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AFC Championship Recap

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The AFC title game gave us the top two seeds in the conference.

Buffalo had a break through year while Kansas City was playing in their third straight AFC Championship and they were still defending their Super Bowl Championship. Kansas City got it done and has moved on to Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay on February 7th after their 38-24 victory.

WHY THE CHIEFS WON :

  • The most important element for success for Kansas City is their quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Getting Mahomes cleared out of protocol at the end of the week was expected but still HUGE. Mahomes was terrific as always. He ended his night going 29-38 for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns.
  • ”The Kansas City Run”- you hear about runs in basketball. When the Warriors were in their prime they would hit you with Warrior runs that were unlike any team in the league. The Chiefs now do that too. Kansas City hit the Bills with 21 straight points. This is the fourth straight postseason game that the Chiefs have hit a team with a 21 point or more surge. These are lethal.
  • Just enough of a run game. The Chiefs didn’t get a lot from Clyde Edwards-Helaire and didn’t have the services of Le’Veon Bell. What they did get was some nice production from Darrel Williams and one huge run from Mecole Hardman.
  • The tandem of Kelce and Hill was just too explosive. Travis Kelce lit up the Bills for 13 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. His counterpart Tyreek Hill was his usual dynamic self with 9 grabs for 172 yards.
  • The blitzing defense got it done. Kansas City hit Josh Allen with numerous blitzes all night and always seemed to have it called at the right time.

WHY THE BILLS LOST:

  • Buffalo spoiled a good start. Opening with a 9-0 lead wasn’t going to be enough to beat Kansas City but you have to add on while they get their game going. During the Chiefs 21 point run the Bills had two possessions were they gained just 1 first down and combined they had the ball for less than 3 minutes.
  • The inconsistency of being aggressive. On the opening drive the Bills went for a “gutsy” 4th down and converted. At that point it looked like they knew they had to play that way to win. After that the curiously went for field goals multiple times. When the score was 24-15 in the 3rd quarter each team had scored four times. The difference was the Chiefs had 3 TD’s and 1 field goal while the Bills had 1 touchdown and 3 field goals.
  • A costly turnover. The Bills were down but not out in the early 4th quarter when they were driving deep in Kansas City territory trailing by 16 points. With about 13 minutes to go this game was still in reach but Josh Allen threw his only interception of the game and basically ended the Bills hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.