Chiefs vs. Bills highlights: How KC held on to earn trip to another AFC title game

In what has almost inarguably developed into the NFL’s greatest contemporary rivalry, the Kansas City Chiefs ousted the Buffalo Bills 27-24 in the teams' latest playoff classic Sunday night.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs advance from the divisional round to their sixth consecutive AFC championship game, in which they will face the Ravens in Baltimore next Sunday. (The NFC title game was set earlier in the day, the Detroit Lions moving on to face the San Francisco 49ers.)

Though K.C. QB Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo counterpart Josh Allen had split their first six meetings, the Chiefs have now eliminated the Bills three times in the past four postseasons – most notably a 42-36 Kansas City win in overtime almost exactly two years ago.

And, once again, Mahomes was again a huge component of Buffalo’s misery.

With Taylor Swift in attendance, the two-time league MVP threw a pair of touchdown passes to the mega pop star’s boyfriend, TE Travis Kelce, in what was Mahomes’ first true road game in his playoff career. The Chiefs have played in three Super Bowls since the start of the 2019 season, but those are considered neutral-site contests.

However a nip-and-tuck affair wasn’t decided until the final two minutes, when it appeared headed to overtime as Buffalo mounted a drive into Kansas City territory. But Bills K Tyler Bass’ 44-yard field-goal attempt with 1:47 remaining was taken wide right by the Western New York winds. All Mahomes and Co. had to do from there was kill the clock, which they easily did.

Mahomes finished with 215 yards through the air. Allen countered with 186 yards and one TD passing with 72 yards and another two scores on the ground. Including postseason, Allen accounted for a league-high 51 TDs this season.

One touchdown that didn’t occur transpired early in the fourth quarter, when Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman fumbled near the pylon and out of the end zone, a touchback by rule that gave Buffalo the ball after the Bills successfully challenged the play. However they couldn’t capitalize on the massive turn of events – the penal touchback rule one that could be reviewed by the competition committee in the near future – trading punts with the Chiefs before Bass’ painful miss, which is sure to stir memories of Scott Norwood’s push in the final seconds of Super Bowl 25 … which Buffalo lost 20-19 to the New York Giants.

And now Bills Mafia will have to wait at least another year for its elusive championship, Buffalo to remain – for now – one of 12 NFL teams that have yet to win a Lombardi Trophy. — Nate Davis

Bills vs. Chiefs score

  • Chiefs — 27

  • Bills — 24

Chiefs vs. Bills winners, losers


The resilience of the Kansas City Chiefs

Written off late in the regular season, right after a stretch when Kansas City lost five of eight games from Weeks 8 through 16, the Chiefs showed, once again, how gritty they are and how dangerous their championship experience can be.

Kansas City went into a hostile environment and played almost flawless football. The Chiefs had just two penalties enforced for only 15 yards and their lone turnover, a Mecole Hardman fumble into the end zone, was almost devastating. But Kansas City’s defense held and made it irrelevant. Kansas City’s stars showed up, which is what championship teams do. Patrick Mahomes had just six incompletions and threw for 215 yards and two scores. Both those touchdowns went to tight end Travis Kelce, who also poured in a team-high 75 yards. The defense completely clamped down on Buffalo’s receivers and made Stefon Diggs a nonfactor. Turns out the Chiefs can win in the postseason away from Arrowhead, too.


Wide right Pt. II (Tyler Bass)

If there was one thing that Buffalo fans did not want to hear, under any circumstances, it was "wide right." We are, of course, referring to former Bills kicker Scott Norwood’s failed 47-yarder in Super Bowl 25 that would’ve given the Bills their first-ever Super Bowl title. The kick infamously sailed wide right.

Sunday against the Chiefs, Bills fans were treated to another version, though this one came in a less pressurized situation. Still, kicker Tyler Bass, who had a fairly solid season, will almost certainly carry his missed 44-yard try with 1:47 left to play for the entire offseason — and probably even longer. The field goal would’ve tied the game and Bass is not the sole reason why they lost, but that won’t ease the sting of the miss.

Chaos in the fourth quarter

The Buffalo Bills have arguably the best short-yardage weapon in the NFL in quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills, facing fourth-and-5 from their own 30-yard line, decided to check into a fake punt in which safety Damar Hamlin fielded a direct snap. He was stopped short, giving the Chiefs a short field.

It was about to become a costly error, one that seemingly was going to put Buffalo down two scores, until Bills safety Jordan Poyer jarred the ball loose from receiver Mecole Hardman’s hands, leading to a forward fumble out of the end zone, giving the Bills the ball back. Buffalo would eventually punt the ball once more, but these lapses in concentration are ones teams typically cannot afford late in big games. Both teams got a little lucky. — Lorenzo Reyes

Chiefs vs. Bills highlights

Bills miss game-tying field goal

Wide right!

The Bills had a chance to tie the game, but the kick from Tyler Bass was wide right.

The Chiefs get the ball back with 1:47 left in the game, and Patrick Mahomes jumped up and down on the sideline after seeing the missed kick.

Josh Allen and the Bills offense stalled, and the missed kick was heartbreaking.

Allen missed a deep shot to Stefon Diggs on the first play of the drive, and an open Khalil Shakir in the end zone one play before the missed kick.

The Bills dominated the clock with their possession, and now must defend the Chiefs for any chance to reach the AFC title game. — Safid Deen

Chiefs, Bills exchange punts

After the Bills went three-and-out, the Chiefs could not make the most out of getting the ball back.

In fact, they couldn’t cross midfield.

After five plays, the Chiefs had their first punt of the entire game, with 8:31 left to go. — Safid Deen

Bills failed fake punt didn’t cost them

The Chiefs were in business after running back Isiah Pacheco’s 29-yard run got them to Buffalo’s 1-yard line, but then disaster struck.

Wide receiver Mecole Hardman motioned left and took a short pass from Patrick Mahomes. Hardman tried to extend the football across the plane, but got the football jarred loose by Jordan Poyer and the ball bounced out of the end zone for a touchback.

Bills took over possession. — Tyler Dragon

Bills drive ends with Damar Hamlin turnover

The Bills tried to make a game-changing play. Instead, it altered the game in Kansas City’s favor.

Instead of punting on what was a three-and-out, the Bills ran a fake punt play with Bills cornerback Damar Hamlin carrying the ball on a run. Hamlin gained 2 yards and was tackled short of a first down.

The Chiefs took over at Buffalo’s 30-yard line. — Safid Deen

Chiefs score: Isiah Pacheco 4-yard touchdown run

Back and forth we go in western New York.

The Chiefs scored 40 seconds into the fourth quarter to retake a 27-24 lead on an Isiah Pacheco 4-yard touchdown run. The Chiefs went 75 yards in eight plays and needed 4:03 to do it. There have been five lead changes.

Pacheco is up to 59 rushing yards on 11 carries. Earlier in the drive, on second-and-7 near midfield, the Bills blitzed Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs QB stepped up and found Marquez Valdes-Scantling deep down the middle of the field for a 32-yard gain. Pacheco scored three plays later.

Other than the kneel down to end the first half, the Chiefs have scored on every possession. The last three have ended with touchdowns.

Bills score: Josh Allen 13-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Shakir

It wasn’t pretty, but the Bills scored a touchdown to take back the lead toward the end of the third quarter.

After reaching Kansas City's 6-yard line, Ty Johnson was tackled behind the line of scrimmage, Buffalo burned a timeout and Josh Allen was flagged for delay of game.

On third-and-goal from the 13-yard line, Allen scrambled to his left and threw the ball to Khalil Shakir, who hauled it in for the Bills’ first touchdown through the air.

The 15-play, 75-yard drive ate up 8:25 of clock.

With the extra point, the Bills are up 24-20. — Victoria Hernandez

Jason Kelce having the time of his life

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce was shirtless (wearing pants and a beanie hat) and cheering like a mad man as his brother, Travis, scored a touchdown in the second quarter of Sunday’s divisional round playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.

Jason Kelce, in the open windows of a luxury box at the Bills’ stadium, screamed to the heavens with his hands in the air (including a can of beer in one hand) as the Chiefs took a 13-10 lead with 3:33 minutes left in the second quarter.

While the CBS broadcast caught Kelce in his glory, fans inside Highmark Stadium saw Kelce jump down from his suite to cheer amongst Bills fans.

Read the full story here.

Chiefs score: Travis Kelce 3-yard touchdown catch from Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs reclaimed the lead on their first drive of the second half.

Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs on a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a short 3-yard touchdown reception by tight end Travis Kelce.

Kelce has two touchdowns and 69 receiving yards in the game. He and Mahomes, per NFL research, now have the most combined touchdowns (16) by any QB-receiver duo in NFL postseason history. They passed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Kansas City’s touchdown drive was highlighted by wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 30-yard reception and a 24-yard Mahomes scramble. — Tyler Dragon

Bills leaders at halftime

  • Passing: Josh Allen 14-19, 111 yards

  • Rushing: Josh Allen: 8 carries, 51 yards, 2 TDs

  • Receiving: Latavius Murray: 3 catches, 27 yards

  • Defense: A.J. Klein: 6 tackles

Chiefs leaders at halftime

  • Passing: Patrick Mahomes 9-13, 114 yards, TD

  • Rushing: Isiah Pacheco: 5 carries, 29 yards

  • Receiving: Travis Kelce: 3 catches, 66 yards, TD

  • Defense: Nick Bolton: 8 tackles

Bills vs. Chiefs: Total yards in first half

  • The Bills have 235 yards of total offense at halftime

  • The Chiefs have 167 yards of total offense at halftime

Halftime: Bills 17, Chiefs 13

Josh Allen’s running ability was a big takeaway in the first half.

The Bills quarterback tallied 51 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Buffalo’s offense has 124 rushing yards versus a Kansas City defense that has provided little resistance.

Allen’s 18-yard scramble was the longest play of the first half.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs scored on their first three possessions. After connecting on field goals in their first two drives, Mahomes passed to a wide-open Travis Kelce for a 22-yard touchdown that briefly gave Kansas City a 13-10 lead.

Both defenses are having a difficult time. The first half only featured one punt and neither quarterback was sacked.

Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton leads all players with eight tackles. — Tyler Dragon

Bills score: Josh Allen 2-yard touchdown run

The Bills did not trail for long. Three minutes and seven seconds, actually.

The highlight of the drive came when Josh Allen looked like he was going to run the ball and instead flicked the ball to Latavius Murray for a 15-yard gain down to the Kansas City 30-yard line. Allen then scrambled for 18 yards and 5 yards, respectively, before eventually punching in a 2-yard touchdown that made it 17-13 with 26 seconds before halftime. It was Allen’s second rushing TD of the game. — Chris Bumbaca

Chiefs score: Travis Kelce 22-yard touchdown catch from Patrick Mahomes

Travis Kelce is back in the end zone.

The Chiefs tight end caught his first touchdown since Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles on a 22-yard strike from Patrick Mahomes with 3:33 left in the first half. It gave Kansas City its first lead of the game at 13-10. The Chiefs went 65 yards in five plays. Kelce is up to three catches for 69 yards.

A shirtless Jason Kelce, sitting a few rows in front of Taylor Swift in a Highmark Stadium suite, celebrated with enthusiasm. — Chris Bumbaca

Bills playoff history  

The Bills are 19-20 all-time in the NFL playoffs. They have played in four Super Bowls, all consecutively from 1990-93, which all resulted in loss.

This is their fifth consecutive year making the postseason, and fourth-straight time Buffalo will be playing in the divisional round. However, the Bills have advanced past the divisional round only once during the current playoff stretch. They lost to the Chiefs in the AFC championship game during the 2020 season.

Chiefs playoff history  

The Chiefs are an even 21-21 all-time in the NFL playoffs. The defending Super Bowl champions, Kansas City has won four-straight playoff games, the longest current streak in the league.

This is the ninth-straight season Kansas City is in the playoffs, with two Super Bowl titles claimed during the run. The Chiefs have also made it past the divisional round in the past five seasons. Sunday will also mark the first road postseason game for the Chiefs since 2015. Excluding the three Super Bowl appearances in that span, Kansas City has played in 14-straight home playoff games.

Chiefs score: Harrison Butker 29-yard field goal

The Chiefs haven’t punched anything in the end zone just yet.

But they’re keeping within range of the Bills.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s 29-yard field goal trimmed Buffalo’s deficit to 14-6 with 9:12 left in the first half. Patrick Mahomes found tight end Travis Kelce for a 29-yard completion to start the drive, and receiver Rashee Rice for an 8-yard gain down to the 10-yard line before the Chiefs offense stalled. — Safid Deen

Bills score: Josh Allen 5-yard touchdown run

The Bills already have 94 rushing yards, including 55 rushing yards during an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.

The first touchdown of the game came on Josh Allen’s 5-yard run to the left side. Allen’s touchdown gave him 17 total rushing touchdowns in the regular and postseason this year.

The Bills have a 10-3 advantage with 13:32 on the clock in the second quarter. — Tyler Dragon

End of 1st quarter: Bills 3, Chiefs 3

Games between these two teams tend to be tightly contested. The first quarter was no exception. Kansas City and Buffalo traded field goals and sustained drives. The Bills had the ball first, however, were threatening to score and had the ball in the red zone as the second quarter began.

Josh Allen had four rushes for 21 yards and Buffalo had 77 on the ground through the first. Patrick Mahomes was 3-for-4 for 39 passing yards. — Chris Bumbaca

Chiefs score: Harrison Butker's 47-yard field goal

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs moved the ball well on their opening drive, but stalled just inside the 30-yard line.Mahomes found receiver Rashee Rice for a 25-yard gain and tight end Travis Kelce for a 15-yard completion to spark the offense.But the drive ended with Harrison Butker kicking a 47-yard field goal to tie this game in the first quarter. — Safid Deen

Tony Romo confuses 'Holy Roller' with 'Immaculate Reception'

Somebody give Tony Romo a NFL history lesson.

The CBS analyst compared the first play of the game he was calling Sunday to a momentous moment in the league’s lore. Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid made sure a fumble by wide receiver Stefon Diggs could not be recovered by the Chiefs and knocked the ball out of bounds. Kincaid was flagged for "illegal batting." And that opened the door for Romo’s innocent gaffe.

Romo clearly meant to reference the "Holy Roller," an Oakland Raiders’ classic in which QB Ken Stabler and his team fumbled the ball forward for a go-ahead touchdown. Instead, Romo referenced Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris while discussing the play. Harris was famously a part of the "Immaculate Reception," which took place six years earlier – and, in Romo’s defense, was against the Raiders. But it doesn’t forgive the obvious confusion. — Chris Bumbaca

Bills score: Tyler Bass 27-yard field goal

The Bills’ eventful opening drive ended with three points.

The Bills were called for illegal batting on the first play of the game. A few plays later, Josh Allen had a controversial lateral that helped Buffalo extend its drive.

Running back James Cook even lost the football but he was ruled down before it was jarred loose.

After Buffalo settled in, they managed to get inside the red zone but were stopped on third-and-8 from Kansas City’s 9-yard line.

The Bills settled for a 27-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Bass to give them a 3-0 lead to start the first quarter. — Tyler Dragon

Bills fans erupt as Chiefs take the field

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense jogged into the field, and the Bills fans erupted.Not to cheer the Chiefs, of course.But to make sure the Chiefs felt their presence in Mahomes’ first playoff game of his career. — Safid Deen

Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes 

Another chapter will be added in the Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes rivalry Sunday, with the divisional matchup being the sixth time the two AFC quarterbacks will face off.

In the regular season, Allen has dominated the series with Buffalo going 3-1 against Kansas City with Mahomes. However, it’s been all Chiefs in the playoffs, with Mahomes 2-0 in the postseason against Allen, including the "13 second game" in the 2021 playoffs. Here’s the results of the six meetings between Allen and Mahomes:

  • 2020 regular season at Buffalo: Chiefs 26, Bills 17

  • 2020 AFC Conference Championship at Kansas City: Chiefs 38, Bills 24

  • 2021 regular season at Kansas City: Bills 38, Chiefs 20

  • 2021 AFC divisional round at Kansas City: Chiefs 42, Bills 36 (OT)

  • 2022 regular season at Kansas City: Bills 24, Chiefs 20

  • 2023 regular season at Kansas City: Bills 20, Chiefs 17

Bills Mafia boos Taylor Swift as she arrives to support Chiefs

They certainly weren’t chanting “22.”

Bills Mafia booed Taylor Swift upon the pop star’s arrival at Orchard Park's Highmark Stadium to watch the AFC divisional tilt against Kansas City. Swift was also in attendance for the Chiefs’ frigid affair against the Miami Dolphins in the wild-card round, though that occurred at Arrowhead Stadium.

According to the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle, part of the USA TODAY Network, Swift responded to the boos by waving and blowing a kiss to the crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of her. Swift's private jet landed around 4 p.m. ET at Buffalo Niagara International Airport and she received a police escort to the stadium.

Swift arrived in a white Chevrolet Suburban with Brittany Mahomes, wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Swift has been dating Chiefs Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce for months.

Kelce's family, including parents Ed and Donna, brother Jason – the Philadelphia Eagles center has yet to formally announce his reported retirement – and Jason's wife, Kylie, are also in attendance ... though Jason Kelce took some time to intermingle with the Buffalo faithful. – Chris Bumbaca

Bills vs. Chiefs game time

  • Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Bills vs. Chiefs how to watch

Who is favored Bills or Chiefs?

The top NFL betting apps favor the Bills over the Chiefs in their divisional playoff game.

Bills vs. Chiefs spread

The Bills are 2.5-point favorites over the Chiefs, according to the BetMGM NFL odds.

Bills vs. Chiefs over under

The over-under is 45.5, according to BetMGM.

Bills vs. Chiefs moneyline

Buffalo is a -150 favorite on the moneyline. Meanwhile, Kansas City is a +125 underdog, according to BetMGM.

Bills vs. Chiefs weather 

After some suburbs near Buffalo experienced over 2 feet of snow the last 48 hours, Sunday forgivingly offers a change of pace after an average high of 21.9 since Jan. 19.

The current temperature is 25 degrees.

For the second week in a row, the Bills made a callout to fans to help shovel snow at Highmark Stadium. Helpers would be be compensated $20 an hour. — Jon Hoefling, Lorenzo Reyes

Bills vs. Chiefs time lapse snow removal

The Buffalo Bills’ official social media account posted a video showing a time lapse of the snow removal that took place at Highmark Satdium in Orchard Park, New York.

Last week’s storm led to fans celebrating Bills scores by throwing some of the feet of snow left behind airborne. Another system moved through western New York during the week, and Orchard Park experienced nearly four feet of snow in a matter of days. — Chris Bumbaca

Bills inactives against Chiefs

The Bills’ inactive list includes many contributors, especially as they have won six games in a row. The big loss is linebacker Terrel Bernard. The other inactives are:

  • WR Gabe Davis

  • S Taylor Rapp

  • LB Baylon Spector

  • CB Christian Benford

  • OL Alec Anderson

  • DT Poona Ford

Chiefs inactives against Bills

For the Chiefs, wide receiver Kadarius Toney is inactive for the second consecutive week. The other inactives are:

  • OL Wanya Morris

  • CB Ekow Boye-Doe

  • DE BJ Thompson

  • DT Derrick Nnadi

  • DT Neil Farrell

  • DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chiefs vs. Bills highlights: Every score from Kansas City playoff win