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Buffalo Bills Links, 1/23: Key matchups for the AFC title game.

Plus, why Isaiah McKenzie is a secret weapon for the Bills on Sunday.

In today’s edition of the Buffalo Bills daily links, we identify key matchups to watch for in Sunday’s AFC Championship between the No. 2 Bills (15-3) and the No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (15-2).

We discuss why wide receiver/returner Isaiah McKenzie is Buffalo’s secret weapon heading into the AFC title game, analyze how the offensive line has cultivated continuity during Buffalo’s eight-game winning streak, explore how head coach Sean McDermott rose from an assistant under Andy Reid to Buffalo’s successful head coach, hear why former Bills greats Cornelius Bennett, Steve Tasker and coach Marv Levy are hopeful the Bills can bring the region a championship, break down the news that Patrick Mahomes will be playing on Sunday, and much more!


Keys for Bills vs. Chiefs

Here are the keys to a Bills win vs. the Chiefs - Democrat & Chronicle
What Buffalo needs to do to advance into the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1993 season.

Four matchups to watch: Bills at Chiefs for AFC championship | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Don’t miss Mark Gaughan’s four matchups to watch when the Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday in the AFC championship game.

Bills vs. Chiefs: Key questions, X-factors, predictions – The Athletic
The Bills, the hottest team in the NFL, face the Chiefs, a team with championship experience, in the AFC Championship Game. (Subscription required).

Bills-Chiefs: 10 matchups that could decide AFC title game – The Athletic
“Each team’s focus will be on the quarterback, but it will be the individual matchups around them that define the Bills-Chiefs outcome,” writes Joe Buscaglia. (Subscription required).

Take Five: Bills should again dare the Chiefs to run | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Don’t miss Vic Carucci’s five takes on the Buffalo Bills’ AFC championship game Sunday at 6:40 p.m. EST against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Bucs-Packers, Bills-Chiefs picks, schedule, odds, injuries, predictions, more for AFC and NFC championships - ESPN.com
What to watch for in both games. Bold predictions. Key stats to know. And, of course, score predictions. It’s all here for the NFC and AFC Championship Games.

Greg Cosell Previews Bills-Chiefs - BuffaloBills.com
NFL Films senior producer and ESPN NFL Matchup host Greg Cosell analyzed the Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship game matchup in his weekly segment on One Bills Live.

News and Notes for the AFC Title Game

The Buffalo Bills’ secret weapon? Isaiah McKenzie - Go Long with Tyler Dunne
“Week after week, somebody new steps up for the Bills. In the AFC Championship Game, this 5-foot-8 dynamo could be next. McKenzie explains to Go Long how he has always seized the opportunity,” writes Tyler Dunne.

Bills’ offensive line finally has found some continuity | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“The game of musical chairs for the Buffalo Bills up front has stopped,” writes Jay Skurski.

Sean McDermott’s rise from Andy Reid’s staff to Bills leader – The Athletic
Those who’ve been around McDermott over the years saw someone with the work ethic and mindset to achieve this level of success. (Subscription required).

Bills center Mitch Morse going home to KC - Democrat & Chronicle
Morse spent the first four years of his NFL career playing for the Chiefs, Buffalo’s opponent in the AFC Championship Game.

I new era of Bills football, Jerry Hughes remains a constant – The Athletic
Since his 2013 arrival in Buffalo, Hughes has played for three head coaches and four defensive coordinators spanning multiple systems. (Subscription required).

Jerry Hughes: Underdog Bills will ’keep punching people in the mouth until we get that credit’ - newyorkupstate.com
Hughes is content to let experts pump up Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce before AFC title showdown.

Did Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill give Bills bulletin board material? - newyorkupstate.com
Hill said the Chiefs would be in the Super Bowl following Sunday’s game.

Tre’Davious White almost opted out due to COVID-19 - Democrat & Chronicle
White chose to play, but had the Bills cornerback opted out due to COVID-19, he would not have regretted the decision.

Marv Levy, Cornelius Bennett, former Bills eager to see Buffalo ‘finally’ win title - Buffalo Bills Blog- ESPN
Calling the 2020 team a “life jacket” for fans, members of Buffalo’s last Super Bowl team are hopeful the Bills can bring the region a championship.

One-on-One Coverage: Andre Reed says Bills ‘taking a lot out of the book of our teams’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“They need these unsung heroes that take turns to make plays. That’s what we had,” Reed said. “That’s what that team was about.”

Bills reportedly set to sign kicker to practice squad as insurance | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“(Tristan) Vizcaino took part in a tryout in mid-January, his second tryout with the Bills this season.”

NFL Conference Championships: How to watch Bills vs. Chiefs, Bucs vs. Packers on Sunday | TV channels, time, free live stream - newyorkupstate.com
What time are the AFC and NFC Conference Championships on Sunday? Where can I stream the games?

Mahomes Officially Cleared to Play

Patrick Mahomes clears concussion protocol - WGR 550
“Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made the announcement himself on Friday afternoon that he has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will be ready to play in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills,” writes Sal Capaccio.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he’s cleared protocol, will play Sunday | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters after Friday’s practice that he is out of the concussion protocol and is cleared to play in Sunday’s AFC championship game against Buffalo.

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes clears concussion protocol, will play Bills in AFC Championship - newyorkupstate.com
This was the expectation all along, but Mahomes confirmed the news on Friday.

Final Injury Report

Bills Notebook: Final injury report looks promising heading into AFC Championship Game | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“Both rookie wide receiver Gabriel Davis (ankle) and defensive tackle Vernon Butler (quad) were able to practice on a limited basis ahead of Sunday’s AFC championship game,” writes Jay Skurski.

Bills’ Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley on track to play vs. Chiefs; Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler questionable - newyorkupstate.com
Diggs and Beasley have no designation on Friday’s injury report.

Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler are questionable for Bills at Chiefs | AFC Championship game - BuffaloBills.com
Two Bills are listed on this week’s final injury report.

Odds and Ends

Josh Allen named Most Improved Player of the Year by PFWA - WGR 550
“Add another honor and award for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen after his remarkable 2020 season. The Bills announced on Friday that Allen was named the Pro Football Writers of America’s Most Improved Player of the Year for 2020,” writes Sal Capaccio.

How Bills GM Brandon Beane avoided ‘one of the worst things you can do to a young QB’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“The way Brandon Beane saw it, his first-round pick was Stefon Diggs,” writes Jason Wolf.

Bills chase Chiefs: On the road from Buffalo to Kansas City – The Athletic
“The old AFL rivals have remained intertwined, with the Bills often trying to keep up with the Chiefs. Now, their paths meet again,” writes Tim Graham. (Subscription required).

Bills Mafia’s dedication helps propel Buffalo to 1st AFC Championship game in 27 Years - BuffaloBills.com
“The unique passion of the Bills Mafia community was on full display as fans, after enduring rigorous testing to ensure safety, reunited with each other and their team, making enough noise to help propel the Bills past the Ravens and into their first AFC Championship Game since 1994.”

Bills Today | Josh Norman’s Buffalo Business Blitz is almost halfway to one-million-dollars - BuffaloBills.com
Here are three things to know about the Bills for Saturday, Jan.23.

3 things we learned from Thurman Thomas on ‘Bills Pod Squad’ - BuffaloBills.com
The Hall-of-Fame running back joined Kim Pegula and Maddy Glab ahead of the AFC Championship.

Buffalo lawyers who won orange zone case take aim at 10 p.m. bar curfew ahead of Bills playoff game - newyorkupstate.com
Buffalo faces Kansas City in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey gets his wings, and yes, they do have something to do with Buffalo | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“Now, Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey definitely knows that Buffalo wings have something to do with Buffalo, N.Y.”

Featured on Buffalo Rumblings

Analysis: How the Buffalo Bills should attack the Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Rumblings
A healthier lifestyle.

Injury report: Buffalo Bills healthier than Kansas City Chiefs heading into AFC Championship - Buffalo Rumblings
While Patrick Mahomes was cleared from the concussion protocol, the Buffalo Bills are still healthier than the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the AFC Championship Game.

Five Buffalo Bills to watch at the Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills can go to the Super Bowl, but a tough challenge awaits at Arrowhead.

Five Kansas City Chiefs to watch vs. the Buffalo Bills - Buffalo Rumblings
The Chiefs were the only team in the league with more wins than Buffalo this year.

Buffalo Bills opponent preview: Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones - Buffalo Rumblings
What to expect in the interior of the defensive line as the Bills seek the AFC Championship.

Four Downs: In order to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man - Buffalo Rumblings
Ric Flair knows what’s up.

Code of Conduct: Terez Paylor from Yahoo Sports previews Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Rumblings
The latest pod has everything you need to get ready for kickoff.

Buff Hub: The Buffalo Bills deserve to be in the AFC Championship - Buffalo Rumblings
Featuring “Bruce Nolan,” an AFC championship Preview.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen named PFWA Most Improved Player of the Year - Buffalo Rumblings
Great recognition for a great quarterback.

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs broadcast info, announcers, streaming, radio, television AFC Championship Game - Buffalo Rumblings
All the ways to watch as the Bills look to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl!

Bills vs. Chiefs: 17,000 fans will present a new challenge - Buffalo Rumblings
Buffalo hasn’t played in front of this many fans in quite some time.

Super Bowl will have 22,000 fans including 7500 free tickets for health care workers - Buffalo Rumblings
COVID-19 isn’t going to stop the Super Bowl.