BUFFALO BILLS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Number one vs number two in the AFC Championship Game (AFCCG) as the #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills who’re playing in their first AFCCG since 1993, when they beat the Chiefs in Kansas City to secure their fourth straight Super Bowl appearance. Will the Chiefs keep their hopes of going “back to back” alive or will the Bills shock the world and head take their place in Tampa on February 7th?

The Buffalo Bills punched their ticket to the AFCCG with a win over Baltimore last week in conditions that could only be described as horrendous, with winds so strong the goal posts were swaying and the most accurate kicker in NFL history missed back to back FG attempts from inside 50. Josh Allen wasn’t his piss missile throwing self against the Ravens as he posted only 206 passing yards and 1 TD, but with the weather being as it was and against one of the league’s best and most playmaking defensive units the most important thing was that he didn’t turn the ball over and played smart football, and the smart thing to do was get the ball to arguably the best receiver in Football right now in Stefon Diggs, Diggs had 106 receiving yards and a TD against Baltimore and has back to back 100+ yard receiving and 1 TD games in the playoffs. The Bills once again couldn’t run the ball well and instead focused on their passing game as they have most of the season, and if you’re not going to run the ball in the conditions we witnessed last Saturday then I doubt you’re going to run the ball in any conditions so the Chiefs know that if they can stop Josh Allen through the air then they’ll stop the Bills. Buffalo’s Defense were fantastic in stopping Lamar Jackson last week as the reigning MVP held to a measly 34 rushing yards which was his second lowest total of the season, his lowest total since week 6 and his lowest total in a loss all season whilst limiting him to less than 200 yards through the air and of course a game altering INT which Taron Johnson returned for a 101 yard TD to all but kill the game as a contest and the Bills Defense has quietly been one of the best pass defense’s in Football this season since coming good after a rough start and they’ll need to be on the top of their game if they’re going to try and contain the most explosive Offense in the NFL.

KC made a tough going of the Cleveland Browns in their Divisional Round matchup last weekend with a few decisions going their way, most noticeably the helmet to helmet hit from Daniel Sorenson which forced Browns WR, Rashard Higgins to fumble the ball out the back of the End Zone for a Touchback which returned possession to the Chiefs, but this is Football and these things happen. The bigger story is that Patrick Mahomes was forced to leave that game in the 3rd Quarter with what was initially thought to be a concussion but has since looked to be more of a neck injury and has been cleared to play on Sunday and will be throwing to two of the best pass catchers in the NFL in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, both pass catchers had over 1,000 yards and double digit TD’s this season with Kelce breaking the all time receiving yards record for a TE whilst Tyreek Hill managed to score a TD in eleven of his 16 games this season. On Defense the Chiefs are an underrated unit with playmakers at all three levels, Chris Jones will look to apply pressure to Josh Allen from the interior whilst the unquestioned leader of the Defense, Tyrann Mathieu will be everywhere from his Safety position looking to add to his 7 INT’s this season.

This is such an interesting game from so many different aspects, first we have Patrick Mahomes vs Josh Allen, probably the two strongest armed QB’s in the league who have both had MVP calibre years (although probably not to the level of Aaron Rodgers) both of whom give the Defense the same challenging problem; If you can’t pressure them then they will destroy you through the air, but both QB’s dominate when being blitzed, so who’s Defensive Line can create more pressure only sending four? And will Josh Allen’s ability to escape the pocket whilst Patrick Mahomes is expected to be less able to with a Turf Toe injury going to play into that? And then we we have the question of how the Bills are going to deal with the aforementioned Chiefs pass catchers, especially Travis Kelce, the big Tight End has had an amazing season and caught two TD passes in the first meeting between these two sides, a game KC won, but the Bills were without Linebacker Matt Milano for that game, Milano is one of the best coverage Linebackers in football and I expect to see him take responsibility of Travis Kelce more than once in this game, this really is a matchup within the matchup that could make the difference in the outcome of this ball game and interestingly the Buffalo Bills are 12-0 this season in games that Matt Milano has played whilst only being 3-3 in games without him.

Listen, I’m a Bills fan and maybe my bias is clouding my judgement but I think they’re going to win this game, It’ll be tough and I expect it’ll be close but if any team in the AFC can live with the Chiefs it’s the Bills. Both QB’s will take shots down the field for big completions and it’ll be up to the defense of each team to make plays on the ball and on the QB’s, and with Mahomes toe injury likely to make him less likely to make explosive plays outside the pocket I like the Bills D’s chances of making just one more play than the Chiefs D does. Both of KC’s losses this season have come at home to fellow AFC opposition who were able to put points on the board which is what I think will be the case here too.

For my best bet we’re going with FBA favourite Stefon Diggs, the WR has scored six TD’s in his last six games, including both Playoff games so far, whilst one of his 10 TD’s this season came against Kansas City in the first meeting between the two sides. We also like Devin Singletary to have under 40.5 rushing yards, the Bills don’t run the ball often and even though running the ball is a smart tactic against the Chiefs it isn’t something they do well, Singletary has gone under 40 yards rushing in each of his last four games and in five of his last six, and the only reason it isn’t six in a row is because he broke off a 51 yard TD run in garbage time against the Denver Broncos in a game the Bills had long won.

P.S. GO BILLS.

PREDICTION: BUFFALO BILLS 36 โ€“ 27 CHIEFS     

BEST BET: Stefon Diggs anytime TD โ€“ 11/10 with William Hill. 0.5 point bet.

NEXT BEST: Devin Singletary UNDER 40.5 Rushing Yards โ€“ 5/6 with SkyBet. 0.5 point bet.  

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