Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs Predictions: Chiefs to edge Bills in Arrowhead classic

Can Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills avenge their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in last year's Conference Championship, or will Patrick Mahomes lead his side to yet another postseason win?

For many NFL fans the Divisional Round is the best weekend of the season, with eye-catching encounters wherever you look as the top seeds join the Wild Card winners.

And two red-hot offences are set to square off in a Divisional dust-up with some added spice, thanks to the Chiefs' victory over the Bills in last year's AFC Championship Game and the Bills' humbling of the Chiefs earlier in the campaign.

When: Sunday, Jan 23, 23:30 GMT

Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

How to watch: Sky Sports

The Bills: Resurgent run game bodes well for Buffalo

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills

For many the surprise of the Wild Card round was not the 49ers' win in Dallas but the way Buffalo dominated Bill Belichick's Patriots on the way to a comprehensive 47-17 victory.

Josh Allen threw for 308 yards and five touchdowns, the Bills scored a touchdown on their first seven drives, a playoff record, and their offense is averaging 32.3 points over its past six games.

And even more pleasing for Bills fans is that their run game has come to the fore, with Buffalo gaining 163.8 yards per match on the ground over that span and running back Devin Singletary rushing for seven touchdowns and an average of 76 yards per game.

And when you add in one of the NFL's leading rushing quarterbacks in Josh Allen, it could be a long night for the Chiefs' 21st-ranked run defence.

The Chiefs: Protecting the ball is key

Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes

Kansas' loss to Buffalo in October was an ominous sign that a changing of the guard was on the way in the AFC, as the Chiefs turned over the ball four times and fell to a 2-3 record, while the Bills improved to 4-1.

However, this is a very different Chiefs side from the one that started the season in such stuttering fashion, with Patrick Mahomes in imperious form after throwing for 404 yards and five touchdowns against the Steelers.

Mahomes looks to have learned the harsh lessons from that Week 5 game, where he was picked off twice and fumbled once. And he's getting some help from his much-improved defence, which has conceded an average of just 16 points in their last 11 games.

That defensive solidity, added to an offence that has scored at least 28 points in its last six matches is an ominous sign for a Buffalo Bills side heading into a stadium where it is notoriously difficult for visiting sides to win.

Chiefs vs Bills key match-ups

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce

One of the least surprising statistics in the NFL this campaign is that Kansas averaged 286.8 passing yards in the regular season, the second-best total in the NFL.

However, they'll be coming up against the best pass defence in the league, with the Bills allowing the fewest touchdowns and the lowest passing yards of any side..

One of the players Buffalo will need to keep quiet is Travis Kelce, who reminded us why he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL with 108 yards receiving, one touchdown and even a TD pass against the Steelers.

Bottling him up could go a long way to swinging the game in Buffalo's favour, and the fact they have allowed an average of just 21.8 yards per game to tight ends this season is a very good sign.

Chiefs vs Bills key stats

  • The Chiefs' Wild Card victory over Pittsburgh was their eighth win in 10 games at Arrowhead Stadium this season.
  • Josh Allen rushed for an average of 44.9 yards per game and scored six touchdowns in the regular season, the third best total in both categories.
  • Patrick Mahomes is 7-1 at home in the playoffs in his career.
  • The Bills allowed an average of just 17 points per game this campaign, the lowest in the league.
  • Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill has averaged 72.9 receiving yards per game in the regular season.
  • Only two quarterbacks threw more than Josh Allen's 15 interceptions this season.
  • Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon rushed for 61 yards and caught six passes for 81 yards in the Chiefs' win over the Steelers.

Planet Sport verdict

It's easy to see why this is one of the most eagerly-anticipated games of the Divisional Round, with two sides boasting top-class quarterbacks and an abundance of talent all over the pitch.

And with an average of 60 points scored in the last two matches between these two teams we're expecting another high-scoring encounter on Sunday night.

Turnovers cost the Chiefs last time out against the Bills, but it's hard to see Patrick Mahomes and his side being as error-prone this time around, particularly at home where they have not lost a playoff game since January 2019.

So we're expecting the Chiefs to edge the Bills in a shootout and advance to their fourth straight Conference Championship.

Prediction: Bills 31-37 Chiefs

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