KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WKBW) — In a rematch of last year's AFC Championship, the Buffalo Bills will be back in Kansas City to play the Chiefs - this time in the Divisional Round. The Bills got the better of the Chiefs when the two teams met in Kansas City back in week 5 of the regular season, but with even more on the line this time around, neither team is overlooking the other.
Our 7 Sports team shares their final predictions ahead of Sunday's game.
It doesn’t get much better than this. An electric environment, two superstar quarterbacks and a spot in the AFC Championship on the line.
For the Bills, there’s no need for extra motivation. They know what this game means. But it’s hard not thinking back to last season that ended in Kansas City.
“We don't want to have that feeling of having our season end there this year like last year,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “We have to do everything to put our foot forward and we're taking it one game at a time and it's two really good football teams going at it and playing meaningful games like this in January is all you can really ask for."
After their loss in Kansas City last year, Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs watched the Chiefs celebrate their win. He said after the game he wanted to use those memories as motivation. Almost one year later, he’s finding that drive elsewhere.
"I haven't been able to be in that big show yet, so that's something I'm always striving for," Diggs said. "But as far as being in the playoffs and knowing it's win or go home, there are always heightened emotions. I feel like you need a little more focus and effort. Fighting for extra yardage in the regular season is different than fighting for extra yardage in the playoffs. I feel like you're giving it everything you've got and the man across from you is doing the same, because you know you're going home if you don't win. And you don't want to be the reason that you go home."
So how can the Bills leave Arrowhead Stadium with a win like they did in October? There are a lot of answers to the question but I believe they all involve scoring a ton of points.
Safety Micah Hyde said earlier in the week as a defense, they need to understand that the Chiefs are going to score points and move the ball.
For the defense, their job is limiting those opportunities and trying to make some splash plays.
That’s what they did in Week 5, forcing Patrick Mahomes to throw two interceptions and holding the Chiefs high powered offense to just 20 points.
I’d bet Kansas City scores at least 30 on Sunday night, but there’s no reason why the Bills can’t win a track meet.
Kansas City’s defense is playing much better than it was in October thanks to the additions of Melvin Ingram and a healthy Chris Jones.
The defensive line will give the Bills problems but if Allen has time, he’ll make plays.
With the recent spike in production from Devin Singletary and a full arsenal of wide receivers, there will be mismatches.
It goes without saying, this is far and away the toughest test the Bills have faced this season.
Up to this point, the team hasn’t won a one possession game.
I think that changes Sunday, and the Bills get revenge after their gut wrenching loss in KC last season.
Bills 35, Chiefs 33
Season record: 13-5
The last time these two teams met back in week 5, I picked the Chiefs... and the Bills proved me wrong.
It seems inevitable that these two teams are meeting, once again, in the postseason and I think a lot of people will agree that this game feels more like an AFC Championship or even a Super Bowl type game than the Divisional round they're playing in.
Because these two teams are GOOD, and they both can contend for a championship this season.
You have two of the most prolific and high-scoring offenses in the league, and with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen under center, you can expect a really fun game with two quarterbacks who can do a lot with the weapons they have.
With the Bills defense, who have been playing lights out since week one, and the Chiefs defense, who've improved greatly and are finally healthy, it's going to be a matter of who can come up with a big-time stop and give their offense more opportunities.
With the way the Bills played against the Patriots, they seem unstoppable.
I don't see them having another near-perfect game like they had last weekend, but I do think they are hot and not letting up.
I think this one's going to be close, but this time, I'm going with the Bills coming back to Orchard Park with a massive road win.
Bills: 34, Chiefs: 30
Season record: 14-4
Let's get something straight right off the bat: this Kansas City squad is not the same one the Bills beat in October.
The Chiefs were reeling at that point.
After losing to the Bills over three months ago, Patrick Mahomes and company have only lost twice since.
The shift in defensive personnel and the addition of another one at the trade deadline, has helped prevent Mahomes from having to play from behind.
While there haven't been as many mind-bending plays from the former MVP, he has played smarter as a result.
At the start of the year, when Melvin Ingram was on the Steelers, he gave Dion Dawkins a tough time in Buffalo's season opener.
Adding him to the mix at the trade deadline has allowed the Chiefs to take a similar approach to the Bills: generate pressure with the front four and drop back more defenders into coverage.
It'll be on Josh Allen and the Bills' loaded arsenal of receivers to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.
But there's enough versatility that's been unlocked for Buffalo to at least keep pace, if not set the tone.
This one could come down to whoever has the ball last.
But if Brian Daboll's unit delivers another A-grade performance a la the three punt-less games out of their last four, Buffalo will live to fight another day.
Bills: 33, Chiefs: 31
Season record: 13-5