The Buffalo Bills traveled to Arrowhead Stadium for a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs—and looking to settle the score in a rematch of last season’s heartbreaking loss during the divisional round of last year’s NFL Playoffs.
If you ask fans around the city of Buffalo, they’d say the wound from that game might be healed but the scars and memories remain. Buffalo exacted their long-awaited revenge by slaying the dragon in Arrowhead on Sunday. We’ve talked about how deep this team is, but the stars on the roster shined bright under pressure during this heavyweight bout. Quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stephon Diggs, and edge rusher Von Miller powered the Bills to a 24-20 win leaving them atop not only their division, but the entire AFC.
General manager Brandon Beanee has assembled something special in Buffalo. An MVP frontrunner at quarterback, supported by superstars on both sides of the ball—the win in Kansas City highlights the great work he’s done. In this week’s edition of Mr. B’s breakdown, I’m diving into how the Bills’ star power outshined quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and sent a message throughout the league that this is not the same team as last season.
Allen outguns Mahomes, makes case to be NFL MVP
Right before halftime, Buffalo had a choice to make. They were down 7-3 facing 3rd & 13 from their own one-yard line. In this situation, most teams will look to get a few yards to ensure their punter isn’t backed up into their own endzone. Those teams don’t have Josh Allen. Allen took the snap five yards deep in his own endzone, scrambled from pressure, and delivered an 18-yard strike to wide receiver Gabe Davis for the first down. Before this completion, Allen was 8-of-18 for 81 yards. On Buffalo’s final drive of the half, after this completion, Allen went 5-of-5 in leading the offense to a touchdown and a 10-7 lead.
After this touchdown drive, Allen went 19-of-22 for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Allen doesn’t have the MVP or Superbowl ring that Mahomes does, but with his superstar performance on Sunday, I think Allen has taken over as QB1 in the NFL. Entering the season as the MVP favorite, Allen has only widened the gap between the next closest guy. If the drive before halftime didn’t sell you on him for MVP, A 12-play, 76-yard game-winning drive that featured clutch third-down conversions, another edition of a Josh Allen hurdle, and a perfect, lazer throw to tight end Dawson Knox on the game-winning touchdown pass has to cement Allen as QB1 in the league this season. Kansas City had no answers for number 17 and when Mahomes had his chance to answer, he threw an interception to cornerback Taron Johnson. Allen is the heart and soul of this Buffalo offense and if he continues to perform like this, he won’t just win an MVP, but hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February.
Diggs finally breaks loose against Chiefs
Against Kansas City, Stefon Diggs has not produced to the level we’ve expect from him during his tenure in Buffalo. Through his first four contests vs KC, Diggs had a combined 199 receiving yards, and one touchdown. These numbers are drastically lower than the 88 yards per game he has averaged in his 39 career games with the Bills. He was due for a game and a game he had. With 10 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown, Diggs took advantage of the rookie cornerback matched up against him and broke out for a big game. His touchdown grab showcased the chemistry between Allen and Diggs. As Allen took the snap, he recognized the blitz, looked the safety off to the left, and threw a perfect pass——leading Diggs into the endzone.
One thing we can be certain of is avoiding Kansas City’s fate of losing their number-one wide receiver, Tyreek Hill over a contract dispute. Diggs, who, who signed a contract extension this offseason, will be linked up with Allen for at least the next five seasons. Allen and Diggs have been lighting it up since day one and the trust between the two runs deep. When talking on Von Miller’s Podcast, Diggs calls Allen “the quarterback that God had for me at the end of the tunnel”
“damn near everything.”— alex brasky (@alexbrasky) October 12, 2022
-stefon diggs when asked what josh allen has meant to his career #billsmafia pic.twitter.com/PUbbaKYopV
The full quote:
“Up to this point now, it’s like, ‘S—t, how good can we be?’ Because if you’ve got a good quarterback, you’ve got something. I’m grateful, because I’ve had some good quarterbacks in the past, but this is the quarterback that God had for me at the end of the tunnel.”
Von Miller proves to be the missing piece
Sometimes in life you splurge on a purchase. Maybe you wanted a nice pair of shoes, a new watch, a fancy dinner, or a special piece of jewelry. You spend the extra money to get something of high quality and it’s worth it. You get what you pay for, as they say. Beane had invested draft picks and free-agent dollars in the defensive end position yet prior to this season, the team was left wanting more. By giving Miller $120 million over six years, Beane backed up the Brinks truck to find this team’s missing piece—and wow has it ever worked out so far. Miller had his best game as a Bill Sunday against the Chiefs, ultimately changing the game for Buffalo. Miller played the most snaps he had played all season so far while compiling four tackles, two sacks and six quarterback pressures. He also was the pressure that forced Mahomes to throw the game-sealing interception. He knows what is expected of him and he delivered in a huge way.
“Every team that I’ve been on that’s why I had been there. Since I got drafted by the Denver Broncos number-two pick in 2011 that’s why they brought me to go to the Denver Broncos, that’s why they traded for me with the Rams last year, that’s why I’m here. That’s in the job description,” Von Miller said in his postgame press conference.
His all-business demeanor fits right in with how head coach Sean McDermott and the coaching staff have built a winning culture. McDermott is generally reserved when commenting on his players but he sung high praises for Miller after his performance.
“Yeah I mean you could feel him whether or not he was actually sacking Mahomes he was affecting him and then he did get him a couple times so just you could feel him out there the entire game so he was phenomenal,” McDermott said after the game.
Helping his teammates get better is something Miller has prided himself in doing, going back to his days with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams, he always wants to elevate the people around him to be the best they can be.
“I get the most out of myself whenever I’m doing something for somebody else, whenever I’m playing for somebody else. . . . So many teammates on my team, this is really all they need,” Miller said during the Ram’s run to the Superbowl last year.
Along with pressuring Mahomes on the game-ending interception, Miller and defensive tackle Ed Oliver pressured Mahomes at the end of the Chiefs’ first drive of the game. They forced Mahomes out of the pocket and rushed his throw. which helped rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam snag his second career interception in the end zone. Elam, one of the many young players on this roster benefiting from Miller, kept Kansas City off the scoreboard with this interception.
With Miller The Closer, Buffalo finally has the combination of pieces to get over the hump. If he can continue this pace, Miller could find himself not only in the Pro Bowl, but playing for a title in the big game come February.
With so many great things coming to light following the Bills’ win in Kansas City, I was having a hard time deciphering through them all. From coaching that had a game plan putting players in the perfect position almost every play, to superstar performances from the leaders on this team—how can you not be giddy after a win like Sunday’s? Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Von Miller, Taron Johson, Matt Milano, Devin Singletary, the offensive line, rookie corners—the list is so long I could say sometng good about everyone at this point. Confidence in this team should be high going into the bye week. They appear to be the team to beat in the NFL.
Who was most important to the Bills win? Allen, Miller, Diggs, or someone else? Let me know in the comments below.