Three things: Chiefs vs. Bills

Here are three key things for the Kansas City Chiefs against the visiting Buffalo Bills on Sunday:

1. Protect the quarterback: Matt Cassel will try to play despite a rib injury. Whether a banged-up Cassel or inexperienced backup Tyler Palko plays, the offensive line must pass protect well. Neither a sore Cassel nor a green Palko will be able to hold off a steady pass rush.

2. Protect the ball: That starts with running back Jamaal Charles. The entire Chiefs’ offense had a poor preseason, but Charles was particularly unimpressive, he fumbled the ball twice inside Green Bay’s 20-yard line last week. Charles has to secure the ball in a game the Chiefs will have to run a lot because of Cassel's injury.

3. Defensive line play: The Kansas City defensive front didn’t play well in the preseason. It has to set the tone against a weak Buffalo offense. The time is now for the unit to come alive.