With the Miami Dolphins sidelined due to Hurricane Irma, our focus shifted to the rest of the action that took place in the AFC East to start the 2017 season. The Patriots were featured on Thursday night's opening festivities for the NFL, while the Bills and Jets started their schedules with a showdown between division rivals.
Let's now jump into the action from the opening week.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Final Result: Chiefs win 42-27
The Super Bowl hangover was on full display in Gillette Stadium to open the season, as the Patriots were routed on their home turf by the Chiefs. New England held a slight lead at halftime, but the second half unraveled quickly for the defending champs.
Coach Andy Reid did a masterful job getting the ball into the hands of his most dangerous playmakers, and the Patriots were unable to answer. Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt combined for 384 yards on the ground and through the air, paving the way for KC's impressive 15-point victory.
It is tough to decipher what is more concerning for the Patriots, as holes on both offense and defense were exposed. On defense, the newly acquired Cassius Marsh looked lost after being thrust into a more prominent role after Dont'a Hightower exited with minor MCL sprain. The former Seahawks defender failed to pressure the quarterback, and he was absolutely torched by Hunt on a long pass play.
The offensive struggles were just as worrying for the Patriots, as the Chiefs were able to get to Tom Brady with relative ease. Justin Houston was able to slice through New England's pass protection at will, culminating in two sacks for the 28-year-old linebacker.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Final Result: Bills win 21-12
After a month of trading away assets, the new-look Bills and Jets took the field for a game that would decide who would sit atop the Week 1 standings in the AFC East. The contest featured plenty of offensive struggles from both sides, but Buffalo's rushing attack proved to be the difference after four quarters. With Sheldon Richardson now with the Seahawks, the Jets were unable to halt the progress of LeSean McCoy as the game wore on.
McCoy wasn't alone in the backfield, as Mike Tolbert proved to be a capable option when the Bills needed tough yardage between the tackles. The two running backs combined for 152 yards on the ground, a number that dwarfed the 38 yards generated by the Jets' top rushers.
The Jets' offensive performance was forgettable for the most part, but there were some things that stood out from this contest. Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was able to make an immediate impact in his debut. Josh McCown targeted his new receiver nine times against the Bills - a figure that will likely continue to grow as the season moves forward.
The Jets will now head to Oakland in search of their first win. To read more about New York's struggles, you can visit Gang Green Nation. The Bills will also be on the road for Week 2, when they head to Carolina to face Cam Newton and the Panthers. For more information on the team currently in first place in the AFC East, head to Buffalo Rumblings.