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Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills Picks and Predictions: Divisional Playoff Game

Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills Picks NFL Divisional Playoff Picks and Predictions for this Sunday Night Football Game on January 21.

Chiefs vs Bills:

When: 6:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 21, 2024
Where: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes will finally face rabid, boisterous and unfriendly fans in a postseason setting.

In his sixth season as an NFL starting quarterback, Mahomes plays in his first playoff road contest on Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Buffalo Bills in the AFC divisional round at Orchard Park, N.Y.

Mahomes has played in 12 home games and three Super Bowls during the postseason. But he’s never once had to get on a plane and fly to play in a raucous road environment while leading the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC championship game appearances.

Until now.

“It kind of is what it is,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of games at home, at Arrowhead Stadium, and things have fallen that way. Now we get to go on the road to a hostile environment, and one I have not played in with fans in the stands. But it’s what you want to do when you grow up watching these games.”

Mahomes’ lone visit to play the Bills occurred during the 2020 season when stadiums were empty due to COVID-19. Kansas City won 26-17.

Since that contest, the Chiefs and Bills have met five times, all in Kansas City over a span of 34-plus months.

The Chiefs twice eliminated the Bills from the playoffs — 38-24 in the 2020 season AFC title game and again the following season, 42-36 in overtime in the divisional round.

But Buffalo’s 20-17 win this season at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 10 proved big, eventually leading to the Bills being the No. 2 seed and relegating Kansas City to No. 3.

Buffalo is relishing the opportunity to battle the Chiefs in its stadium after all the frequent flyer miles earned with trips to Kansas City.

“(Mahomes) might wanna come here, man, the many times we played there, he might need a change of scenery,” Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “He might be happy to come here. Never know.”

Temperatures in the Buffalo area are projected to be the mid-20s, which is certainly better weather than both teams dealt with in the wild-card round.

Kansas City’s 26-7 home win over the Miami Dolphins was the fourth-coldest game in NFL history with the temperature at minus-4 degrees at kickoff.

The Bills had their game moved back a day to Monday because of a massive snowstorm. Workers cleared the field but left snow packed throughout the stands for the 31-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Buffalo star quarterback Josh Allen didn’t seem bothered by the elements as he passed for three touchdowns and scored another on a scintillating 52-yard run.

Now he’s looking to finally beat close friend Mahomes in a postseason game. Allen knows the task will be tough.

“They’ve been at the top of the mountain, they know what it takes to get there,” Allen said after Wednesday’s walk-through. “We’ve yet to do that. As a competitor, as a player, to be in a situation like this is something that you dream about.”

Mahomes knows a loss would make it a very difficult 18 holes of golf when he and Allen get together in the offseason.

“When you compete against your friends, you almost want to win even more because of it,” Mahomes said. “Josh is a great dude. I respect the way he plays football and just the guy that he is. But when two guys that are ultra-competitive that are friends off the field go up against each other, we obviously both want to win.

“We see each other in the offseason, and you want to have a little bit of those bragging rights.”

Stopping Mahomes will be more difficult for the Buffalo defense if linebacker Terrel Bernard (ankle) is unavailable. The Bills’ leading tackler (143 stops) was hurt against the Steelers and is questionable for Sunday.

The Bills ruled out wide receiver Gabe Davis (knee), linebacker Baylon Spector (back), cornerback Christian Benford (knee) and safety Taylor Rapp (calf). Corners Rasul Douglas (knee) and Taron Johnson (concussion) are questionable, as is punter Sam Martin (left hamstring). Buffalo signed Matt Haack to the practice squad as insurance in case Martin can’t play.

The Chiefs ruled out nose tackle Derrick Nnadi (triceps), offensive lineman Wanya Morris (concussion) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hip, ankle). Skyy Moore (knee) won’t be activated from IR in time for the game, while fellow wide receiver Justyn Ross (hamstring) is questionable. Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu (illness) and linebacker Willie Gay (neck) both were added to the injury list Saturday and are listed questionable.

–Field Level Media

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For this Chiefs vs Bills Sunday Night Football game, I’m rolling with the Bills First Quarter at the -135 odds.

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