The last time the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills met in the playoffs, they gave us one of the greatest games in NFL history.
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes went back and forth, matching scores in the final minutes. From the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter to the end of the game, there were five scoring plays. Four of them were touchdowns, and one was a dramatic field goal at the end of a nearly impossible 13-second drive by the Chiefs to tie the game at the end of regulation. The Chiefs won on a Travis Kelce touchdown in overtime. If you wanted to make an argument for that as the greatest NFL game ever, it's not outrageous.
We can only hope Sunday night's playoff rematch is close to that good.
Chiefs (12-6) at Bills (12-6)
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Betting line: Bills -2.5, total of 45.5
Super Bowl odds: Chiefs +700, Bills +500
Why we're watching
If you ranked the best quarterbacks in the NFL, having Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen as the top two might upset Lamar Jackson, but it also might not be wrong. Regardless of where they rank, Allen and Mahomes are two of the most valuable, special talents in the NFL. Both quarterbacks are capable of throws that few others in the history of the game could make, and while Allen is a more frequent and effective runner, both quarterbacks can make big plays with their legs.
It should be a great show. There's a reason these two teams should be in the playoffs most seasons going forward, and this might not be the last postseason matchup between the teams.
What could put us to sleep
The forecast for Buffalo on Sunday actually isn't too bad, with no precipitation expected. We'll see. Cold weather and snow get romanticized but it usually leads to worse football than you'd see in moderate conditions. We deserve to see Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen both dealing, and hopefully the weather cooperates. If the forecast shifts and we get wind, cold and snow, it could end up being more of a slog than a classic.
Wild card of this divisional game
The last time Bills receiver Stefon Diggs had a 100-yard game, it was Oct. 15. The last time he scored a touchdown was Nov. 26. It's not like Diggs has been bad, but he hasn't been the superstar that we've become used to seeing. It's good for Buffalo's offense that other players have emerged in the second half and given the Bills more options. In a game like this, the Bills might need Diggs to hit 100 yards and score a touchdown. It's good to be able to spread it around, but Diggs is still the biggest difference maker among the team's skill-position players.
Person we'll likely praise after the victory
The Bills' injury report is long. In particular, the defense is spread thin. That's not good news before facing Patrick Mahomes. If the Bills can overcome all of that to win, Sean McDermott has done his job. McDermott got some heat during this season when the Bills were struggling. If he fails in the playoffs again, Bills fans will get even more restless. Figuring out a way to slow down Mahomes and the Chiefs without a healthy defense would be a pretty good day for the Bills' head coach.
Person we'll likely second-guess after the defeat
The difference between the Chiefs winning a Super Bowl and being ousted in the divisional round is the play of their receivers. That includes tight end Travis Kelce, who has been good but not great most of the season. Running back Isiah Pacheco has emerged as an effective runner, but Kansas City will need more than a grind-it-out running game. Rashee Rice has been emerging as a star. He has 257 yards in his last two games, including 130 yards against the Dolphins last week. He's a big factor on Sunday. If Rice stays hot, Kelce makes some plays and everyone else chips in, the Chiefs should be fine. If the receivers disappear, as they have in other games this season, that will be a talking point all offseason.