Preparations for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Divisional Round matchup are underway as they get set to take on a familiar opponent in the Buffalo Bills. Sunday’s game marks the Chiefs’ seventh meeting with the Bills in just four seasons, adding another highly-anticipated chapter to this rivalry between two of the AFC’s perennial title contenders.
“We’ve played them quite a few times,” head coach Andy Reid noted after Wednesday’s practice. “They’re a well-coached, good football team, so like you play in the AFC West, you kind of get to know guys. They just haven’t had the change up there, so it’s been the same thing with the little different wrinkles but the same people. They’ve had consistency with it, which means you’ve got to play good football on our side and they’ve got to do the same. You have to be disciplined with what you do. The guys have had reps at it.”
Headlining Sunday’s big rivalry game is the marquee quarterback matchup between Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. The two are often considered to be the best quarterbacks in the NFL, as Reid highlights Allen’s game in a similar way he would for Mahomes.
“Great competitor, real good football player,” Reid said, when asked about Allen. “Again, has a knack for making plays when they need plays – not that he doesn’t the other times – when they need one, he’s willing to step up there. I think he’s a good kid and handles things the right way from what I’ve been told.”
While the constant clashes between the two quarterbacks have fostered a friendship off the field, Mahomes says the bragging rights that come with beating a friend motivate him to win that much more.
“When you compete against your friends, you almost want to win even more because of it,” Mahomes observed. “Josh is a great dude. I respect the way he plays football and just the guy that he is, but it’s like when two guys that are ultra-competitive that are friends off the field go up against each other, we obviously both want to win because we know we see each other in the offseason, and you want to have a little bit of those bragging rights.”
Having said that, the head-to-head matchup between the two quarterbacks is tied at 3-3. While Mahomes is 1-3 against Allen in the regular season, he is 2-0 against him in the postseason. Mahomes is aware of the challenge Buffalo presents and heads into Sunday’s Divisional Round matchup acknowledging he’ll have to be at his best in order to come out with the win.
“The Bills are a great challenge,” Mahomes said. “I think everybody understands that. They’ve gotten my number a lot of times. We’ve been lucky enough to get them in the playoffs, but they beat us earlier this year, so we understand that we’re going to have to play our best football to win the game, especially at their place.”