"We know we can play football with the guys that we have and the talent that we have. Now to actually go out there and do it, it feels good," Barnett said. "But it's still Week 2, so I'm not jumping around like, 'Ah, we're the best defense in the world.' We've still got some things to work on. But we can be pretty good when we're firing on the same cylinders."
The Bills spent considerable attention and money on upgrading their defense in free agency by signing Mario Williams to a six-year, $100 million contract and Mark Anderson to a four-year, $27 million deal. And then they used the No. 10 pick in the draft to select cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The moves were made in an effort to improve a defense that had been among the NFL's worst last season. It was a unit that allowed a franchise-worst 5,938 yards, gave up 434 points (the second most in team history) and had difficulty generating a pass rush. Buffalo finished with 29 sacks last year, 10 of which came in one game.
And there were growing concerns of how much improved the defense was after the dud against the Jets.
In retrospect, defensive end Chris Kelsay believes the Jets game — and the criticism that followed — might have been a positive.
"It definitely didn't turn out the way we had foreseen it or expected it to turn out, but you know what, we worked hard all week. And we transferred it onto the field," Kelsay said. "If we can continue to do that, and have a sense of urgency, then good things are in store for this team."
The five sacks are one more than Buffalo had six games into last season. And the Bills were able to get the Chiefs off the field. After the Jets converted 10 of 14 third-down chances and punted only twice against Buffalo, the Chiefs went 5 of 14 and punted seven times.