The Buffalo Bills visited GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday in what many anticipated would be the regular-season game of the year: a rematch of last year’s wild Divsional Round game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In a matchup that came down to the final drive, the Bills defeated the Chiefs 24-20. Kansas City now drops to 4-2 on the season.
The Chiefs left Joshua Williams on a bit of an island.
This point will have to be reviewed by our excellent film team at Arrowhead Pride in the days to come, as defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo came in with what seemed to be mostly a good game plan. Blitzing Bills quarterback Josh Allen appeared to be working early in the matchup — and had the Chiefs not provided him that extra attention, who knows how the game would have played out?
Josh Allen is 0/7 vs the blitz today — Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 16, 2022
That being noted, there is no denying that rookie Joshua Williams — who earned the first significant playing time of his career due to injuries to Rashad Fenton and first-rounder Trent McDuffie — was left on a man-coverage island on two of the first three touchdowns of the game. Gabe Davis beat Williams one-on-one for a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter — and then in the third quarter, Stefon Diggs beat him one-on-one for a 17-yard touchdown.
Should defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo have opted to provide help on Williams’ side against such talented receivers? It is likely to be a question Chiefs fans will be asking this week.
Josh Allen is a proper Joker to Patrick Mahomes’ Batman.
In Kansas City, many will say that Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league — and when it comes to that description, he simply cannot be touched. While one regular-season game won’t change my personal belief on the former part of that statement, the latter part has become somewhat cloudy in my mind.
On Sunday, we witnessed precisely why Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was the preseason betting favorite to win the Associated Press NFL MVP award. Built like a linebacker at 6 feet 5 and 235-plus pounds, Allen is as much a threat on the ground as he is through the air. Like Mahomes, he can work a pocket and backfield to buy time, make the difficult deep shots and the crafty throws right in front of him. Give him a little room — especially on third down — and he is not afraid to dash for the first-down marker with the speed of a running back.
Entering Sunday, I believed we had found the Peyton Manning to Mahomes’ Tom Brady, the joker to Mahomes’ Batman. But here’s the reality: in some episodes, the Joker will win. On Sunday, Allen outplayed Mahomes, throwing for 329 yards and three touchdowns while running for 32 yards on the ground.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, this is one of 17 games — and this is a loss to a playoff team. The Dark Knight will get his opportunity to rise — but now, it may happen in Buffalo.
JuJu Smith-Schuster broke out, as Travis Kelce does what he does.
Every loss has its silver linings, and the Chiefs had one in the play of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster against the Buffalo Bills.
When the Chiefs decided to make the big change in their wide receiver room this offseason (we have written about that Miami Dolphin enough), part of the theory was getting five draft picks for the future. The other part was replacing that production with a group of players rather than a single player.
There was a marquee signing among the group, and that was Smith-Schuster. Entering Sunday, he had been a solid player for the Chiefs behind tight end Travis Kelce, averaging about four catches a game for around 50 yards. A case could be made that with the Chiefs at 4-1, he had done his job.
All that being said, Smith-Schuster had yet to score a touchdown or go for 100 yards in a single game. Both occurred on Sunday, and what made his game even more special is his touchdown came on a spin-and-shimmy of three defenders after a contested catch.
That’s a big boy TD by JuJu.— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) October 16, 2022
Smith-Schuster’s 41-yard yarder in the third quarter led to the game-tying touchdown. His game — and Kelce continuing to be Mahomes’ beacon of consistency — just was not enough on Sunday. But it could be something to build upon.
The final word
Coming into Sunday, we all knew that given how last year ended between these two teams, this game would always matter more to the Bills. In the end, they played as such — and got it done.
With two AFC titans such as Kansas City and Buffalo, it will always come down to the little things... the little moments. The Chiefs could have easily won this game had it not been for Mahomes’ rare late-game interception on a potential game-winning drive.
It’s a sad reminder that the room for error is so small, and receiving it can sometimes be a good thing. The difficult part is that it will be another three months before we can find out if that’s the case.
Halloween has yet to happen, sure — but January is coming nonetheless.