KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WROC) — This game wasn’t hard to analyze. Everything the Bills did on offense was incredibly easy. Everything the Chiefs did on offense was incredibly hard. Both were clear right from the kickoff.
Even when the Chiefs took the lead twice early, both drives felt like grinds. Patrick Mahomes snapped it 19 times on the opening possession and only had three points to show for it. On the other side, Josh Allen spent most of the evening throwing the ball over Chiefs heads. It was like a street ball game where all the fastest kids were wearing red, white, and blue.
The real disparity is on defense. The Bills have a very good one; the Chiefs have a very bad one. The pass rush that was missing in the AFC Championship showed up plenty for the Bills in this game. They only had two sacks, but Mahomes played spooked nearly every time he dropped back.
The two high draft picks the Bills invested in the D-line paid off handsomely in Kansas City. Boogie Basham has now gone two for two registering sacks to begin his career. He had a half-sack officially plus another wiped out by a secondary penalty.
Then, there’s Greg Rousseau. The J.J. Watt-like deflection and interception was the pop the eyeballs out highlight. Run stops have been his thing so far this season and he added a couple more pretty good ones to the list. For the first time all year, Rousseau was also a consistent factor in the pass rush. He was pretty much everything you could ask for out of a rookie and Sean McDermott must be salivating about where Rousseau goes from here.
Buffalo now starts four guys who have recently received contract extensions and and the way they played against Kansas City made every single penny worth it (don’t be surprised if Levi Wallace gets his bag next). Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce got enough numbers to keep their fantasy owners happy, but neither dominated anywhere near what happened in the AFC championship last year.
My favorite play of the game was the fourth-down stop in the second quarter.
Fourth and four, Chiefs still hanging with the Bills and Mahomes got what seemed like five or six seconds to throw. When the ball left his hand no one was open. Jordan Poyer deflected the ball away and the Chiefs were never really a serious threat again.
How good was the Bills’ defense? Micah Hyde had a pick-six and I’m barely going to mention it. There will be no more “but they only played” caveats for the Buffalo tacklers. It’s maybe just as elite as that offense.
Speaking of the offense, can’t leave them out. Not when they made it four straight games putting up at least 30 points. Allen did not have a whole bunch of high-stress plays early. He only had to keep the play alive and fling it up. Sometimes, good quarterback play is not looking the gift horse in the mouth.
The Chiefs have a fun little phrase for their big plays: “Tyreek Hill is down there somewhere.” On this night, it wasn’t Hill. It was always one of the Bills.
Allen took it to another level just when the Chiefs seemed close to creeping back into the game in the fourth quarter. The 12 play, game-sealing touchdown drive with a largely Allen. It was a leap over a defender for a first down. Then, patience to wait for Gabriel Davis to clear over the middle for 16. Finally, a laser beam for a touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders. That drive was a good example of why Josh Allen and “MVP” will continue colliding in the same sentence the rest of the year.
It wasn’t just Allen, as usual. Dawson Knox just keeps scoring big touchdowns. For the last couple of weeks, many have been searching for what the difference is with Knox this year. Josh Allen nailed it. “I’ve trusted him ever since I’ve known him,” Allen said. “But I think he’s trusting himself now.”
Zack Moss quietly nearly reached a hundred total yards. Sanders had two more touchdowns. Stefon Diggs got into the big play-act with a 61-yard catch. This Bills team continues to prove over and over they’re just flush with playmakers. You’d have a harder time finding a Bills player who did not make a contribution to the Kansas City shellacking.
The other thing Buffalo proved on Sunday night is that they are better than the Chiefs. Maybe by quite a bit. They know it. The Chiefs know it. And now the rest of the NFL knows it.
The Bills can play coy about how this win was just like any other win. They know it’s more. Despite rain and a delay and the game’s best quarterback on the other side and a ton of scar tissue from the two games they lost against the Chiefs last year, the Bills on Sunday night became the best team in the AFC.
After they earn a first-round bye (and they will) they’ll only have to win two home games in January to cement it.
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