Lots to like in Bills' win

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller breaks away for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs...

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller breaks away for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on September 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:59 PM ET

TORONTO - There will be a tendency down in Buffalo to read too much into the Bills’ spectacular burst from the gates in this NFL season. But you know what? Good for those that do.

It’s been lean times for too long, freshest in memory being the eight-game losing streak to start to the 2010 season.

So with the caveat that it was only four quarters of football against a dreadful-looking Kansas City Chiefs outfit that seemed to pack it in sometime early in the third quarter, let the winners celebrate for a week.

After all, not only was the 41-7 victory the most lopsided Bills winning score since Boxing Day 2004, there were a number of notable points made that at the least will build confidence heading into next Sunday’s home opener against the Oakland Raiders.

Among them:

A quarterback who threw for four touchdowns. Not only that, Ryan Fitzpatrick looked confident in doing so and unlike last year when he was a turnover machine at times, he protected the football.

For the first time in years, a tight end who was more than a blocking decoy. Scott Chandler showed nice hands and a chemistry with his quarterback in getting the first two touchdowns of his NFL career.

And finally, there are the early makings of a defence. Rookie defensive lineman Marcell Dareus had a nice debut and only figures to get better. The run defence was credible again and this with a non-descript game from Shawne Merriman, who appeared to suffer a shoulder injury early in the game.

Yes, it was just one game and until the Bills show they can compete against their AFC East rivals, it won’t mean that much.

But for a team winning by 34 points on the road against a team that went to the playoffs and suffered their worst opening-game home loss in franchise history, it was certainly impressive.

QUICK HITS

Week 1 invariably yields craziness, but some of the blowouts were on he stunning side. The Steelers, Falcons, Chiefs and Colts — all playoff teams last season — combined to lose by 107 points ... Lots to like about the Eagles offence — like just about every time Michael Vick takes off with the football, of course. At least as impressive though was Philly going 8 for 11 on third downs in the near rout of the Rams ... Who is that man? The Bills, who have been aching for a tight end for too many seasons, seem to have found one in Chandler. Stuck behind Antonio Gates in San Diego and Jason Witten in Dallas earlier in his career, Chandler was a waiver wire pickup and a good one so far ... Canadian guard Danny Watkins looks like he’s got some work ahead of him before he becomes an NFL regular. The B.C. native and first-round draft pick this spring not only didn’t make it as a starter for the Eagles, he was inactive for the season opener against St. Louis ... Twitter guy to follow: Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former vice-president of officiating (@MikePereira). The man’s got all the answers .... Twitter guy(s) to avoid: Anyone who tweets about their fantasy football team ... Heading into the final quarter Sunday, the once mighty Steelers defence had surrendered 79 points in its previous 10 quarters ... Of the eight 1 p.m. games, only Cincinnati-Cleveland had a meaningful fourth quarter. And given the participants, not meaningful enough to pay much attention ... Coaching question worth asking: Why were Vick and Ben Roethlisberger both on the field in the closing minutes of blowout games? ... Don’t worry about the Falcons just yet. All a Week 1 loss last year did was start them on the road to a 13-3 season.

BEARS BOUNCE BACK

It’s easy to remember the Chicago Bears for the last, failed game of the 2010 season.

It also would be wrong, as the highly-touted Atlanta Falcons found out in a big way Sunday.

Yes, the Bears were destroyed in the NFC championship by the eventual Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers in a game where Jay Cutler’s heart looked about as dim Cleo Lemon’s.

But these were the same Bears who won their division and were one of the best teams in the NFC all season.

All is forgotten for now, anyway, as Cutler showed plenty of heart and even more arm in his first game back at Soldier Field since that stinging loss for which he was savagely criticized. Cutler threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the 30-12 thumping of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bears have made their reputation on defence, of course, and Brian Urlacher & Co. certainly set the tone Sunday. The big linebacker had an interception to set up one touchdown and scooped up a Matt Ryan fumble at the 12-yard line and ran it in for another.

Are the Bears now the team to beat in their conference? We’ll get a hint over the next two weeks as the Bears’ brutal starting stretch continues with a road date in New Orleans and a home revenge opportunity against the Pack.


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