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Chiefs vs. Bills: Game and score predictions

Let’s see what Arrowhead Pride readers and contributors think about Sunday’s AFC Championship games

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Going into the Divisional round game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, Arrowhead Pride writers were unanimous in their belief that Kansas City would advance to the Championship round. We just thought the Chiefs would win by a bigger margin; our aggregate 41-25.3 prediction foresaw a point spread three times larger than it turned out to be. Our readers were a bit more pessimistic. While 85% picked the Chiefs to win, 58% thought the game would be close.

Let’s move on to the hcampionship round games to see what everybody thinks.

Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)

We’ve been there, done that — and literally got the T-shirts. The fact that the Chiefs have so much adversity and playoff experience to lean on has to account to something. That being said, I do think Buffalo possesses all of the weapons to knock off the Chiefs in Arrowhead. Unlike in previous games, a B- game won’t get it done for the Chiefs. It’s going to take an A+ effort. When it’s all said and done, I do think the Chiefs are going back to the Super Bowl, but only because they know what it takes to get it done in the biggest moments. Chiefs 31, Bills 28

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

These teams are very similar. Both are better on offense than on defense. Statistically, the Buffalo offense has been slightly better than Kansas City’s this season — but on defense, the Chiefs hold a slight edge over the Bills. The two quarterbacks have been neck-and-neck this year — and both have very good receivers to whom they can throw. So the Pro Football Writers of America has issued a Shootout Watch for the Kansas City metro area on Sunday evening. This one should be close — and like in any shootout, it could go either way — but Andy Reid always seems to find an edge against his former assistant coaches. Chiefs 34, Bills 31

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

I’m glad this matchup is happening in the AFC Championship. These are the two best teams in the conference — and it’s only right we get a second chance at a shootout between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Andy Reid postseason game plan will be in full-swing; I don’t think we saw the full extent of that against Cleveland. The Chiefs’ offense is putting up points, so this game comes down to how well Kansas City can defend Buffalo. They were effective at pressuring Allen in the first matchup — and that will be important again. I think Chris Jones and company step up to the plate to make Allen uncomfortable in the right spots — and a late-game stop by the defense will be the key moment in Kansas City’s second-consecutive conference title. Chiefs 37, Bills 34

Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)

This is the Chiefs’ greatest test in two years of playoff games. The Bills offense has the firepower, the quarterback and the offensive coaching to rival Kansas City’s offense with the same setup. There are a lot of parallels between these two teams — on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Bills aren’t great statistically but have opportunistic playmakers on the back end — and Jerry Hughes looks to be turning it up in the playoffs as a pass rusher. The Chiefs are obviously led by Tyrann Mathieu and L’Jarius Sneed but have Frank Clark and Chris Jones up front — who can spark a big play at the drop of a hat. Both teams have electric offensive playmakers that make them impossible to defend when accounting for the talent at quarterback. The difference in this game comes down to this: Patrick Mahomes is simply better than Josh Allen. Steve Spagnuolo and the Chiefs find a way to overwhelm and pick on Josh Allen early; it’s not until the second half that the Bills’ offense can find its rhythm. Chiefs 31, Bills 24

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

A long, unusual season culminates in another AFCCG at Arrowhead Stadium. This is what it’s all about: the top two teams battling for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The Bills and Josh Allen have been the talk of the NFL with some impressive victories down the stretch. But it’s unwise to sleep on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. As others here will note, the Chiefs defense is better than the Bills — and has proven to be capable of some opportunistic, aggressive, smart, situational football. Tyrann Mathieu is leading the way, — with Frank Clark and Chris Jones making plays down the stretch — but L’Jarius Sneed deserves to be mentioned among the better players on this team now. The Chiefs are fully capable of taking away what Buffalo wants to do on offense, and I’m fairly confident in saying that nobody is really capable of stopping Mahomes when it counts. Look for another big day for Mahomes and Kelce — with some key plays from Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Mecole Hardman — as the #RunItBack tour continues. It can’t end here. Mahomes, Reid and Mathieu won’t let it. They’ve got one more after this. Chiefs 42, Bills 28

Craig Stout (@barleyhop)

This is clearly a matchup of the AFC’s two best teams — not always the case in the Championship round — and I’m ecstatic to watch the fireworks. Both offenses are explosive and can hang points on good defenses. I don’t expect that to change this week. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen should trade blows early, but I expect Steve Spagnuolo and company to make the necessary adjustments in the mid-game to help the Chiefs get a lead — and then hold on until the final whistle. Kansas City gets to keep Lamar’s trophy in the case for yet another year. Chiefs 35, Bills 31

Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)

I’m not ready to remember what it’s like not being the reigning world champions. Amidst everything else that has happened in 2020, this has been fun. The Chiefs did the hard part on the heels of a Super Bowl victory: they got all the way back to the doorstep again. This season has been relatively drama-free — until last week, when we were all forced to sweat out a victory when Mahomes was forced out. The build up and story to this game would make a great story in “America’s Game” in September. This team isn’t done. They’re still the world champions and I expect them to defend in Tampa in a couple weeks. It comes down to the quarterbacks — and I think Mahomes makes a few plays more than Allen to close out the game. The defense will speed Allen up and force a key turnover later. But this won’t be the last time these two teams match up in this game. Chiefs 35, Bills 30

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

It sometimes does not play out (see last year, for example), where the AFC championship game is genuinely a matchup of the conference's top teams. But it has in 2020, which should give us a fantastic matchup on Sunday. While the Week 6 game between these two teams was low-scoring — with the Chiefs winning 26-17 — I believe this matchup will be more so of the shootout variety. Both teams’ best offensive trait is an ability to throw the football all over the field — and this is the game in which you empty the playbook if it comes down to it. A point to watch is the status of slot receivers. For the Bills, it’s Cole Beasley (knee) — who lives there — and for the Chiefs, it’s Sammy Watkins (calf), who lines up there about half the time. One being healthier than the other may just be the difference in a battle of two closely-matched teams. And here’s a point I use a lot: as much as I believe the Bills have arrived, I can’t pick Allen over Mahomes — even with a possible toe issue. Don’t forget: this game marks the one-year anniversary of a true Jordan moment, when the Chiefs took the AFC title lead for good on Mahomes’ 27-yard run. The Chiefs pull away in the second half, and the Bills score a late touchdown as they try to survive. Chiefs 38, Bills 31

As usual, our writers are also picking the rest of the NFL’s games. This week, there’s just one more: the NFC Championship game, which will kick off in Green Bay on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Arrowhead Time.

Arrowhead Pride readers pick



Who wins Bills (15-3) at Chiefs (15-2)?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Chiefs in a blowout
    (235 votes)
  • 66%
    Chiefs in a close game
    (732 votes)
  • 9%
    Bills in a close game
    (106 votes)
  • 1%
    Bills in a blowout
    (20 votes)
1093 votes total Vote Now


Who wins Buccaneers (13-5) at Packers (14-3)?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    (103 votes)
  • 85%
    (604 votes)
707 votes total Vote Now

Reader Record by Week

Predictions W-L-T
Week 1 picks 10-6-0
Week 2 picks 14-2-0
Week 3 picks 11-4-1
Week 4 picks 10-5-0
Week 5 picks 9-5-0
Week 6 picks 9-5-0
Week 7 picks 11-3-0
Week 8 picks 7-7-0
Week 9 picks 10-4-0
Week 10 picks 8-5-1
Week 11 picks 8-6-0
Week 12 picks 11-5-0
Week 13 picks 9-6-0
Week 14 picks 11-5-0
Week 15 picks 10-6-0
Week 16 picks 10-6-0
Week 17 picks 13-3-0
Week 18 picks 4-2-0
Week 19 picks 3-1-0
Total 178-86-2

2020 Standings

Rnk LW Staffer W L Pct Error
1 1 Kent Swanson 16 1 0.9412 24.8
2 2 Ron Kopp 16 1 0.9412 29.5
3 3 Pete Sweeney 16 1 0.9412 29.5
4 4 John Dixon 15 2 0.8824 21.5
5 5 Matt Lane 15 2 0.8824 25.2
6 6 Matt Stagner 15 2 0.8824 30.6
7 7 Craig Stout 14 3 0.8235 26.0
8 8 Tom Childs 14 3 0.8235 32.9

Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.

In the Divisional round, John Dixon came closest to calling the outcome of Chiefs-Browns game. His call for a 34-27 Chiefs win had 24 points of error. It was John’s fifth win of the season. Matt Stagner’s 35-17 prediction was right behind, missing by 26 points. The standings remained unchanged.