The Buffalo Bills find themselves at a critical juncture heading into Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs and the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, quarterback Patrick Mahomes. With playoffs on the line, every game is a must-win, and the defending Super Bowl champions are the first obstacle in their path to postseason success.
Quarterback Josh Allen has been in top form of late, showing a return to classic form under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Over the last two games, Allen has averaged an impressive 307 yards passing with a 92 quarterback rating. Allen has also utilized his running abilities more effectively and has displayed better decision-making on the field, taking what defenses give him rather than constantly seeking the big play. While Allen will need to find ways to keep getting the ball to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, it will be crucial for other receivers like Gabe Davis and Khalil Shakir to step up and contribute to the offensive efforts today if the Bills expect to walk out with a win.
Defensively, the Bills have faced numerous challenges due to injuries throughout the season. While the unit has delivered standout performances at times, it’s also faltered in critical moments — as evidenced by their recent game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite the offense leaving the field with the lead, the defense struggled to contain quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense, ultimately allowing them to move the ball with ease and end the game with a walk-off touchdown in overtime.
In facing the Chiefs, the Bills must prioritize discipline on defense. Any mistakes against the potent combination of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense could result in game-changing plays that may prove insurmountable. Although Kansas City’s offense hasn’t displayed its usual explosiveness this season, the threat posed by Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce remains a significant concern for Buffalo’s defense.
This high-stakes game should be must-see TV for football fans everywhere. The Bills need to win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they’ll need to leave it all on the field in their quest for victory. But are the odds stacked against them in Arrowhead?
Keys to remember
- The Bills opened as a +3 point underdog against the Chiefs in NFL Week 14 odds at DraftKings SportsBook for the game; it has since moved to +1
- BUF is at -105 on the moneyline, while KC sits at -115
- The over/under (point total) is set at 49 points
- The Chiefs are coming off a 21-19 loss against the Green Bay Packers
- The Bills are coming off a 37-34 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles
- Kansas City with Mahomes is 16-3 following a loss since
- Buffalo has won two of those three games
- The Bills are 6-0 after a bye under head coach Sean McDermott
“Be A Different Animal And The Same Beast”
Kobe Bryant really didn’t make sense in that commercial back in the day, but this is exactly what Josh Allen needs to be — the same beast we see every time the Bills play the Chiefs. Josh Allen has a passer rating of 107.8, while averaging 276.4 yards, 2.8 touchdowns and .4 interceptions in five games against KC in both the regular season and the playoffs in his career. Translation, he’s elite when he plays Kansas City. But this year the Bills’ backs are against the wall facing a must-win situation. Needing to win out, the pressure is on Allen to be nearly perfect each week in order to make the dance. With what appears to be more freedom to operate now under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Allen should be able to utilize his brain, arm and legs to propel the Bills past the Chiefs. And with KC not being nearly as dangerous on offense as they have in past seasons, it’s important for Allen and the offense to try and get out to an early lead and make the Chiefs try to come from behind while operating a more one-dimensional attack.
“Kincaid Must Eat”
The middle of the field has been wide open for teams facing the Chiefs this year and rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid has been very effective in that area of the field all season. In the last few games since tight end Dawson Knox has been out, Kincaid has stepped up and proven to anyone who doubted why he was worth a first-round draft pick. Bills fans should be excited about seeing Allen throw to Kincaid for years to come. With Knox potentially being back in the mix, I’m concerned about Joe Brady trying to force him back into the game plan and reduce Kincaid’s role. If that happens, I don’t think there will be a bigger mistake made during this stretch, where Bills have to play their best football. In my opinion, the best the offense has looked is when Kincaid was slotted as TE1. Knox is a very good player and I’d like to see him involved again, but not at the expense of taking snaps or targets away from Dalton Kincaid.
“Put Up & Shut Up”
Edge rusher Von Miller and head coach Sean McDermott both want to put the last two weeks behind them as quickly as possible. The best way to do that is by pulling out a decisive win on the road against the defending champs. Since Tyler Dunne’s 25,000-word article came out there have been no shortage of questions and accusations surrounding One Bills Drive and McDermott. As defensive coordinator, McDermott needs to come out fierce, and win big on the road in December. Doing so will give the media and writers something else to write and talk about. A loss this week would do little more than pile on additional negative attention for both McDermott and Miller. Last year at Arrowhead Stadium, it was Von Miller who iced the game for the Bills by applying pressure to Patrick Mahomes that forced an interception to nickel cornerback Taron Johnson. It would behoove Miller and the Buffalo Bills to pull off a similar showing and make a profound impact on the game’s outcome.
Score Prediction: 31-20, Buffalo Bills over the Kansas City Chiefs
All in all, I think the Bills are capable of doing what’s necessary to make the playoffs. My biggest concern is if they’ll do it. Bad coaching decisions, sloppy play and plenty of penalties usually don’t spell success in the NFL. But when you have Josh Allen at quarterback, there’s always a chance to win the game. This week, Buffalo will be fighting for their lives and I believe they’ll come out on top. It won’t be a blowout — Patrick Mahomes is too good for that. But the Bills will look desperate, and probably play with increased intensity. In life you need either inspiration or desperation. Hopefully the Bills have found what they need to get where they desire.
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