After getting back in the win column with a road win last week, the Kansas City Chiefs head back to Arrowhead Stadium this week. On Sunday Night Football, the Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game from last year.
Going into last week, Kansas City had lost two straight games to the Ravens and Chargers. Over that span, they committed six turnovers and were under .500 for the first time with Patrick Mahomes under center. However, the Chiefs responded against Philadelphia. They defeated the Eagles with head coach Andy Reid becoming the first coach in NFL history to win 100 games with two different franchises.
For the Bills, they are on a three-game winning streak. After losing to the Steelers to open the season, Buffalo has defeated the Dolphins, Washington Football Team, and Texans. Last week, they shut out Houston, 40-0. In the past three games, they have outscored opponents 118-21 and had two shutouts.
Two of the top dogs in the AFC clash on Sunday Night, so let’s look at things to watch.
When Gordon was reinstated from the commissioner’s Exempt List, the Chiefs signed him. They haven’t had consistent play from Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, or Byron Pringle to say that they are the WR2. By signing Gordon, the Chiefs have found that guy.
It has been reported that the chemistry between Mahomes and Gordon is special and that they have clicked from the beginning. In 2013, he was an All-Pro receiver, and if he can showcase that ability, the Kansas City offense will become even more dangerous. It is not decided if Gordon will play, but if he does, it is definitely something to watch for as he could have an immediate impact on the offense.
Mahomes vs the Buffalo Defense
This season, Mahomes has been caught trying to do too much with the football and has paid for it. In four games, he has thrown four interceptions, and all of them come from trying to do too much.
Against Baltimore, he was getting sacked and tried to hit Kelce, but was off target. He threw a no-look pass to Marcus Kemp and it went off his hands and was picked off against the Chargers. He was rolling out and overthrew Kelce, leading to an interception. Finally, he threw into triple coverage and was picked off by the Eagles secondary.
Mahomes has proven to make some of the most ridiculous throws anyone has seen, but he needs to stop trying to make the highlight play and get his team down the field. The interceptions have come back to bite the Chiefs in two games, as three of the four came in losses.
The Buffalo defense has been one of the best throughout the first four games this year. They have shut out two teams and allow the fewest yards and points per game. The defense is one of the best in the league and the Chiefs cannot afford to turn the ball over. It all starts with Mahomes. He needs to take care of the ball and make the smart plays to get the team down the field and in the end zone.
In 50 career starts, the 2018 NFL MVP has thrown only 28 interceptions. He has proven to be able to limit turnovers and this is a crucial week to do so.
Against Baltimore, Edwards-Helaire fumbled for the first time in his career to help the ravens seal the victory over the Chiefs. In the following week against the Chargers, he fumbled again. However, since those fumbles, he has had a huge impact on the offense. CEH has back-to-back games with 100 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown.
The Chiefs drafted him in the first round to be a key piece on the ground and through the air. The past two weeks have proved that he can do that. The offensive line is giving him holes for big gains and he has found his rhythm. This week, he has to continue to dominate on the ground. Last year, he ran for a career-high 161 yards. The offense will rely on him to set the tone on the ground.
The Chiefs’ offense needs to get him more involved in the passing game. Edwards-Helaire has two receiving touchdowns in the last two games and has proven to be effective as a receiver. His receiving skills were a huge reason why he was the first running back taken off the board. If he can be impactful on both areas of the offense, the Chiefs will be able to drive down the field all game long.
The Chiefs’ defense has been one of the worst in the league so far. However, it isn’t due to a lack of talent. It seems to be a lot of mental miscues and communication errors. This week, they need to fix that if they want to stop the Bills offense.
Buffalo averages over 400 yards and 33 points per contest. The Chiefs defense has to find ways to get off the field. Multiple times last week, players were not in their designed spots on the field when the ball was snapped, along with lapses in coverage.
That stuff is fixable and the unit can do that. If there is any week to put it all together, it is this week. The communication has got to be a lot better. It all starts with the defensive play-caller of Anthony Hitchens and leader, Tyrann Mathieu. With them leading the surge to get guys in place and fix these issues, the defense can find a way to improve.
Buffalo is a pass-first team, so they need to get pressure on Allen, which has been scarce all year long. Last week, Mike Danna had two sacks, but the entire defense only has seven on the season. It is crucial for them to get pressure on Allen and force him to make a mistake.
The Bills do not have the strongest rushing attack, but Zach Moss has found the end zone three times. While the Bills lean towards the air game more, they could look to take advantage of a sloppy Chiefs rushing defense.