Sunday, December 10th at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Weather: 43 degrees, partly sunny
Latest line: Even. Over/under 48.5.
It hasn’t been a pleasant bye week in Bills Country. Like a certain body part, we all have our opinions on Sean McDermott. Reasonable people can and should evaluate and debate his ability as a football coach. No, “WE” (aka/BillsMafia) do not have all the information we would need to make a decision on the future leadership of the franchise going forward. But based on what we do know, casting aspersions about his character is absurd. My prayer is that the results on the football field render this moot.
Enough of that unpleasantness, let’s break down the pretty much annual Bills at Chiefs regular season matchup.
The target is always moving. “It’s a QB driven league” isn’t as crystal clear in 2023. Otherwise all the focus would be where it belongs, another chapter in the long saga of Mahomes and Allen. I find it hard to find significant separation between the NFL’s two best QBs removed from the context of their surrounding offenses. Even.
Running Game Weapons:
Isiah Pacheco is one of five Chief starters that will miss this week’s game…probably just our weary point of view, but have all of Helaire’s and McKinnon’s good games come against Buffalo? Once upon a time, the Bills goal was to be successful when they choose to run the ball, and that objective has largely been met. James Cook has a huge game in him soon. Advantage Bills.
Passing Game Weapons:
Both Kelce and Diggs have been quieter than normal as of late, but I expect both to crack 100 yards and see the end zone this week. Rashee Rice is a nice player on the rise, but Kincaid, Shakir, Gabe, and the returning Dawson Knox give the Bills a lopsided win here. Advantage Bills.
Both GMs have done an admirable job putting solid offensive lines in front of Mahomes and Allen; more so than the Bengals with Burrow. With everyone healthy it’s a close call. Chiefs’ LT Donovan Smith is Out. Advantage Bills.
For what it’s worth, the Chiefs and Bills are next to each other in rushing yards allowed at #18 and #19. To some degree that is skewed by game plans designed to keep the ball out of Mahome’s and Allen’s hands. Not a factor when they meet. Even.
For as much as the loss of Tyreek Hill has hampered the Chiefs’ offense, the return has helped in other areas. One of the picks turned into Trent McDuffie, the CB selected just before Kaiir Elam. At this point of this season, the Chiefs’ pass rush and pass defense rank only behind Mahomes and Kelce as their best asset. Advantage Chiefs.
The big “F” grades in earlier games may not tell the whole story of Buffalo’s Special Teams, but they have already adversely affected the final grade. The Chiefs may have had the most consistently excellent special teams unit in the entire modern NFL since the merger. Advantage Chiefs.
The easy answer? Reid and the Chiefs. This game? In the context of the past week? Wager carefully.
Well, the line has moved every day this week Two separate press conferences about non football subjects is not a good week. Will the troops rally around McDermott? Tune in Sunday Afternoon.
I am a little uncomfortable with how easily a lot of people are taking Buffalo. But if it is possible to simplify the equation down to talent, health, and desperation, I’ll side with the money that moved the line to even this week.
Bills 30, Chiefs 23.
The Pregame Plan
It’s always nice to revisit old friends like Genesee Cream Ale. Born the same year as the Bills in 1960! If you haven’t had one in years…make sure it’s fresh, make sure it’s cold; the one I had at the Amerks’ game last night was superb.
Pulled Pork with KC Barbeque sauce, green beans with bacon, and Sweet Potato Fries.
There’s an appropriate Neil Young song to bat cleanup, so a block of our Northern Ontario friend:
- Hey Hey, My My….rust never sleeps.
- Powderfinger….”red means run son, numbers add up to nothing”.
- Long May You Run….the Bills new stance on Josh?
- Walk On: “I hear some people been talking me down. Bring up my name, pass it round. They don’t mention the happy times.They do their thing, I’ll do mine.”
God bless Sean McDermott.
Editor’s babble: Amen. Many thanks, as always, for Joe Reagan’s contributions to our blog. You can also find Joe on Xwitter @joer869). Happy Holidays!