Image Credit: © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, the Chiefs defeated the Bills in Buffalo during the regular season and then won when it counted, beating the Bills 38-24 in the AFC Championship game. The Kansas City Chiefs were on the receiving end of a beat-down this time around. Sunday night, it was a complete reversal of fortune as Bills QB Josh Allen led his team to a huge early-season victory.
Allen, who finished 15-of-26 for 315 yards and three touchdowns, put the Bills on his back in the second quarter and led Buffalo to three straight scoring drives to open up a 24-10 lead on the Chiefs. Allen threw touchdown passes to Emmanuel Sanders, and Dawson Knox sandwiched around a 30-yard field goal by K Tyler Bass.
Buffalo proved why it is better than Kansas City in the second half through week five of the 2021 season – defense. With Chiefs digging their way out of their own territory, Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes threw a rare interception that Buffalo’s Micah Hyde picked off. He promptly returned the errant pass 26 yards for another Bills touchdown. The extra point put Buffalo ahead 31- 13.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs had one final glimmer of hope in the fourth quarter. They had closed the lead to 31-20 on a Mahomes to Travis Kelce touchdown pass. On a Bills third-down play, Allen launched the ball deep, and Kansas City’s Rashad Fenton picked it off. Chiefs DE Frank Clark was flagged for roughing the passer. That would prove to be the dagger that would end Kansas City’s hopes. Allen then marched the Bills down the field, capping a 12-play, 85-yard drive with an eight-yard scoring toss to Sanders.
Buffalo exploited the most significant difference between the two AFC title contenders. While the Bills rank at or near the top of the NFL in several defensive statistical categories, the Chiefs rank near the bottom. Kansas City ranks 31st in total defense allowing over 437 yards per game. The Chiefs are dead last in the league in points allowed per game (32.6).
The Chiefs defensive woes were evident in a first half where Buffalo’s Allen completed just seven passes. Those seven completions resulted in a total of 219 yards and two touchdowns for the Bills. Allen also ended up the Bills leading rusher with 59 yards on 11 carries. He scored once on the ground as well. Allen took advantage of the Chiefs two-deep-zone-man-under coverage on several occasions.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo dialed up a heavy dose of what Tampa Bay did to Mahomes and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The Bills played a lot of zone coverage which prevented Mahomes from picking the Bills secondary apart. As a result of the coverage, Mahomes, like Allen, took off running a number of times. Mahomes ended up as Kansas City’s leading rusher running eight times for 61 yards.
The Chiefs lost RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire early in the second half to a knee injury. After having had two consecutive 100-yard games, Edwards-Helaire finished with just 13 yards on seven carries. The Chiefs rushed for 120 yards. Mahomes finished the game 33-of-54 for 272 yards. He threw two touchdown passes but also was intercepted twice. With an additional fumble, Mahomes committed three of the Chiefs four turnovers on Sunday night.
Now 4-1, the Bills lead the AFC East again. The Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins have combined for as many wins as Buffalo has this season. Buffalo will play a second consecutive primetime game when they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans on Monday night. It will be another opportunity for the Bills to avenge a loss last season. The Bills committed three turnovers and lost to the Titans 42-16 in Tennessee. The Titans are 3-2 this season after a win over Jacksonville last week.
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Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs - A Few Thoughts About the Chiefs Game, in no particular order