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Even with Bills’ struggles, Chiefs respect challenge of playing Josh Allen

Ahead of the teams’ fourth meeting in three seasons, Kansas City knows Buffalo is tough out, especially on offense.

NFL: OCT 16 Bills at Chiefs Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the Kansas City Chiefs need a win this weekend after dropping three of their last five contests, Sunday’s opponent faces truly desperate times.

The 6-6 Buffalo Bills, universally considered a Super Bowl contender at the season’s start, have seemingly faced an unending string of crises throughout the season.

Buffalo’s offense, however, is coming off of consecutive strong outings before the team’s Week 13 bye. Speaking before practice on Wednesday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admitted a quick pivot from Kansas City’s 27-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers to preparing for a very familiar conference opponent.

“A little disappointed in last week,” the coach reiterated, “but we’re onto the next one, and they do not get any easier. We know in times past, [the Bills’] offense, they’re tough to defend.”

The most significant factor making the Bills challenging to defend is star quarterback Josh Allen. Spagnuolo broke down one of the league’s strongest running quarterbacks.

“He’s so hard to bring down,” Spagnuolo said of Allen. “He’s such a big dude. I can’t find too many clips on there where he slides. He turns into a fullback really. I think he’s an elite competitor...The threat that he has being a pocket passer and throwing it as a strong-arm quarterback and getting out of the pocket extending the down — he’s always looking downfield.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

“I put a PowerPoint up yesterday — you can check this — scrambling then throwing it, how many passing yards [he has], I think it was over 400, it was like 483 or something. I think it’s the best in the league, so that speaks volumes to what you’re talking about, and he can tuck and run it, too.”

In the locker room on Thursday, three Kansas City defenders discussed what makes Allen — and his supporting cast — such a dangerous matchup.

“The quarterback,” linebacker Willie Gay Jr. stated, “there’s nothing he can’t do: run, throw the ball, jump over your head, he’ll shake you out of your socks, he’ll run you over, he’s big, and of course his arm. He can throw the ball anywhere on the field from any spot on the field. With the weapons around him, it definitely helps him a lot.”

Allen’s most dangerous weapon is wide receiver Stefon Diggs, but a rookie tight end has also caught safety Justin Reid’s eye.

“Josh Allen still has the big arm [and] the big body,” Reid observed. “[He] wins battles with his legs, can win some battle with his arms, throws the ball deep, and they’re trying to get the ball to Stefon Diggs. I like the Dalton Kincaid kid, a lot. He’s having a really good season.”

Defensive end George Karlaftis believes Buffalo’s offensive line and Allen complement each other.

“He can do it all,” the second-year pro said of the quarterback. “He’s dangerous with his legs. He can make every single throw on the field. He’s a great leader. He’s smart [and] accompanied by a good O-line. They’ve got all the tools.”

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

In the last two weeks, the Chiefs’ vaunted defense has underperformed early, leading to early deficits for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Spagnuolo expects the Bills to have a strong game plan for their initial possession, putting pressure on his unit to step up.

“You’ve just got to line up, buckle it up, put the chin strap on and go out there on the first series and get something done,” he declared. “Offenses — we all know they script plays. They’re pretty good on those first 15. We’ve got a lot of teams we play — this team is really good at it. If we can win that first series and keep some points off the board, I think that helps the whole team.”

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