2021 NFL Playoffs: AFC Championship
2 Buffalo Bills at 1 Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, January 24
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Is No. 15 going to be able to play or not, and how healthy will he be if he does?
It was a frightening sight as Patrick Mahomes got up with rubbery legs after getting tackled in the win over Cleveland, but Chad Henne was able to step in and get the Chiefs through to the conference championship.
Obviously there’s a huge drop-off from Mahomes to Henne if KC has to do that again, but there’s one key aspect to the win that’s getting lost.
The Kansas City defense got the job done.
Cleveland only gained 308 yards of total offense and was stopped on the one key late drive when the KC D absolutely had to come through. Blame the Browns for not going for it and punting – essentially – the game away, but give credit to the other side for holding down the great Cleveland ground game.
On the flip side, Kansas City managed just three second half points.
Of course Mahomes going out had everything to do with the issues against the Browns, but the 22-17 win made it eight straight games that Kansas City failed to win by more than six points.
In the first meeting between the two back in Week 7, Kansas City won 26-17 by holding the ball for forever.
Time of possession hasn’t mattered a whole lot to the Bills so far in the playoffs – Indianapolis and Baltimore each dominated the stat – but KC can’t have the ball for close to 38 minutes like it did in the first meeting.
Josh Allen was just okay, Buffalo only gained 206 yards, and …
Expect that to happen again.
Mahomes – it’s early, though – is expected to go, the Kansas City defense will rise up just enough to get to Allen, and it’ll be a grind of a game instead of the normal high-flying fun show that both teams are used to.
Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Kansas City 24, Buffalo 17
Early Line No Look Guess: Kansas City -3.5
Actual BetMGM Line: Kansas City -3, o/u: 54.5