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Chiefs' superstar targets shine in Bills' AFC Championship loss

APTOPIX Bills Chiefs Football
Posted at 12:14 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 00:14:07-05

KANSAS CITY (WKBW) — All week long, Bills defenders kept on hammering home that they had to know where 10 and 87 were at all times.

Buffalo knew exactly where wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce were. The duo just couldn't be stopped on Sunday night.

"They have a lot of speed on the field, so they give themselves a lot of options," head coach Sean McDermott said. "They've got a couple unique guys like that... obviously we've got a lot of work to do this season in more ways than one."

Kelce was Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes's safety blanket in the Chiefs' 38-24 win over the Bills Sunday night. The unanimous all-pro hauled in 13 catches for `118 yards and two touchdowns. The latter of the two came on an underhand flip that the Chiefs had gone to with goal-to-go situations earlier this season.

"Any time you're playing an offense like that, there's going to be things that maybe it's the first time you've seen it," linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said. "At the end of the day, we have to do a better job executing."

Even though Kelce's yardage numbers were kept in check in October, it was his second two-score game against Buffalo. Hill was held scoreless once again, but on Sunday, he had 9 catches for 172 yards. An early drop on the Chiefs' first possession didn't stop the Pro Bowler from racking up yards after the catch for the rest of the game.

"You watch him on film, you see what he's doing, and it's like he's running a different speed compared to anybody else," safety Micah Hyde said. "And tonight, we saw it firsthand. For the second time."

But even someone as fast as Hill needs time to get downfield. And his quarterback had plenty of time to throw. Mahomes improvised like he always does. But the lone sack he took wasn't for a loss of yardage.

"Their offensive coordinator did a great job of moving the pocket. You could kind of tell early on that [Mahomes] wasn't as mobile as he usually is," defensive end Jerry Hughes said. "For us up front, there was a couple times that we had him in our arms, and we have to get him down."

With the help of Hill's first quarter drop, the defense more than held its own early on. But three straight Chiefs touchdowns in the second quarter started a snowball effect that Buffalo couldn't snap out of on either side of the ball.

"We do the best we can to put the player in a position to make adjustments at halftime," McDermott said. "Sometimes those adjustments are obvious... by the difference of the game in the second half, and sometimes they're not."

"We were frustrated, but we kept saying we needed to find a way to get a stop or flip the field," Hughes said. "We were just trying to find ways to stop the bleeding. That's a high-powered offense and a well-coached team."

The Chiefs' offense was more high-powered for three quarters of the game. That was more than enough for Kansas City to sweep the Bills with a 38-24 win to move onto the Super Bowl to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But after the success of 2020, a new bar has been set at One Bills Drive.

"At the end of the day, this is our measuring stick. If you lose in the AFC Championship game, that's the team we have to beat," McDermott said. "So we have to do everything with that in mind this off-season."

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