The Buffalo Bills walked into Arrowhead Stadium and laid the wood to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night, winning 38-20 in a complete performance. The Bills were the better team in all three phases of the game, as they forced four Kansas City turnovers and didn’t have any of their own. They also outgained the offense that has been the league’s gold standard over the last few years.
The Bills had plenty of big performers, some of whom (Greg Rousseau, for example) we didn’t mention in this space. The ones we did mention, however, played fantastic games in their own right.
Here’s how our five players to watch performed on Sunday night (and Monday morning, too).
QB Josh Allen
The last time the Bills and the Chiefs met, Allen looked tight. He was forcing plays all over the field, and he was inaccurate to boot. Last night was the direct opposite of those two 2020 contests, as Allen was in command and perfectly comfortable with being the best player on the field for those 60 minutes. He completed just 15 passes on only 26 attempts, both of which are season-low totals. However, he hit on some huge plays downfield, totaling 315 yards and three touchdowns passing. He also managed to lead the Bills in rushing, totaling 59 yards on 11 carries. He scored the game’s first touchdown on a designed run, and he added to his career highlight reel with a gutsy hurdle over L’Jarius Sneed to convert a 3rd & 4 during the game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. On deep balls, Allen was masterful, completing all four of his attempts over 20 yards for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Allen would have had more completions if not for some uncharacteristic drops from Stefon Diggs, as well as some slightly more characteristic drops from his running backs. Even with all that, Allen was dynamite on Sunday night.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
Buffalo’s newest wideout made two huge catches for touchdowns, and he was the most targeted wideout for the Bills in the game with five. That number tied Stefon Diggs, as Allen spread his 26 attempts to eight different receivers. Sanders’s first touchdown came in the second quarter, as Allen threw a dart that Sanders hauled in for a 35-yard score to give the Bills a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. He added the game’s final touchdown, as well—an eight-yard strike that caused Tyrann Mathieu to throw his hands up in frustration for the third time in the game. Sanders has been a valuable addition to a strong Buffalo pass-catching group.
OT Spencer Brown
It’s not even a “low-key” thing so far—general manager Brandon Beane absolutely aced the 2021 NFL Draft. Defensive end Greg Rousseau is a monster. Defensive end Boogie Basham has played well in two straight weeks. And Brown, Buffalo’s third-round pick, has entered the starting lineup and solidified the front line, adding some nasty to a group that sometimes lacks physicality. Josh Allen had as much time as he wanted to throw on most plays, and Brown has settled down what was a rough right side of the line.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Buffalo’s middle linebacker had himself a night, using his speed and his length to disrupt passing lanes for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He was in coverage at times on tight end Travis Kelce, and he even found himself bracketing wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but Edmunds never looked awkward or out of place. Not only that, but with an improved defensive line, Edmunds found himself able to avoid traffic in front of him, using his speed and vision to make some big plays against the run. One that comes to mind came on a pitch to the left side—Edmunds fired off like he’d been shot from a cannon, knifing through Kansas City’s blockers to stop Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a two-yard loss on the Chiefs’ first possession of the second half. Edmunds totaled nine tackles on the night, which was second on the team. He also had that one tackle for loss.
CB Taron Johnson
Buffalo’s leading tackler was the nickel corner, the newly-minted $24 million man. Johnson was superb all night, showing aggressive coverage ability and his crazy speed, which makes him Buffalo’s go-to guy on Tyreek Hill when they go man-to-man. It worked much better this time around than it did in the AFC Championship Game, as Johnson was able to stick with Hill more often than not. Johnson added one pass breakup to his game-high 12 tackles. While he entered the game listed as questionable thanks to a groin injury, he only missed one snap—he came off due to a cramp. Johnson played 85 defensive snaps on the night.