Get From Crennel's Chiefs? from FS Kansas City
"They get ticked off, and when you get a team down, they're going to take some shots at you," Wood said. "That's why we weren't taking our foot off their throats toward the end.
"That's stuff that rubs you pretty raw."
I asked Wood who the culprit was, and he replied, "Hali for the second year in a row." Wood wondered aloud if the NFL would fine the star pass-rusher.
Bills O-Linemen Accuse Tamba Hali Of Filthy Play from The Buffalo News
That's all I can take...