This old guy has seen a lot of Bills-Chiefs games over the years, and full disclosure, I was a huge Chiefs fan growing up in Missouri. My sister and brother-in-law are Chiefs season ticket holders. But I think the Bills are gonna win this game and it’s my fervent hope they do. I’m a Buffalo guy all the way now.
As a reformed Chiefs fan, sitting in Arrowhead listening to that song they do along with the tomahawk chops is no fun if the Bills are losing, which usually happens there. In the 90’s, the Chiefs clobbered the Bills in Arrowhead during the regular season a couple times, but in Orchard Park it was an entirely different story in the playoffs. The Bills ended the Chiefs season twice during their four year Super Bowl run, and ended Joe Montana’s career by knocking him out cold at the Ralph. The Arrowhead and now Highmark Stadium crowds greatly help the defense, and the Bills are ready for that this time. Josh Allen loves the big stage, and this is a big one with potentially home field advantage in the playoffs down the road. Allen has almost his full arsenal back. Tight end Dawson Knox, slot receiver Isaiah McKenzie and center Mitch Morse, a former Chief, should play. Gabe Davis, obviously, is full speed again and he loves Arrowhead. And now a surprising addition to Stefon Diggs and the receiving corps is rookie Khalil Shakir, who is more than living up to high expectations despite him being a 5th round draft pick. He’s a playmaker. So, the Bills still don’t have a top shelf running game. Well, it’s just not who they are. Allen remains the team’s leading rusher, but Devin Singletary is getting better all the time, including as a receiver and blocker.
As long as they have Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are good. Very good. In their 4-1 start they’re averaging 32 points a game despite the departure of Tyreek Hill. So they don’t miss him, right? Wrong. The Bills have added Von Miller, the Super Bowl whisperer to what was already a strong defense for this very game and then down the road. The Bills hope he and Greg Rousseau, and the returning Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips can generate pressure enough on Mahomes without having to blitz. The Chiefs oline has been inconsistent. Tight end Travis Kelce is still the man, but no matter how much they say they don’t miss Hill, it’s a different game plan for the Bills without his top end speed to worry about. Luckily Jordan Poyer is back, and Matt Milano will get help covering Kelce.
Both these teams will make big plays offensively, and that’s a given. This will look nothing like the recent Seattle-Denver game the other day. The Allen-Mahomes rivalry is real. It’s a thing. Mahomes is the king because he has the ring, and that’s fair. However if you ask me who’s tougher to defend, it’s Allen because of his size and running ability. This pair is going to put on another show.
But the difference is the D. The Bills have one of, if not the, NFL’s best and they’re getting healthy. Even cornerback Trey White is back practicing, although he won’t be quite ready for Sunday. The Chiefs defense gives up nearly 400 yards a game and their secondary has been prone to giving up big plays.
Not a comforting thought the way Allen and the Bills offense is cooking right now.
The Chiefs are more than capable of winning this one, but not if the Bills don’t turn it over or take too many foolish penalties. The Bills have been pointing for this. They’re confident, but with the leadership of Allen, Miller, Diggs and others, they won’t be overly confident. This may be just another game, but they don’t believe that for a second.
This time, the Bills will be kneeling with :13 left.
Bills win it 33-17.
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