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Bills vs. Chiefs: AFC divisional round preview

The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas Chiefs were the last two teams standing in the AFC championship game a season ago. The Chiefs would win 38-24 and represent the conference in Super Bowl LV. Once again, both teams face each other for the right to play in the AFC championship game. The Bills would regroup in the latter part of the season to win their second straight AFC East title.

Kansas City reminded their doubters that they are still in the Super Bowl contending after winning eight consecutive games, resulting in another division crown. Before the Chiefs’ eight-game winning streak, they experienced a brief losing skid that had everyone questioning their Super Bowl aspirations.

Buffalo avenged last year’s conference title game loss when they visited Arrowhead in Week 5. The Bills outperformed the Chiefs in every facet of the game. Their defense forced Patrick Mahomes to turn the football over on two consecutive occasions. Buffalo’s defense would become the National Football League’s number one ranked unit from that game forward. They will need a similar performance on Sunday to take down the Chiefs for the second time this season.

At all times, Buffalo must account for how dangerous Travis Kelcee and Tyreek Hill can become at a moment’s notice. They cannot allow both players to have success at the same time. Kansas City has other reliable options in the passing game, but they are not on the level of both Hill and Kelcee. Quarterback Josh Allen is a threat to pull off many things while in and out of the pocket.

The Chiefs will have to account for what Allen can do as a runner. However, establishing their rushing attack with Devin Singletary will present many challenges for the Kansas City defense to overcome. While the Chiefs may have improved as the season went on, they are still not on the level of the Bills in regards to getting stops on third downs. That’s why Buffalo must establish a solid ground game through Singletary this Sunday.

Kansas City must not make any costly mistakes against the Bills. Even though Mahomes has had another stellar season, he has shown to make bad throws at the most inopportune time. These decisions can change the entire outcome of the game against Buffalo. He knows how to find the weak spots within the Buffalo defense due to facing them in the two previous games.

Kansas City believes they can get around Buffalo’s versatility through quick passes to running backs like Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, forcing the Bills to cover the entire field. On the Chiefs’ end, the hope is that the defensive front puts the pressure on Allen. They sacked him four times in the AFC championship game last season, adding a turnover of their own.

Predicted Outcome

With the Tennessee Titans losing their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, the Chiefs have an opportunity to take control of home-field advantage. The Bills will not make those aspirations easy to get. However, the Chiefs will make enough plays on Sunday to defeat the Bills and host their fourth straight AFC championship game. Mahomes is the better QB when it comes to situations such as playoff football.

Bills    34

Chiefs 38

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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