Bills vs. Chiefs – Game Preview – January 23, 2022

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Stefon Diggs walked off the field inside Arrowhead Stadium in October with two very distinct feelings: elation that his Bills avenged an AFC title game loss to the Chiefs and the belief that they would meet again.

Get ready for the final game between two of the league’s top teams on Sunday night.

Fresh out of a near-perfect 47-17 New England blowout last weekend, Diggs and the Bills returned to Kansas City for the divisional round of the playoffs. And wait for them Patrick Mahomes and the top-flight Chiefs, who turned their season around after a lackluster start and then throttled Pittsburgh 42-21 in their joker match.

“They have all the talent in the world,” Diggs said. “They played at a high level. They’ve been to the Super Bowl twice. They’ve got a hell of a quarterback, a hell of a receiver, a good defense, they’re a great team.

Turns out he wasn’t the only one anticipating another confrontation, either.

“We will probably play them a lot of times. It will be a great competition,” Mahomes said, “and it will certainly be a great challenge for us as a team to compete against them.

Indeed, it’s hard to find a game with more star power than this one.

Josh Allen threw five TD passes against the Patriots to set a Bills playoff record, while Diggs and resurgent running back Devin Singletary give him plenty of playmakers. On the other side, the Buffalo defense along with All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer and running mate Micah Hyde led the league in just about every significant statistical category.

Buffalo, which has lost eight consecutive playoff games away from home, scored in each of its first seven practices against the Patriots and became the first NFL team to complete a playoff game without punts, goals on the pitch or turnovers.

“It’s hard to have a perfect game,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, “and they did a good job last week.”

As for the leaders? Well they just won their last five playoff games at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mahomes became the first player to throw for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with fewer than 10 misses in the playoffs during last week’s romps past Pittsburgh. His familiar targets, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, did most of the work as Kansas City’s suddenly solid defense held the Steelers to 44 yards in the first half.

Add to that the fact that the two teams know each other intimately – Bills coach Sean McDermott even spent most of his formative years working for Reid in Philadelphia – and the scene is set for an engrossing game. .

“We don’t want to have that feeling we had there last year. We know our season ended there last year,” Allen said, “and now we have to do everything in our power to move forward and make sure it doesn’t end there this year. .

REMEMBER WHEN

The Bills were 4-1 and riding high after their 38-20 win at Kansas City, when Dawson Knox’s 117 yards tied the third-best tight end in team history. Then they lost five of their next eight games, a slide that began when Knox broke his right hand in a 34-31 loss at Tennessee.

Buffalo bounced back as they closed with four straight wins to clinch their second straight AFC East title. That run coincided with Singletary giving Buffalo a more balanced offense with 456 rushing yards over its last six games.

WHITE STILL LOOKING

Buffalo is without playoff-best cornerback Tre’Davious White after suffering a season-ending knee injury in a 31-6 win at New Orleans on Thanksgiving night. Levi Wallace resumed his work against the main threat of the opposition while second-year cornerback Dane Jackson took the other starting position.

Poyer said he received a text from White on Tuesday night, which read, “Hey, we must be going crazy. The best in the world.”

REQUIRED

Buffalo coordinators Leslie Frazier (defense) and Brian Daboll (offensive) are both attracting attention to fill head coaching vacancies. Daboll met the Bears on Sunday and the two assistants met the Vikings.

CHECKUP

The Bills only listed defensive end Mario Addison as limited to practice with a shoulder injury, while the Chiefs had running back Darrel Williams (toe) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (back ) missing in training.

Otherwise, both teams should be healthy when they take to the field on Sunday evening. That includes Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is expected to play for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury Dec. 26 against Pittsburgh.

“The good thing about this game here is that both teams are relatively healthy and at this time of year that’s a good thing,” Reid said. “That should make for a hell of a game.”

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