In one of the most anticipated games of the year, the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs will square off for the first time since their epic playoff battle a season ago. This will be the fifth time they have met over the last three seasons. Andy Reid's group has won two of the previous three matchups, including a pair of postseason victories. The two franchises are sitting atop their respective divisions. All eyes will be on the two MVP front runners in, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, who are both fresh off four touchdown performances a week ago. With each team looking to earn the head-to-head tie-breaker in the race for the number one seed, here is what to look for in this one.
Making quick work of the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, Buffalo's offense found the end zone just three plays into the game after Allen connected with Gabriel Davis on a 98-yard strike. Nearly flawless throughout the first half despite tossing an interception, the star quarterback found three different receivers for scores before ultimately finishing with 348 yards and four touchdown passes. Set to square off against a Kansas City defense that appears to be ripe for the picking, Steve Spagnuolo's unit is currently ranked 24th in the league in passing yards allowed per game. They will also head into this one understaffed after safety Bryan Cook was ruled out with a concussion. Meanwhile, cornerback Rashad Fenton will not play due to a hamstring injury.
Stout through the first five weeks of the season, Buffalo's defense currently ranks inside the top five in passing yards per game (182.6), yards per game (281.8), rushing yards per game (77.8), and points per game (12.2). Set to face their most significant test, the group will be tasked with trying to slow down both Mahomes and star tight end Travis Kelce. Now the focal point of Kansas City's offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill, the three-time First-team All-Pro member currently leads his position in both receptions (33) and touchdowns (7). Torching the Bills in the past, the seven-time Pro Bowler has hauled in 32 receptions for 336 yards and six touchdowns over his last four games against them.
Looking to keep rolling against their biggest challenge yet, look for this one to come down to the battle up front. Choosing to revamp their defensive line in the offseason following their playoff loss a year ago, the Bills brought in Miller to help close out games late. Paying dividends through five weeks, Leslie Frazier's group is currently ranked second in the NFL in sacks while ranking eighth in pass rush win rate.
Kansas City Chiefs
Not missing a beat despite a brand-new cast of receivers on the offensive side of the ball, the Chief's offense is currently ranked first in the NFL in points per game (31.8). Focusing on spreading the ball around without Hill at their disposal, no player has commanded more than a 25 percent target share. Edging out their divisional rival in the Las Vegas Raiders in week 5, the team fell down 17-0 early on before marching back in the second half to come away with a 30-29 victory. Leading the way with another spectacular performance, Mahomes finished the night with 292 yards through the air while tossing for touchdown passes too Kelce.
The Chiefs defense has remained a work in progress through the first two months. They are without both Fenton and their first-round pick from April's draft, cornerback Trent McDuffie. This has led them to give up more than 255 passing yards per game. Additionally, after entering last week as the top-ranked team in the NFL against the run, the unit began to show cracks by allowing Josh Jacobs to rush for a season-high 154 yards. Needing to get pressure on Allen if they hope to slow down Buffalo's offense on Sunday afternoon, Kansas City has struggled to get home with four through five weeks. They have the tenth-highest blitz rate in the NFL at 29.1 percent.
Points Spread: BUF -2.5 (-115) | KC +2.5 (-105)
Money line: BUF -145 | KC +125
Over/Under: O 54.0 (-110) | U 54.0 (-110)
Taking a look at the three-point spread, take Buffalo to cover in what should be a back-and-forth affair all afternoon long. Winners of their last two games after falling to the Miami Dolphins in week 3, Allen and company remain red hot on the offensive side of the ball. Along with this, they are likely to get Isaiah Mckenzie back after he missed last week with a concussion. Lastly, when looking at the game total of 54, take the over with two of the game's most high-powered passing offenses set to square off. With two of the last three games between these two teams going over the number, points will not be hard to come bye in this one.
Buffalo and Kansas City are set to square off just eight months after their epic playoff battle. Both teams appear to be on a collision course to meet again in the postseason. The Bills enter this one first in the league in yards per game (448.2), with a +91 point differential. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have not missed a beat after choosing to move on from Hill in the offseason. Andy Reid and company rank first in the NFL in points per game (31.8) and second in third-down percentage (52.5). In a potential game-of-the-year candidate, look for Allen to take advantage of a banged-up secondary and make enough plays to propel his team to victory.
Final Score: Buffalo Bills 35, Kansas City Chiefs 30