Chiefs Host 2021 AFC Championship Rematch Against Bills: Divisional Round

January 23, 2022
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On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are back on their home field at Arrowhead Stadium for an AFC Divisional Round matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

How Did We Get To This Point?

For the Chiefs, they dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 42-21, last week in the Wild Card Round. It was a slow start, but once the offense clicked, there was no stopping them. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdown passes in less than 12 minutes.

As for Buffalo, they dominated division rival New England Patriots, 47-17. Josh Allen dominated from the start, tossing five touchdown passes of his own and having 374 total yards.

Both teams won their respective decisions in the regular season.

Recent History

Sunday night’s game will be a rematch of the 2021 AFC Championship. Kansas City won that matchup, 38-24, to advance to their second consecutive Super Bowl. The Bills look to get revenge on that game and move to the AFC Championship.

However, Buffalo is not the only one seeking revenge. During Week 5 of the regular season, the Bills dominated the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City looks to avenge the home loss in front of Chiefs Kingdom.

Game Preview

The AFC’s two best teams will battle for the chance to host an AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals. It will be their fourth straight home AFC Championship Game if the Chiefs win. If the Bills win, they will host their first AFC Championship Game since 1994.

The top storyline going into this matchup is the elite quarterback play. This week is the first playoff game in NFL history where both quarterbacks threw at least five touchdowns the week before. Josh Allen and Mahomes each threw for over 35 touchdowns in the regular season.

In this game, the Chiefs offense is going to be tested. The Buffalo defense will key in on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, so someone will need to step up. Jerick McKinnon was fantastic last week and could be set for another big week, despite the return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Receivers Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle will have prominent roles in an attempt to open up opportunities for Kelce and Hill.

Kansas City will need to have a better start offensively compared to last week. The Chiefs started with four punts and two turnovers before getting into a rhythm. Against Buffalo, they will need to start clicking on the first drive.

As mentioned earlier, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is good to go for this game. He has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury. With Darell Williams being questionable to play, having CEH back is huge.

Mahomes threw two picks against the Bills earlier this year and needs to take care of the ball. The Bills are without All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White, but the safety duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are turnover machines.

Earlier in the week, linebacker Willie Gay was arrested for destruction of property following an argument with the mother of his child. However, he pleads not guilty to his charge and will play.

Gay will be essential for the defense this weekend that needs to contain Allen’s running ability. It would not be surprising to see the second-year linebacker act as a spy.

As a whole, the Chiefs’ defense will have to be at the top of their game. Josh Allen had 364 total yards and four total touchdowns in their matchup earlier this year. They need to spy on him to limit the ground attack and get pressure while in the pocket.

The Kansas City defense is completely different from Week 5. In October, the Chiefs didn’t have Chris Jones and Charvarius Ward, along with Melvin Ingram, but they are all playing Sunday.

Additionally, the defense has been one of the league’s best since Week Eight and will be ready for the challenge. After allowing the most points per game from weeks one through seven, the KC defense allowed the least points per game from Weeks Eight to 18.

The defense did a great job in the first half against Pittsburgh and will need to keep up that play and intensity all game on Sunday.

Kansas City’s revenge tour faces its toughest test with a spot in the AFC Championship on the line. The Chiefs will be the first team in history to host four consecutive AFC Championships. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CST.