Before the Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Wisconsin to face the Green Bay Packers, every member of our panel of contributors (not to mention what seemed like every media member everywhere) picked the Chiefs to win. Our aggregate prediction of a 28-15 Kansas City victory missed the Chiefs’ 27-19 loss by a total of 42 points — and was our second-biggest gaffe of the season. (John Dixon and Nate Christensen had the dubious honor of being the least wrong with their 27-20 picks). Our readers deserve some credit on this one. They were far less convinced a blowout was coming — and 7% even picked the Packers to win.
Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Nate Christensen (@natech32)
I would feel a lot better about this game if I knew how linebacker Nick Bolton might play — and if Drue Tranquill was available to play. I don’t feel great about Bolton being at his best — or Tranquill being out. Combine that with safety Bryan Cook being out and I just don’t see a great path for the Chiefs to bounce back on defense. And on offense, I won’t expect the offense to play at their best until I see it with my eyes. Josh Allen is playing the best football I’ve seen him play — and you can’t fake desperation.
Bills 28, Chiefs 24
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
When the season began, we considered this to be one of the Chiefs’ momentous matchups of 2023 — and even though the Bills are coming to Kansas City at 6-6, it still is. There’s no doubt that both teams are going to put everything they have, everything they can buy and everything they can steal into this matchup. I’d be a fool to predict that more than a field goal will separate these teams. Some would suggest I’d be an even bigger fool to pick Kansas City. Well... Lord knows I’m a big damned fool. But I don’t think the Chiefs are going to drop back-to-back games to teams loitering around 0.500.
Chiefs 27, Bills 24
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
Both teams are playing with a certain level of desperation here: the Bills are hanging on for their postseason lives, but the Chiefs are coming off a loss — one that set them behind in the race to the AFC’s No. 1 seed. A loss for either team could be a blow to their respective goals. You’ll see each team’s must-win energy come through on offense — and each defense has been impacted by injuries. The Bills’ offense has been one of the league’s best, but I do believe Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ passing attack will come alive against a vulnerable, familiar Buffalo defense. That group’s best game in weeks will be the difference.
Chiefs 31, Bills 27
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
The defense is arguably coming off its worst (and most costly) performance of the season. The Chiefs are banged-up and searching for answers — but nobody on the team is licking their wounds or pointing fingers. They’ve been here before. This is the time of year when Kansas City usually turns it on in a push to the playoffs. The offense, however, hasn’t given us any indication that it is capable of doing that this year. Still, I wouldn’t write No. 15 off. Even if he can’t do it all on his own, he’s still going to try. The Bills have never been so vulnerable. Win or lose, this will be a season-defining game for this team.
Chiefs 20, Bills 17
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
The loss of Pacheco suddenly looms like Travis Kelce’s Week 1 absence. Can the Chiefs beat Buffalo without their starting running back? Sure. They weren’t exactly out of it against the Lions without Kelce. But as in Week 1, unfortunately, Kansas City will need everything to go right to come out with a victory — and based on what we have seen this season, that’s a tall order. Look for Josh Allen to pick up where Jordan Love left off — and somehow consistently find the open space in a Chiefs’ secondary that is without Bryan Cook. Even without Pacheco, Kansas City’s short game with Kelce, Rashee Rice and Jerick McKinnon will have its moments against Buffalo — but I predict that the Chiefs will fall short against a Bills team fighting for their playoff lives.
Bills 24, Chiefs 17
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
Unfortunately, I’m not a point where I feel any kind of confidence in the Chiefs’ offense for the rest of the way. Until we see otherwise, I don’t feel like I can easily count on them to step up in a big-time game — like this one against the Bills. It feels like Buffalo needs this one a lot more than the Chiefs do — and they’ll bring their A-game into Arrowhead. With Kansas City’s recent struggles on defense, I tend to think the Bills can cause just enough damage offensively to keep their season alive. While I still think we’re in for a good game, I believe that Buffalo ultimately comes away with a win.
Bills 21, Chiefs 17
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
This is one of those games that you expect the Chiefs to lose. There are many things going wrong. Multiple injuries... the team is coming off a loss.... and so on. It just doesn't look like this team is in the right place to put together a victory over their AFC rival. But it's also one of those games where Kansas City might just rise to the challenge — where Patrick Mahomes might have an over-my-dead-body game or Clyde Edwards-Helaire might go off for 100 yards rushing. Anything could happen! But I feel like the Chiefs will at least be motivated this week to overcome a lot — and prove that they're still the AFC’s team to beat. I think the defense will force turnovers — and in the offense, maybe even Marquez Valdes-Scantling will show life.
Chiefs 28, Bills 24
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking that the Chiefs’ most important player on offense hasn’t been Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Rashee Rice. Instead, it’s been Isiah Pacheco, who I believe has quietly become one of the NFL’s top five running backs. When the Kansas City offense has been succeeding, it has been Pacheco touching the football as the driving force. The Chiefs ruled him out on Friday, along with the starting free safety and left tackle. Meanwhile, the Bills are coming off their bye week with a clean injury report. The Chiefs need the win to stay in contention for the AFC bye, but the Bills need the win to stay in contention, period. For me, Pacheco being ruled out tips the scale the other way.
Bills 27, Chiefs 20
Prop bets (from Pete Sweeney)
Head on over to DraftKings Sportsbook and take... the overs for running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon.
- Edwards-Helaire over 50.5 rushing yards (-115)
- McKinnon over 17.5 receiving yards (-115)
Which team wins Bills (6-6) at Chiefs (8-4)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Bills in a close game
Bills in an easy win
Bills in a blowout