Analysis

Three key reasons the Chiefs beat the Bills

For the second consecutive season, the Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl! Read about how the Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills.

On Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium the Chiefs left no doubt that they are the best team in the AFC by dismantling the Bills 38-24. The game was not as close as the score indicated, and despite some early difficulties, the Chiefs dominated the whole way. It was a collective team effort but a few key factors lead to the Chiefs winning in the fashion they did.

Explosive Plays

If you thought the Chiefs would come out and play it safe in this one, I really don’t know what to say. Two plays of over 50 yards turned the momentum of the game and helped the Chiefs flip the field and get into scoring range.

The first big play game from Mecole Hardman on a reverse. Hardman had fumbled a punt early which lead to a Buffalo touchdown, but he quickly atoned for the mistake, and showed off his world class speed.

The play was very well designed by Andy Reid and used at the right time. In the first meeting back in week five against Buffalo, the Chiefs found a ton of success running the ball, and on the reverse, the play initially looks like it is going to be a power run. This sucks in a few defenders, but then the Chiefs convoy of blockers is able to get free, like on a screen pass. Hardman turns on the jets for 50 yards. The drive would end in a touchdown.

The Chiefs’ other explosives play would come off of a simple quick slant that Tyreek Hill nearly took the distance.

Last year offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy had said leading up the Super Bowl that “every play the Chiefs have was designed to score”. Even something like the Chiefs’ most basic RPO play, which they ran above has a chance to go the distance with playmakers like Hill out there.

Steve Spagnuolo’s defense dominated on third down

The Chiefs defense dominated the Bills and played with a level of physicality that we have yet to see out of this unit. Steve Spagnuolo called the game of his career (pre-Super Bowl), and the defense shut down Josh Allen, holding him to just a 60 QBR, and sacking him four times, and forcing an interception. The Chiefs were especially successful on third down, holding the Bills to just a 35% conversion rate.

The key stops lead to the Chiefs forcing the Bills into kicking field goals as well as punting, which would allow the Chiefs offense to rally and take the lead and the game. No one outside of Kansas City was expecting such domination, and while the final score showed the Chiefs allowed 24 points, 13 of the Bills points came directly off of special teams mishaps from the Chiefs. This unit came out and showed the entire NFL that they can hold their own against anyone.

Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce

The combination of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce has been lethal all season long, and on the games biggest stage they did not disappoint. Each of them continues their historic march to greatness. Kelce had nearly 100 yards headed into halftime as he was able to find open space in the Bills zone looks all night long, and as always Mahomes was able to find him. When the play would break down and Mahomes had to scramble it was no question who was going his first target was going to be.

Mahomes finished with 325 yards, three touchdowns, and had a passer rating of 127.6, one of his most efficient performances to date, and one of his best games ever. Kelce caught 13 balls for 118 yards and caught two of Mahomes three touchdown passes. It was domination from start to finish. The Chiefs lit up the scoreboard all game and left no doubt about who the best team in the AFC was. Now it’s time for them to once more prove they are the best team in the NFL.

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