The last time Buffalo Bills and the Kansas city chiefs faced each other in the AFC Championship Game, Patrick Mahomes and Josh allen they weren’t even born. Instead, Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Joe Montana were the starting quarterbacks when the Bills they surpassed the Chiefs 30-13 on January 23, 1994. Moving forward easily, the pre-Patriots AFC dynasty moved on to its fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance, and defeat.
Who would have believed back then that Bills were about to fall off the face of the planet of NFL for a generation?
In fact, it marked the end of an era for both teams; Montana’s last game and the last gasp of a regime of the Bills charred by the defeats that mattered most. It is the cross that Allen and the 2021 version of this team have to endure, that 0-4 record in the Super Bowl as they seek the first championship of the NFL of the team. After a long streak of futility, including an 18-year playoff drought and six straight finishes in last place in the AFC East, they are on the brink of climbing again.
To achieve this, Bills face a daunting task: defeat the top seed and defend the Super Bowl champion Kansas city as visitors. The Chiefs went through the regular season with a 14-2 record and boast the highest-rated offense in the league and a perennial NFL MVP quarterback in Mahomes. On paper, they haven’t slowed down since February and are still the favorites to win back-to-back LA titles. NFL for the first time in team history.
But the Chiefs they have also shown some cracks in the armor in recent weeks. Mahomes he left last week’s game with a concussion, but announced Friday that he was cleared of protocol and will play Sunday night. His last two games playing as starters have been shaky, even at home: a 17-14 screech against the worst Atlanta Falcons in the NFC, then a 22-17 nail biter against the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Divisional Round of last week. A Browns fumble out of the end zone and a valiant run in the fourth quarter, then a fourth-down pass from the backup quarterback Chad henne They were all that stood in the way of a surprise. In their last nine games, they are just 8-1 despite having only a +15 point differential.
Will the Chiefs rediscover his game in time to break the eight-game winning streak of the Bills? OR Buffalo Will he overtake his rival again, 27 years later, to earn another shot at Super Bowl glory?
Time and Channel Chiefs vs Bills
Start: Sunday, January 24 at 3:40 pm PT / 6:40 pm ET in the United States. 5:40 pm in Mexico.
TV: CBS in the United States. Channel 5 in Mexico.
Spread: Kansas City -3
Three things to keep in mind
1. How effective will Patrick Mahomes be on Sunday?
Every member of Arrowhead Pride has held their breath since the 2018 NFL MVP was ruled out of the Browns game and entered the concussion protocol of the NFL. The first signs were that he is recovering well; Mahomes he was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice and was cleared to play on Friday afternoon. He is also dealing with a toe injury that occurred before the concussion, but Mahomes said on Friday he was feeling “much better.”
When questioned by the media, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy, gave a brief and reassuring opinion: “Pat looks like Pat.”
That’s a strong (albeit partial) vote of confidence. Mahomes had one of his best games of the year against the Bills during a 26-17 win in October, completing a season-high 80.8 percent of his passes while throwing two touchdowns to All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. The guaranteed presence of Mahomes it is enough to move the needle at least one full point.
But a Mahomes hampered could be problematic. What if Chad Henne takes action? That makes this seeded team a loser. Yes, the 35-year-old official had a late trip to remember, doing enough for the Chiefs to get over their shock and enter the AFC Championship Game. But memories of the NFL can hinge on luck; an ugly interception in the previous series gave the Browns a chance to win completely.
Henne he has thrown more interceptions (63) than touchdowns (60) in a career that didn’t include any playoff experience until last week. Face a defensive of the Bills red-hot that burned the current NFL MVP, Lamar jacksonWith a 101-yard pick-six, he seems a little more difficult to maneuver than the Browns. There will be a greater reliance on the running game on Sunday (more on that shortly), but the drop in performance here is marked. Kelce along with wide receivers Tyreek hill and Sammy Watkins (questionable to play himself / calf) can’t throw the ball themselves, right?
The Chiefs need that Mahomes play a full 60 minutes.
2. Josh Allen vs. Chiefs defense
On the other side of the ball, perhaps no one (not even Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers) will enter this weekend hotter than Josh allen. Only Tom Brady has thrown for more yards than Allen’s 530 so far in the postseason; has added another 57 on the ground. But perhaps the most important statistic is zero turnovers against two of the AFC’s best defenses in the air, the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts.
Can Allen keep those good vibes? On paper, the defense of Chiefs It seems to be their weak point, but they were more than ready for the task in October. That 26-17 loss was possibly the worst game of the year for Allen to date, throwing 122 yards, the season low, and completing only 51.9 percent of his passes. To be fair, a strange schedule that included only five days off left Bills out of balance. But it’s a loss that Allen will not soon forget, as the Bills they have a chance to even the score.
“They showed a couple of different things on defense, things we weren’t expecting,” he explained. Allen this week. “[Se redujo a] just not being as precise on the ball as you should have been.
“I think we’ve improved a lot since that game, they would probably say the same. So it’s good teams that are going to go out there and compete, and it will be a four-quarter dogfight. “
Allen you need top-notch, continuous production of the All-Pro, Stefon diggs, to lead the way. Diggs has 14 receptions, the best mark of the NFL, 234 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the postseason; he’s been virtually unrecoverable even from other lagging pass receivers (both Cole Beasley and John Brown were retained without a catch in at least one playoff game). Against the Chiefs Diggs was in control the first time by just 46 receiving yards. That will be enough to make a difference on Sunday for a team of the Bills which is still struggling to diversify.
3. Both rash attacks
Control of the ball on the ground is the x-factor in a game where much of the main focus revolves around the two quarterbacks. In October, Chiefs recorded 245 rushing yards, the most in any game since Mahomes took over as the starter in 2017. They were also the fastest plays (46) made by a team led by Andy Reid since he assumed as owner. the head coach of the Chiefs in 2013.
What do you think this team will try to do with Mahomes probably less than 100 percent?
In the first match against the Bills, Kansas city leaned heavily on rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who hit Buffalo on 161 rushing yards as the Chiefs they won the time of the possession battle by more than 15 minutes. The first-round pick hasn’t played since sustaining an ankle injury in Week 15 and was still limited in practice as of Thursday, making it such an important name to watch as. Mahomes.
The Bills, on the other hand, they need to hit Allen some coverage with something akin to a running game. Against the Ravens, they won just a 17 first down on the ground and finished with just 32 rushing yards overall. When his quarterback has nearly outplayed the entire team, he knows he’s in trouble.
Zack moss he’s injured and out for the rest of the playoffs, making Devin Singletary the only Bills to return with experience. He has to find a way to stay involved after recording just 46 yards on 10 carries so far.
“If they play man [defensa]”Allen added,” we have to win our matchups outside, establish our running game and play really good complementary football.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills LIVE
The home advantage of the Chiefs is one of the strongest in the NFL and the crowd will be large (17,000) despite the COVID-19 restrictions. The problem is, we don’t know what to expect from Patrick Mahomes after suffering the concussion last week (or if your injured finger will be a problem) and Kansas city will face a team of the Bills who played fair on offense, posted great plays on defense, and learned to handle a game from start to finish.
This will be closed. But even if Mahomes returns almost in full force, the Bills They seem to have a special golden age this year as they look to put a 27-year drought behind them in the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Bills 27, Chiefs 24