The Worksheet, a comprehensive fantasy football preview by Rich Hribar, breaks down everything you need to know about the Divisional Round matchup between the Chiefs and Bills.
Find a breakdown of every Divisional Round NFL game in our Worksheet Hub.
|Opp. Rush %
|Opp. Pass %
Against the Spread
- Bills: 8-10
- Chiefs: 10-7-1
- Bills ATS at Home: 5-4
- Chiefs ATS Away: 4-3-1
- Bills ATS as Favorite: 7-8
- Chiefs ATS as Underdog: 1-0
We are closing down the weekend with another game in what has been one of the best modern rivalries.
With a win on Monday against the Steelers, the Bills are the hottest team in the league, winning six games in a row.
That includes a Week 14 victory over the Chiefs in Kansas City.
The Bills are now 6-1 against 2023 playoff teams while the Chiefs are 2-4, with both of their wins coming against the Dolphins.
This will be the seventh time that Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes have faced off.
They each enter with a 3-3 record straight up and against the spread.
The past three matchups have been decided by three, four, and six points.
Allen and the Bills have won the past two matchups and are 3-1 in the regular season when these teams have linked up.
This weekend, they will look to become only the second team to win three straight games against a Kansas City team helmed by Mahomes.
Even though Buffalo has won the past two matchups, Mahomes and the Chiefs are 2-0 in playoff games between these teams.
Interestingly enough, this will be the first time these teams have played in Buffalo since the first time these quarterbacks faced each other in 2020.
Of course, this will be the first official road game in the playoffs for Mahomes, who had previously only played away from Arrowhead in the postseason for his two Super Bowl appearances.
We saw on Saturday that this Kansas City team still has an elite defense while the offense has shown some life in the past two games that the starters have played.
The Chiefs averaged 5.5 yards per play with 409 yards of offense Saturday night against Miami.
That is the most yardage that this offense has posted in a game since Week 7.
In Week 17 against the Bengals, they averaged 7.0 yards per play with 373 total yards of offense.
With the Buffalo and Pittsburgh getting moved to Monday and the Chiefs playing on Saturday, there is a unique development in terms of a rest advantage we typically do not get in the postseason.
There is a condensed schedule for the Bills this week, and that is paired with the number of injuries they faced on Monday.
The Chiefs are 21-6 with a rest advantage since the 2018 season when Mahomes took over as their starter, the most wins in the league with a rest advantage.
Under Sean McDermott, Buffalo has rallied with a disadvantage in the rest department, posting a 12-6 record with fewer days off than their opponent. Only the Ravens and Chiefs have a better record with a rest disadvantage over that span.
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Josh Allen: Allen picked up where he left off in the regular season as the highest-scoring quarterback in the Wild Card Round.
Allen only passed for 203 yards, but he threw three touchdowns and added 74 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
He now has double-digit rushing points in three of his past four games.
His 52-yard rushing touchdown was the longest of his career.
Allen is no stranger to this matchup.
These teams have played six times since 2020, with Allen throwing 15 touchdown passes to three interceptions in those matchups.
Allen has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of those games, but their Week 14 meeting this season was the first time he failed to do so.
He started that game on fire, with the Bills scoring a touchdown on two of their opening three possessions.
Allen was 7-of-11 for 86 yards (7.8 Y/A) with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown as the Bills were up 14-0 early.
The Chiefs then adjusted and played to the level they have for the crux of this season.
Allen was 16-of-30 (53.3%) for 147 yards (4.9 Y/A) with an interception from that point forward.
The Chiefs pressured Allen on 47.9% of his dropbacks in that game.
The only game this season in which Allen had a higher pressure rate was against Dallas. He only dropped back 19 times in that game. In the Kansas City game, he dropped back 48 times.
When pressured in that game, Allen was 11-of-19 (57.9%) for 125 yards (6.6 Y/A) with a touchdown and an interception.
But when he was not pressured in that game, Allen was just 12-of-23 (52.2%) for 108 yards (4.7 Y/A).
That runs against his splits this season when he has been kept clean and is a testament to this Kansas City pass defense being legit.
The Chiefs have allowed only 6.2 yards per pass attempt this season from a clean pocket, third in the NFL.
They are fourth in completion rate allowed from a clean pocket (67.3%).
In the Wild Card Round, Tua Tagovailoa completed 58.6% of his passes for 5.7 Y/A without pressure.
The Chiefs have allowed 11.3 passing points per game this season, sixth in the league.
The first game between these teams also highlights a trend with the Kansas City pass defense.
If you are going to strike offensively through the air, get up early.
The Chiefs have been arguably the best second-half pass defense in the NFL this season.
Kansas City has allowed a league-low 55.2% completion rate, 5.9 Y/A (third), seven passing touchdowns (third), and a 74.9 rating (sixth) after halftime this season.
In the first half of games, the Chiefs have allowed a 65.6% completion rate (18th), 6.0 Y/A (third), 13 passing touchdowns (20th), and an 89.3 rating (12th).
Steve Spagnuolo has also used the blitz effectively in this matchup.
When the Chiefs have blitzed Allen, he has completed 51.3% of his passes for 5.0 Y/A.
The Chiefs blitzed Allen on a modest 29.2% of his dropbacks in that Week 14 game.
He was 8-of-13 for 5.7 Y/A on those dropbacks.
But one constant is that Allen always has his legs.
He rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown in the first game between these teams. He has averaged 53.5 rushing yards per game in this matchup.
No player in the NFL has had more rushing touchdowns than Allen (nine) since Week 12, and he even had a week off during that stretch.
Allen has rushed for a first down or touchdown on 51.3% of his runs this season, the highest rate among all quarterbacks and any player with 100 rushes on the season.
Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes and the Chiefs won their 12th postseason game with him as the starter Saturday night against Miami. That matches Tom Brady for the most postseason wins before turning 30 years old.
This of course will be his first true road playoff game.
Mahomes was not perfect on Saturday (no thanks to Mecole Hardman), but that has been a microcosm of this offense this season. We should not expect this Kansas City passing game to be clean.
Mahomes completed 56.1% of his passes, his third-lowest rate in a game this season. He threw for just 6.4 yards per pass attempt and had one touchdown through the air.
He scrambled for 41 yards, something he did a lot this season. He scrambled for a career-high 413 yards in the regular season.
One area where Mahomes was excellent on Saturday night was dissecting a Miami defense that was beleaguered and injured in the middle of the field.
Mahomes was 17-of-23 (73.9%) for 204 yards (8.9 Y/A) with a touchdown throwing between the numbers.
Miami was missing six defensive starters.
The Bills could be in a similar spot this weekend.
They had already lost Matt Milano and Tre’Davious White to injury early this season.
Terrel Bernard was carted off the field last week against Pittsburgh.
Slot cornerback Taron Johnson is in concussion protocol.
Taylor Rapp left the game with a calf injury.
Tyrel Dodson missed last week with a shoulder injury.
Rasul Douglas missed the game with a knee injury.
We will have to track who Buffalo will have available this weekend, but this is another area where the reduced day of rest for the Bills comes into play.
If Bernard, Dodson, and Johnson are out, that is the core chunk of assets that defend the middle of the field for this defense.
When these teams played in Week 14, Mahomes was just 9-of-15 for 90 yards (6.0 Y/A) between the numbers.
He threw 22 times from the numbers to the sideline in that game, the most he has in a game this season.
The Bills have rallied and pieced together things all season.
They have allowed 6.6 Y/A (eighth) with an 81.8 rating (sixth) through all of these injuries.
If there is a silver lining, the Bills do still have their defensive front intact.
They are eighth in the NFL in pressure rate (38.6% of dropbacks).
When they have pressured the opposing quarterback, the Bills have allowed a 48.4% completion rate and 5.7 Y/A with a 63.0 rating.
The Bills pressured Mahomes on 37.8% of his dropbacks in Week 14.
On those dropbacks, Mahomes was 7-of-16 (43.8%) for 75 yards (4.7 Y/A) with an interception.
From a clean pocket in that game, Mahomes was 18-of-28 (66.7%) for 196 yards (7.3 Y/A) with a touchdown.
If the Bills end up missing multiple pieces on the back end, this Buffalo pass rush will be the key to their defensive success.