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Chiefs Divisional Win the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Kansas City Chiefs upset the Buffalo Bills on Sunday to advance to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. With their 27-24 victory Patrick Mahomes was the star of the game. With eight plays of twenty yards or more and two touchdown passes to Travis Kelce, Kansas City is one game away from the Super Bowl.

Before I get to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of today’s game against the Bills, here are some fantastic stats.  Before today, the Chiefs were 30-6 in their last 36 games in December and January.  Patrick Mahomes is the eighth quarterback in history with 12 playoff wins, and he’s been a starter for six years. 

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He has never failed to make the AFC title game in his career as a starter.  Before Mahomes came to town, I’ve only seen the Chiefs in one AFC title game, with Montana against these same Bills.  The era we get to live in is truly remarkable.

Please check out the news at the end for some exciting stuff about your trustworthiness and the Chief’s content this offseason.

The Good

Chamarri Conner was in the game due to injuries, and he did a great job poking the ball out in the first quarter.  The Chief’s defense stepped up at the end of that drive to hold the Bills to a field goal.  In the 2nd half, the defense looked like the one we have become accustomed to; they shut down Josh Allen and the Bills repeatedly and only allowed seven points to an excellent offense. 

Patrick Mahomes was ‘Playoff Pat’ again today.  We’ve seen his early escape and throw to Rice on the first drive so many times.  Please never take what he does for granted.  His sidekick, Travis Kelce, also had a great game, hooking up for two touchdowns.  They also broke the record for total playoff touchdowns by any combination in history with 16, taking that away from Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire tends to make a big play for the Chiefs and tonight was no exception.  His 28-yard scamper came at a time when we needed a spark. Speaking of running backs, I’d prefer fewer in the league over Pacheco, who again had over 100 all-purpose yards, especially when you consider what a value he is to this offense

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MVS had two terrific catches in the second half  We have been waiting for him to step up, and today, he finally did. 

The Chiefs averaged nearly nine yards per play, including eight plays of 20 or more yards, while the Bills had zero. 

I told the family to watch the punt fake before the Bills tried it, and we should keep the defense on the field.  I had no idea we only had ten players out there, and I am thrilled we held them.

My wife and daughters did some magic voodoo with our fingers toward the television on Bill’s final field goal attempt.  We are convinced we made a difference.  

Harrison Butker quietly hit every kick he was given.  On a night like tonight, where we didn’t need Patrick to be the hero late, I think it’s important to point that out.

The Bad

The defense was getting gashed the entire first half by the Bills running game.  We had no answer for it, especially for the Allen runs once Gay went out, who was supposed to be spying on him.  Nnadi being out may have been a more significant factor than anyone knew.  It was interesting how very little was made of the Chief’s injuries, but we constantly heard who the Bills were missing all week.  Jerrick McKinnon and Bryan Cook are on injured reserve; Derrick Nnadi had surgery and the players who went down during the game, Gay and Edwards.  Those losses will be hard to overcome. And we felt the difference right away as well. The defense will have an all-new challenge next weekend at Baltimore.

The Ugly

We missed an opportunity to initiate a review we likely could have won early on the Allen forward pass.  I’d love to know what our process for deciding that is, but it was a big play for the Bills.

Our two worst moments still came down to our receivers.  Justin Watson had a drop early on the four-yard line that likely cost us 4 points.  Mecole Hardman had two fumbles, one of which we lost at the 2-yard line that went into the end zone for a touchback.  I’m not sure he should ever be given the ball again with this team. 

I blamed Hardman’s second fumble on the coaches as well.  Why, when we are in short yardage and goal, do we not simply hand the ball to Pacheco three times up the middle?  I’m also slightly baffled by the angle the replay official had on that play.  None of the angles we were shown could know when Hardman’s rear hit the ground simultaneously.   

I don’t understand the play call on our 1st play of the last drive of the half.  Did we not want to score?  And how do both tackles end up with a penalty on the same play?  Thankfully, the penalties were limited otherwise. 

The Bills got away with several chippy post-possession antics; they must have been feeling the pressure to win this game.

The bounces of fumbles have yet to go our way all year.  Please fall on the ball rather than go for the scoop and score.  The Chiefs could have had a comfortable lead at the end without several self-inflicted mistakes.

Buffalo entered the game hoping to exorcize a new demon but ended up being haunted by an old one.  In conclusion, it’s on to Baltimore. 

Note: Many of you have already friended or followed me on Facebook, but this past week, a friend of mine suggested I put this and other content on X/Twitter, which in the past I’ve only used to follow the free agent gurus to see who we were getting in the offseason.  So, if you want to see these articles and other regular content in the coming year, please follow me there @ShawnSorter.  If you have suggestions for offseason article ideas, please message them to me.   

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