Image Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
After a Tyler Bass 51-yard field goal and a Dawson Knox 3-yard touchdown pass from QB Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills looked like they were on their way to Super Bowl LV.
But, there’s a reason why the Kansas City Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions and why they were the No. 1 seed in the AFC this year.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw the first of his three touchdown passes less than a minute into the second quarter. After Darrel Williams scored on a six-yard run roughly five minutes later, the Chiefs never trailed again on their way to a 38-24 victory.
With the win, Kansas City will get to defend its Lombardi Trophy against the NFC champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, February 7. The Bucs defeated Green Bay 31-26 to earn their first trip to a Super Bowl since the 2002 season.
Mahomes outdueled Allen completing 29-of-38 passes for 325 yards and the three touchdowns. Allen finished the game 28-of-48 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the Bills’ leading rusher with seven carries for 88 yards.
Buffalo pulled within nine points just before the half on a Bass 20-yard field goal. Allen guided the Bills 73 yards in 12 plays before Bass hit the field goal with just 11 seconds to play before halftime. The decision to kick was questioned by many, but Bills head coach Sean McDermott wanted the points. The Chiefs actually had the NFL’s worst opponent red zone touchdown conversion ration this season. Prior to Sunday’s AFC title game, Kansas City had allowed opponents to score over 76 percent of the time when they entered the Chiefs red zone.
After Kansas City opened the second half with a field goal, Allen put together another drive, this time covering 67 yards in 10 plays. McDermott opted for the points again, and Bass’s 27-yard field goal once again pulled the Bills to within nine, 24-15, with 5:49 left in the third quarter.
That’s when Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce took over. The pair would connect on two touchdowns to push the Chiefs lead to 38-15. Kelce finished the game with 13 catches for 118 yards and two scores. Teammate Tyreek Hill added nine receptions for 172 yards. The pair became the first in NFL history to each have 100-yards-plus receiving in back-to-back playoff games.
The Bills struggled to run the ball again despite Allen’s 88 yards. NFL leading receiver Stefon Diggs was quiet but did end up catching six passes for 77 yards. The Chiefs defense, which has had its share of troubles this season, did find a way to sack Allen four times.
Buffalo finishes the 2020 season 15-4. The Bills won an AFC East title and reached the conference championship game for the first time in 25 years.