NFL News & Analysis

NFL Divisional Round Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 42, Buffalo Bills 36

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) carries up the field against Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) during the third quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It felt like a 15-round heavyweight bout between quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. And in the end, Mahomes threw the haymaker when it mattered most, commanding a downfield charge to lead his Kansas City Chiefs to a 42-36 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback

The ice water was absolutely coursing through Patrick Mahomes' veins Sunday night. The Chiefs quarterback didn’t have the fastest start to the game, but he went 11-of-16 for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime. It was simply an unbelievable performance down the stretch.

Running Back

It was Clyde Edwards-Helaire who was breaking off long runs for the Chiefs in the win. The second-year back toted the rock only seven times, but those seven went for 60 yards with a long of 22 yards.

Of course, it was Patrick Mahomes who led the Chiefs with 69 rushing yards as he continued his scrambling ways.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Tyreek Hill once again proved he’s unlike any other receiver in the NFL. He took a simple dig route 64 yards to the house completely untouched for a go-ahead score with just over a minute left.

Just a little earlier, he almost housed a punt return that looked completely blocked up.

Hill caught 11 of his 13 targets for 150 yards and a score.

Offensive Line

It was not close to a banner performance from the Chiefs offensive line. Tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie allowed four pressures while right guard Trey Smith allowed six. They had to result to chipping a good deal to try and help out on the edges.

Defensive Line

Melvin Ingram III may very well have been the difference between the Chiefs tumbling out of the playoffs and playing in the AFC championship game. He was the second-highest-graded defender on PFF's first review of the game film, behind only Chris Jones. Jones and Ingram combined for eight total pressures on first review — one sack (Ingram) and seven hurries.

Linebackers

Nick Bolton has been the kind of difference-maker that is hard to find as a rookie. He had two massive third-down run stops on the day as he ranged to the sideline to shut down two drives.

Secondary

Without Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs secondary looked like a shell of what it had been over the second half of the season. Fellow safety Juan Thornhill ended up with over 100 yards allowed on his own, while Mike Hughes allowed all three of his targets to be caught for 50 yards and two scores.

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Buffalo Bills

Quarterback

Superman was back rocking the cape once again — Sunday night’s near-win capped the single greatest two-game stretch at the quarterback position in playoff history.

Allen finished 27-of-37 for 329 yards and four scores. And it wasn’t just what he did as a passer, as he also went for 68 yards on 11 carries, 10 of which were designed runs. However, it was the one scramble, which came on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, that even gave them a chance.

 

There was nothing more the man could have done. We just saw arguably the greatest postseason of all time by a quarterback.

Running Back

While the running game was primarily fueled by Josh Allen, Isaiah McKenzie got in the mix, as well. He took three carries for 15 yards to supplant Devin Singletary’s 10 carries for 26 yards.

Receivers

It was the Gabriel Davis show Sunday night. The move he put on Mike Hughes for a massive fourth-down go-ahead score with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter will go down as the stuff of legend…

 

…though it was nothing — within the context of the game, at least — compared to his other go-ahead score when there were just 13 seconds left on the clock.

 

Davis' eight catches for 201 yards and four scores will go down as one of the greatest playoff performances in history.

Offensive Line

While he allowed a sack, Dion Dawkins effectively shut down Frank Clark in this one. He allowed only one pressure on the day.

Dawkins was playing dominant football down the stretch, with only five pressures allowed after returning from injury in Week 16.

Defensive Line

What a day for former top-10 pick Ed Oliver. He was a force to be reckoned with throughout, finishing with seven pressures on only 33 pass-rushing snaps. It was one of the best performances of his young career.

Linebackers

While one former first-rounder showed out, another was a liability. Tremaine Edmunds was consistently picked on in coverage in this one. He allowed nine catches from 10 targets for 99 yards, with five of those catches going for a first down.

Secondary

The loss of Tre’Davious White was sorely felt in yet another playoff loss at the hands of the Chiefs. Levi Wallace allowed five catches from six targets for 130 yards, including a score. He wasn’t alone, however, as the Bills secondary didn’t force a single incompletion all night.

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