Kansas City has been the consensus favorite to repeat as AFC Champions since the earliest pre-season rankings were released and nothing has seemed to change the football world’s mind as we head into the final divisional game. That is why it should come as no shock to those of us who have been paying attention, that the Buffalo Bills are opening up as 3pt. underdogs this Sunday. Not even the unknown status of superstar QB Patrick Mahomes who suffered not only a foot injury but a loss of consciousness after an awkward takedown last week vs the Browns has seemed to cast any doubt in this team beating the Bills. It was a scary moment, watching the young QB struggle to his feet after a short option keeper, then having to be held up by his teammates as his legs seemed to buckle under him. Mahomes immediately entered concussion protocol and failed to return. Early reports reveal a “nerve” issue in the neck, but all indicators are pointing to the former MVP being a full-go vs Buffalo, which would undoubtedly widen the spread in KC’s favor. Don’t get me wrong the Chiefs deserve every bit of the praise getting thrown their way; even as I am preparing this article it’s pretty hard to argue against the reigning Super Bowl Champions who are rolling into this AFC showdown virtually unblemished. The “experts” seem to agree that Kansas City is the better team, they have the better pedigree, they have the better record, they have the better coaches, they have the better players, and they have the bigger stars who shine in the biggest moments. Mahomes is magnificent, Hill may be the most dangerous weapon in all of football, Kelce is a match-up nightmare, the Honey Badger is the honey badger and Chris Jones is a one-man wrecking crew but are they really better than the Buffalo Bills? For a simple explanation many would point to their earlier matchup in week 6 when the Chiefs out played the Bills, running the ball at will and disrupting the Allen led offense, in route to a 26-17 win but does that mean they are still the better team? Many will say yes… but I will beg to differ. Throughout NFL history rematches have been a curious thing, beating a formidable adversary in the regular season is a difficult task, but beating them a second time when it’s all on the line is anything but a guarantee. The 2015 Steelers beat the Broncos 34-27 in the regular season but would lose to the eventual Super Bowl winners in the first round of the play-offs. The 2013 49ers edged out the Seahawks in the regular season but went on to lose to them in the NFC Championship game. The 2002 Eagles beat the Bucs in week 7 but ended up losing to them in the NFC title game. The 1999 Titans defeated the Rams in an earlier matchup but went on to lose to them in a Super Bowl nail biter. Like all the investment advertisements say, “Previous success is not indicative of future success.”
I like to believe a lot of things can happen to a football team over a period of 13 weeks, play callers find their groove, units find continuity, role players step up and very good players can get ridiculously hot. You’d be a fool to think that these Buffalo Bills are the same team that crapped the bed on primetime vs the Chiefs three months ago. A lot has changed since then, Josh Allen and Stephon Diggs have become an unstoppable duo, this offensive line is healthy and playing as close to iron clad as they have ever, Dawson Knox has emerged as a legitimate option, this defense has shed its “bend but don’t break identity” and have become a formidable force, both Dabol and Frazer have found their play calling grooves but above all they are playing their best football when it matters most… not in October but in the post-season. The same cannot be said for the Chiefs, when you start to brush all the hysteria surrounding them aside and really examine this team, their numbers tell a quite different story than what the “experts” are telling us. The Chiefs finished the regular season 14-2, now I would be an idiot to try and cast shade on that record and try and call it anything other than a wildly successful season but let’s look at just how well they’ve preformed down the stretch, when it matters. Since beating up on the woeful New York Jets (35-9) in week 8 this Kansas City team, the same one we’re being told are the most dominant team in the AFC and quite possibly the NFL really struggled to impose their dominance.
In fact, they barely managed to squeak out wins against teams with a combined record of 63-65 including bottom dwellers Carolina & Atlanta. Yeah, they went on to win 8 out of 9 of those games but this high-powered juggernaut failed to beat any one of those opponents by more than 6 points. Add into the mix the uncertainty of Mahomes and it tells me that this supposed Goliath is ripe to fall to little ol’ David.
While the Chiefs have been inching out wins since the mid-way point the Bills have been handling their opponents winning by an average of 19 points including the 56-36 dismantling of the win-to-get-in Miami Dolphins in the season finale. (playing mostly backups) The Bills are fresh off their 2nd playoff win, proving the oddsmakers, the experts, the analysts and all of the talking heads wrong as they derailed a Baltimore train that was set to run through Buffalo in route to Kansas City. They said it couldn’t be done, they said this Bills team couldn’t contain Lamar… but they did. They said this Bills team couldn’t move the ball vs the Ravens D… but they did. They said this Bills team couldn’t win… but they did. Fast forward a week and their making the same claims. “This Bills team can’t matchup with the Chiefs”, “This defense won’t be able to stop Mahomes”, “Allen won’t be able to score enough points to keep it close.” Pay no attention to the naysayers, to the frontrunners, to the bandwagoners… WE ARE THE BETTER TEAM and come Sunday at 6:40pm I Billieve we are going to prove it to the world.