The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs have played through two cutthroat quarters of football and, at halftime, the two teams are right back where they ended regulation in last year’s playoffs. It’s a tie game, 10-10, after yet another wild final minute of regulation that ended with a Chiefs field goal to tie the game.
The Bills had their opportunities to control the scoreboard in this game, but two drives fizzled on plays attributable to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. On the team’s opening drive, McKenzie bobbled a backward toss from quarterback Josh Allen, fumbling it into Kansas City’s hands for a turnover in the red zone. Another Bills drive made it to the three-yard line, but on fourth down, McKenzie tripped over his own feet while running a route. Instead of catching Allen’s pass for a touchdown, he was only able to bat at it with one hand as it fell incomplete.
The Bills have had success moving the ball with running back Devin Singletary (10 carries, 76 yards), but after a hot start to the game, Allen had a lot of trouble finding room to set his feet and complete a pass to a receiver. He started up the barbecue again in the most dire of circumstances at the end of the half. Facing a third down from his own one-yard line, Allen hit on his next five passes for 99 yards and a touchdown to take the lead.
Defensively, the Bills have done as much as they could to hold Mahomes in check. Rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam caught his second interception in as many weeks to kill a drive in the end zone. The other defenders have played well enough to force two punts. Only two plays have killed them: One was a 42-yard touchdown from wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster: quarterback Patrick Mahomes evaded the pass rush for nearly seven seconds, threw the ball across his body, and the receiver caught it, broke a tackle, and ran the rest of the way to the end zone after two other defenders collided into each other. The other, which brought back some ugly feelings from last season, was a 62-yard kick by Harrison Butker as time expired in the half. Once again, the Bills had left too much time on the clock for Mahomes to move the ball.
The Chiefs will receive the opening kickoff of the second half. The Bills can’t let up for a second if they want to win this one. Here’s your open thread for the rest of the game. Go Bills!