Here it is Week 20, and The Buffalo Bills are playing in the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1993 when they beat the Joe Montana led Chiefs 30-13. This season the Bills have been on a mission just locking into their opponent on a weekly basis. Whether it was Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Francisco or Indianapolis just to name a few, they all went home with the “L”.
A Second time Around
I get tired of the narrative each week about why the “other team ” lost the game instead of how the Bills won the game. The Bills are tied with the most wins in the NFL at (15), the same as their opponent Sunday. Last Week it was about how the Ravens No.1 run game would dominate the Bills because the experts said the Bills defense struggles against the run. Well, let me tell you about another team who gives up more rushing yards than them… the Kansas City Chiefs. In my last article [http://buffalofambase.com/2021/01/16/let-the-numbers-tell-it-buffalo-bills/], I explained how the Bills overall numbers don’t tell the real truth about how they’ve been playing as of late, but when it comes to the Chiefs everyone forgets how average their defense is.
The Bills have 38 sacks and the Chiefs have 32. The way Bills DE Jerry Hughes and that Bills “D’ have been playing the last 5 games is statistically better than the remaining teams competing for a Super Bowl berth. I wonder why the experts don’t mention you can beat Kansas City because they can’t stop the run, But I guess no one has been able to stop Mahomes. This time around I’m sure the Bills will up for the challenge.
Coach McDermott and staff are well aware of what they are up against on Sunday, he coached with Andy Reid back in Philly. “They have been playing phenomenal football and what we can control is going through the process, to play a heck of a football team”, according to Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid when he commented on the Bills current winning streak.
Bills Assistant Head Coach/ Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier said this team remind him of a Legendary Offense. Frazier stated, “I think about the Air Coryell days with Dan Fouts at the helm… just lighting people up. It’s a challenge for any defense and they have weapons everywhere, and they can score in a hurry.”
What the Experts say?
Not too many sports minds think the Bills will have a chance at Arrowhead except WNYers and Bills Backers. Every week it’s been “IFs and Buts”, while the Bills are finding ways to work the following week. Pro Bowl LB Tremaine Edmunds knows it’s about how you prepare in practice. That is what matters, and the outside stuff never won any games.
“We like that the experts don’t respect us, or don’t want to acknowledge us. They don’t want to give us credit and that’s fine. We will just keep punching people in the mouth until we get that credit… and that how it’s gonna be!” proclaimed Bills defensive captain Jerry Hughes.
“It’s just another game with a bigger title to it” stated LT Dion Dawkins. The players understand what’s at stake and remember what happened back in week 6. Since then the Bills have raise their level of play, winning 12 out of the last 13 games.
ALLEN vs The Landlord. Tyrann Matthieu is one of the best safeties in the NFL, and Josh Allen is playing at a high level. During the last game, the Chiefs did a good job of disguising the look with an exotic front, only to drop off to cover 2 shell. By the time Allen had figured them out is was too late and they couldn’t get Mahomes & Co. off the field.
Milano vs Kelce. Matt Milano didn’t play during week 6 due to injury, and because he is considered to be the Bills best cover LB, he was surely missed. Now completely healthy, it will be interesting to see how Coach Frazier will use his hybrid guy to make things difficult for Kelce, especially on 3rd Down.
Daboll vs Bienemy. A battle between the leagues top-two play callers. How efficient on 3rd down and inside the red zone they will be is key to the outcome of the game.
In theTrenches. Deep down you know it’s personal for Bills’ defense to shut down the Chiefs rushing attack. Perhaps the Bills may find some running room against the Chiefs defense that gives up 123 yards per game.
This Bills season is no fluke, and actually the Bills have the numbers to prove it. No other team has better numbers or played more complimentary football than the Bills. So I ask… is David really Goliath? To some degree teams FEAR the Bills, fear what they are capable of, especially if the Chiefs defense isn’t careful.
The possibility of WR Kenny Stills and Devonta Freeman suiting up to play can happen and that something the Chiefs will not be ready for. I expect the Chiefs to start out with the following strategy … QUICK GAME, get the ball out of Mahomes hands, and let the playmakers move the sticks. Chiefs ran for 245 yards in last game they played against the Bills. They will test the right side of the defense again. The Chiefs have amassed over 170 yards of it running on the left side.
QB delays and draws will help the Bills run game, especially when the Chiefs drop off win coverage. Screens to Singletary, or possibly Freeman should keep the Chiefs defense off balance. And Diggs and Beasley will get the much needed attention in the passing game. Getting Singletary out in space could prove to be deadly against the Chiefs defense. If the Bills play clean and aggressive football, they will be punching that ticket to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa . 29-24 BILLS.
Tampa Bay 24 Green Bay 23 you can run but you can’t hide Brady.
Editor’s babble: Muki’s got the game plan, let’s see if the Bills can make it happen. Many thanks to Muki Hawkins for his terrific contributions to our blog. You can find Muki on Twitter @wufosports and working as a Bills beat reporter and host for power965radio.com.