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The two-time reigning AFC champions might be in trouble.
The Kansas City Chiefs slipped to 2-3 following a 38-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
For the Bills, the result represents a measure of revenge after losing to Kansas City in last year’s AFC title game.
Buffalo took a 24-13 lead into halftime, and the course of the game didn’t change much following a lengthy weather delay prior to the third quarter. Micah Hyde added to the Bills’ lead with a pick-six with 7:20 left in the quarter.
Pick-6! How about the @BuffaloBills?! #BillsMafia
📺: #BUFvsKC on NBC
📱: https://t.co/6zBjGnL9LY pic.twitter.com/j2ptK5x9tK
The Chiefs fought back with a one-yard touchdown reception for Travis Kelce at the 13:44 mark of the fourth quarter. The home crowd was getting more vocal as well until Josh Allen guided the Bills on a 12-play 85-yard drive that culminated in a nine-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders.
Josh Allen, QB, Bills: 15-of-26, 315 yards, three touchdowns; 11 carries, 59 yards, one touchdown
Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills: two receptions, 69 yards
Dawson Knox, TE, Bills: three receptions, 117 yards, one touchdown
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs: 33-of-54, 272 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions; eight carries, 61 yards
Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs: nine receptions, 76 yards
Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs: six receptions, 57 yards, one touchdown
Allen Adapts to Mother Nature
Through the first half, Allen was 7-of-14 for 260 yards. He had a lot of success targeting the Chiefs secondary down the field.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Josh Allen & Dawson Knox (53-yard TD)
Allen – 4/4, 172 yards & 2 TD on deep passes so far tonight – is the first player in the NGS era with a 100% comp pct & 150+ passing yards on deep pass attempts in a single half (i.e. 20+ air yards). #StatThat | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/8PiijBDbsK
Steady rainfall in Kansas City made replicating that success in the second half almost impossible, so Allen and Buffalo’s offense changed their plan of attack.
On the pivotal fourth-quarter drive, the 2020 Pro Bowler showed off his wheels by leaping over Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and scrambling for a first down on 3rd-and-4.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
JOSH ALLEN HURDLED HIM 😱
Ryan Clark @Realrclark25
Josh Allen knew he’d use his legs before this snap even happen
A few plays later, the 25-year-old found some space and ran for 12 yards to get the Bills into the red zone. In general, he showed the poise and composure you’d expect from a starting quarterback on a franchise with championship aspirations.
This was also a statement performance from Buffalo’s defense. The Chiefs’ 392 total yards are somewhat deceiving because their 5.0 yards per play were well below their season average (6.9).
Head coach Sean McDermott devised a great game plan to slow down Patrick Mahomes.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
The Bills did not blitz Patrick Mahomes on any of his 25 dropbacks in the first half.
The only other game in the NGS era where a defense did not blitz a single time?
The Bills in Week 6 of last season, also against the Chiefs (0 blitzes on 27 dropbacks).#BUFvsKC | #BillsMafia
Nothing Goes Right for Kansas City
The Chiefs defense isn’t good enough to get this team back to the Super Bowl.
That much seemed clear through four games as Kansas City allowed an average of 437.8 yards and 31.3 points, and nothing changed Sunday night. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words sometimes.
Pete Grathoff @pgrathoff
Tyrann Mathieu is frustrated. pic.twitter.com/yv8M9QYKFk
Four of the Bills’ first five drives ended in a score, which put the onus on the Chiefs offense to keep pace. Allen was torching the secondary thanks to blown coverages and glaring mismatches.
.@JoshAllenQB & @stefondiggs are heating up 🔥 #BillsMafia
📺: #BUFvsKC on NBC
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Sam Mellinger @mellinger
The Chiefs defense made so many mistakes on that drive. Mercy. At this point it’s almost like they’re doing a bit.
Matt Verderame @MattVerderame
Even God is sick of watching the Chiefs defense
Mahomes was well below his best, but it seems fair to wonder how much of that was down to a level of tacit pressure to come away from every offensive drive with points on the board.
Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz
I’m curious how this second half plays out for the Chiefs offense. I get a sense Mahomes is pressing a bit because he knows his defense is so bad if they don’t score every drive, it’s going to leave them behind.
In different circumstances, this might be one of those games head coach Andy Reid and his staff throw in the trash. The rainy conditions made life difficult for both teams, and the occasional bad day at the office happens, even for a Super Bowl contender.
A team is only as strong as its weakest link, though, and the state of Kansas City’s defense is pretty rough.
The Chiefs hit the road to play the Washington Football Team on Oct. 17, while the Bills will prepare for a Monday Night Football clash with the Tennessee Titans.