2nd and 15 after a false start penalty on Buffalo. Allen from the shotgun, ducks out of trouble and runs for about nine! Handy run there after Sneed almost took him down.
So it’s 3rd & 6.
KC blitz – Allen scrambles, throws it away but there’s a flag. It’s Sneed who is busted for a defensive hold, and that’s an automatic first down. Big call there for the Bills – Buffalo are at the 15 with fresh downs.
Two field goals isn’t gonna cut if for the Bills offense. Not when KC are scoring at will. They should have tried for the TD at the end of the half, really. Without the Hardman muff, this game is long gone for the Bills.
But they’re in it with a shot. It’s in the dark but it’s a shot. Mahomes has 173 yards on 17/23 passing. Allen is 12/23 for 104. No rushing game to speak of besides Allen, who had 42 yards, which is a bad sign. Hardman has 50 on the ground, all from that flashy end around.
Soon we’ll have out SBLV match-up. Stick with us for second half coverage.
The Bills are three and out and here comes Mahomes and the KC offense.
Hardman on an end-around and he has SPACE! He’s off and running down the far side to the tune of 50 yards to the Buffalo 32! There’s that thin Buffalo run defense that has hurt them all season, back after a week off. What a fantastic play from KC.
So how will the startled Chiefs respond to an early deficit – well, history shows quite well, as they were down in three games during the playoffs last year and won all three. How about now?
Chiefs start at their 20. Mahomes is in the shotgun – he’s on the move, running right, fires and hits Kelce for about nine yards. Good start. Now Mahomes passes to Hardman, who muffed that punt – this time he has it: a short reception for a first down. Ball is on the KC 30.
See, I wasn’t kidding. We’re off. The Bills have it at their 25 to start – a one-yard gain from Singletary is Buffalo’s first game from scrimmage. Then Allen hits Beasley who is streaking across the middle. That’s a gain of 17, and the Bills are moving and are at their 43.
The Bills are getting 3.5 points in Vegas but I don’t think they’ll need it. I do like what Buffalo did vs the run last week and with their pass defense already strong, they could have another good game against Mahomes as they did back in week six. Plus, Mahomes is coming off a concussion and does have that turf toe.
It’s an unpopular opinion, but I think Buffalo can figure out a way to pull this thing out and give Western New York a fifth Super Bowl appearance with a win at Arrowhead.
Final score: 27-23, and you can print it! (I just did).
Even though the result is in stone, we still have to go through the formality of playing the game.
The AFC Championship is nearly here. Please stand by.
These folks are used to the worst the weather gods can throw at them, but the Bills and Chiefs are catching something of a break tonight. KC will be about 37/3 degrees, reasonable for this time of year. There is however a chance of some rain, which could be fun. Kickoff coming soon.
Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl – with a new team!
Does this mean that Brady wins the who is more important to the Patriots dynasty pub chat? That’s a piece for next week, but here’s another question: does this mean Brady has outdone what Joe Montana did with his new team 27 years ago. I know, it’s something of a strange question – stick with me.
The legendary Joe Montana, who won four Super Bowl rings with the 49ers, had made a similar, late career move, to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. In his first season at Arrowhead, Montana took KC all the way to the brink of the Super Bowl XXVIII, losing to, yes, the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship.
This past offseason, when all the rumors of Brady possibly leaving the Patriots were running rampant, Montana had this to say:
Don’t, if you don’t have to. It’s a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team…I just can’t see how they would let him leave there, myself.
Well, the Patriots did let Brady fly, and now the quarterback who must be considered the greatest of all-time has taken it a round further than Montana did with his new team.
Who will Brady face in SBLV, at the Bucs home venue, Raymond James Stadium? Kick off is coming – stay with us.
If the Bills / Chiefs tilt isn’t enough for you, how about KC BBQ sauce v Buffalo wings sauce. It’s an enticing battle between spicy and vinegary vs the somewhat sweet and tangy rib topping condiment.
If you were seeking out a taste test in Buffalo last week, you might of run into a supply issue – that’s because Dash’s market removed all KC BBQ sauce from their shelves, for spite, and for charity. There was also the customary bet between local mayors.
Personally I’m a sucker for Buffalo wings, and now I’m hungry – send wings, please!
I mentioned that if not for a flukish loss to Arizona, Buffalo would be on a 12-game winning streak. That would make the Bills last loss to KC back in week six. In that matchup, it wasn’t Mahomes who lit up Buffalo, but rather, KC’s rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who ran through a banged up Bills line for 161 yards, with Mahomes chalking up a modest 225 yards. Josh Allen had what was arguably his worst day of the season, passing for just 122 yards as the Chiefs won 26-17. Of course, Allen has done a lot better since, and so has Mahomes who guided Kansas City to a 14-2 record. Below is a look at highlights of that game.
Oh, and did you know that the NFC Championship was also a week six re-match? Is that a coincidence, or perhaps something more…?
Welcome to our coverage of the AFC Championship. We’ve got quite the nightcap (morning? afternoon?) in store for you with the Buffalo Bills, who are attempting to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993, taking on the Kansas City Chiefs, current holders of the NFL’s most prized piece of metal.
The Chiefs drive for a dynasty nearly took a nasty turn against the Browns last week as they survived a late rally from Cleveland. They were saved not by heroics from their all-Galaxy quarterback Pat Mahomes, but rather, his replacement, Chad Henne. KC’s backup somehow found a way to razzle and dazzle his Chiefs to safety with a couple of timely and unlikely plays as the clock ticked down in Arrowhead.
The Chiefs survival means they’re still in the running for a second consecutive Super Bowl ring, a prospect that seems significantly more likely now that we know that Mahomes will be under center against Buffalo, a fact that was anything but assured until he passed through the concussion protocol late in the week.
And they’ll face the Bills, who if not for a hail Mary of a loss in Arizona, would be riding a 12-game winning streak into the AFC Championship. A lot of that winning comes courtesy of the rapidly evolving Josh Allen and his main battery mate, Stefon Diggs, also known as the best offseason pickup of the year.
Last week Buffalo transformed their porous run defense into a reasonably formidable unit, one that held the slippery Lamar Jackson to just 34 yards as the Bills saw off Baltimore in the Divisional round. Of course, against KC, the challenge will be upped several notches as they attempt to do something few defenses have done to KC in this era: slow down the juggernaut.
We’ve got a few apps for you before the main course comes out (don’t fill up) as we get set for kickoff. In the meantime, feel free to @me – or hit me up via email with all your thoughts and feelings, predictions and all that.
David will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s a preview of today’s game:
What the Bills need to do to win: The Chiefs can do so much damage, so quickly, through the air with the likes of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill that encouraging them to go to the run game, perhaps by not packing the box, is one option. Josh Allen has evolved beyond recognition in a short space of time, partly because of the array of weapons he has, from the almost impossible to cover Stefon Diggs to Cole Beasley to tight end Dawson Knox. The Bills will need to keep that chemistry going on Sunday.
What the Chiefs need to do to win: As mentioned above, Allen’s progress this season has been extraordinary and he is no longer the turnover machine he was. But he still makes mistakes and the Chiefs’ standout defensive talents, whether it is Tyrann Matthieu or Chris Jones, are capable of forcing him into making errors. If the Bills do manage to make the Chiefs turn to the run game, the fitness of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, returning from injury, could be telling.
Key player: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes is the best player in the NFL, so he is the most important player in any game he plays. But his impact on Sunday feels particularly telling. Mahomes was forced out of last week’s win over the Browns due to concussion – and he has been limited in practice – but he will almost certainly start. The question is what version of Mahomes plays. The concussion doesn’t appear to have been too damaging (at least in the short-term) but more worrying for the Chiefs is the fact that Mahomes is also suffering from turf toe. Mahomes is no Lamar Jackson, he won’t scorch you for 50 yards, but his mobility and ability to beat the rush is an important part of his game.
Prediction: Bills. A fully fit Mahomes beats Allen 90% of the time. But a limited Mahomes, who has been very good rather than great in his recent games, is a different proposition. The lingering effects of the concussion and his reduced mobility will hand this one to the Bills … just.