The No. 3 seed Buffalo Bills are returning to Arrowhead Stadium this weekend in the Divisional Round, looking to avenge their AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
But before earning a date with the Chiefs, the Bills had to fight and claw their way into the playoffs.
The Bills lost to two non-playoff teams in the New York Jets in Week 9 by a score of 9-6 in and Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 by a score of 41-15. A Week 13 loss to the New England Patriots at home put Buffalo in danger of losing its grip of the AFC East division, and an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14 put the team’s playoff hopes in jeopardy altogether.
Nevertheless, the Bills turned things around.
Buffalo rebounded over the next four weeks with four-straight wins over the Carolina Panthers, Patriots in New England, Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. And for the third time in five weeks, the Bills found themselves taking on the Patriots yet again on Super Wild Card Weekend.
This time, Buffalo officially turned the page on its rivalry with the Patriots in what felt like a passing of the torch type of game from Bill Belichick to Sean McDermott.
Wild Card round results
47-17 victory against the New England Patriots
2021 NFL Draft picks
Round 1: No. 30 – Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Round 2: No. 61 – Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest
Round 3: No. 93 – Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
Round 5: No. 161 (from LV) – Tommy Doyle, OT, Miami (OH)
Round 6: No. 203 (from WAS through LV, MIA, and HOU) – Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Round 6: No. 212 (from NO through HOU) – Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh
Round 6: No. 213 – Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin
Round 7: No. 236 (from CAR) – Jack Anderson, OG, Texas Tech
Key personnel: Coaches and players
Head coach: Sean McDermott
Quarterback: Josh Allen
Wide receiver: Stefon Diggs
Running back: Devin Singletary
Linebacker: Tremaine Edmunds
Safety: Micah Hyde
Bills regular season results
Overall record: 11-6
Key wins/biggest win of the season: 38-20 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5
Bills recent playoff history
Won second straight AFC East title this season… Lost AFC Championship Game to Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 season
What are the Buffalo Bills’ chances this postseason?
As excited as Bills Mafia may be to exact revenge on the Chiefs Kingdom in the playoffs, the reality is the Bills have struggled against quality teams this season.
Record vs. playoff teams: 2-4
38-20 vs. Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5
33-21 vs. New England Patriots in Week 16
23-16 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1
34-31 vs. Tennessee Titans in Week 6
14-10 vs. New England Patriots in Week 13
33-27 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14
A losing record against teams that made the playoffs this season isn’t a good sign of a team’s resolve to win in big games, and a 2-3 record against AFC playoff teams doesn’t help the Bills’ cause.
The biggest win on Buffalo’s resume was a dominant 38-20 showing at home against the Chiefs in Week 5, the franchise’s first victory against Kansas City in the regular season and postseason combined since 2017.
Quarterback Josh Allen had a field day against the Chiefs defense in that win, completing 15-of-26 attempts for 315 yards, three touchdown passes with 59 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.
On the season, Allen completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 4,407 yards, 41 touchdowns (36 pass, five rush) and 15 interceptions with 763 rushing yards. But the 25-year-old quarterback saved his best for the playoffs in what will be remembered as one of the franchise’s best individual performances ever.
Against the Patriots on Super Wild Card Weekend, Allen completed 21-of-25 attempts for 308 yards, five touchdowns and 66 rushing yards on six attempts – an 11 yards per carry average. As a team, the Bills rushed for 174 yards.
The Chiefs offense got off to a slow start against the Steelers this past weekend before Patrick Mahomes’ five touchdowns in 11 minutes put the game out of reach in no time. However, falling behind early against a Bills team that can go toe-to-toe with any offense remaining in the field is asking for trouble, as Kansas City learned the hard way back in Week 5.
The Chiefs fell behind early against the Bills, trailing 24-10 at halftime. Even with a lead heading into the second half, Buffalo still outscored Kansas City 14-7 over the final two quarters to ice the game.
Whether or not the Bills can replicate that performance remains to be seen, but at least this year they’ll be travelling to Arrowhead Stadium knowing that they’re capable of taking down Mahomes when it matters most.
Be sure to check back after each game for final scores and follow ProFootballTalk for more on the 2022 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, recaps, news, rumors, and more.
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