Buffalo Bills' next game vs. Chiefs is the rematch of a playoff classic: What to know

ORCHARD PARK — This much I can tell you about Sunday afternoon’s big AFC showdown between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. I’m sick and tired of going to Arrowhead Stadium, so I can only imagine how the Bills must be feeling as they have to play there again for the fourth time in the last 19 months.

In fact, this is the sixth time in the last seven meetings dating back to the 2015 season where the Bills have had to travel to Kansas City, and the only time they have hosted the Chiefs came in 2020, the COVID year when there was no home-field advantage because the stands were empty at Highmark Stadium.

Sometimes the NFL schedule is quirky, and I hate to tell you, but because of the formula, the Bills are already slated to play in Kansas City again. It’s crazy.

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We know the recent history. The Bills lost the 2020 AFC Championship Game on a night when the Chiefs were simply the better team and proved it. Then last year, after the Bills went into Kansas City for a Week 5 Sunday nighter and smoked the Chiefs 38-20, they were fully confident they could do it again three months later.

And with 13 seconds left to play in the divisional round playoff game, the Bills were leading 36-33 and seemed primed to knock off the Chiefs and host the AFC title game the following week against upstart Cincinnati.

Since you can’t see me as I write this, I’m shaking my head just thinking about what happened in those final 13 seconds. The Bills inexplicably allowed Patrick Mahomes to complete two passes to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce totaling 44 yards to set up Harrison Butker for a game-tying 49-yard field goal.

Travis Kelce caught the game-winning TD pass in overtime for the Chiefs against the Bills.
Travis Kelce caught the game-winning TD pass in overtime for the Chiefs against the Bills.

The Chiefs then won the coin toss and drove to the game-winning Mahomes to Kelce TD pass that ended what simultaneously became one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history, but one of the most gut-wrenching defeats in Bills history.

The salt in the wound came a couple months later when, obviously too late for Buffalo, the NFL changed the playoff OT rules so moving forward, each team will now be guaranteed at least one possession in overtime.

The Bills will go into Arrowhead on a heater having just blown out the Steelers 38-3 as Josh Allen threw for 424 yards and four touchdowns. Their defense has allowed only seven points in the second half all season, and Buffalo has forged a 4-1 record despite a rash of crippling injuries on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs improved to 4-1 by edging the Raiders 30-29.

Top players for Kansas City Chiefs on offense, defense

Patrick Mahomes remains one of the most destructive forces in the NFL.
Patrick Mahomes remains one of the most destructive forces in the NFL.

QB Patrick Mahomes: Allen is having a great season, but no one should be sleeping on Mahomes who, as usual, has been a hurricane of brilliance. He threw for 360 yards and five TDs last week against the Bucs and then 292 and four TDs against the Raiders Monday.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: The former first-round pick has had an up-and-down start to his NFL career, but he has become a better player in 2022 and is averaging 4.46 yards per rush and also has 16 catches for 137 yards and five total TDs. The Raiders did hold him to 15 yards rushing Monday.

TE Travis Kelce: He’s still the best player at his position in the league, and if there was any doubt, he caught four TD passes against Las Vegas. There are several really good tight ends these days in the NFL, but Kelce remains at the top of the heap because somehow, some way, the guy is always open. He had 33 catches for 347 yards and 7 TDs.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: He was signed away from the Steelers, and he remarked how great it is to now play in a real offense. He’s a tough possession receiver who Mahomes can rely on in the short zones.

WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling: He left Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay to join Mahomes in Kansas City. Nice life he’s living. He’s essentially the replacement for departed Tyreek Hill, a receiver who can hurt you deep. He had six catches for 90 yards Monday.

DT Chris Jones: The Bills have faced some of the best DTs in the NFL this season with Aaron Donald of the Rams, Jeffery Simmons of the Titans, Christian Wilkins of the Dolphins, and Cam Heyward of the Steelers, and they’ve handled them all. Jones is next on the list. He’s a beast.

DE George Karlaftis: The rookie first-round pick earned his first half-sack in the NFL Monday night and he’s been a force. He had 10 pressures in the first four games, second only to Jones on the team.

CB J’Jarius Snead: He’s been pretty good in coverage, though you can throw against him. He also has been productive in run support.

LB Nick Bolton: He is the Chiefs leading tackler, and in the first four games he had a team-high 12 stops, defined by Pro Football Focus as a tackle that caused a failure for the offense. He has not been good in coverage, though, so the Bills might want to exploit that with their backs or tight ends.

What the game means to Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have had their way with the Bills.
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have had their way with the Bills.

Just as it has the past couple seasons when the Bills played the Chiefs in the regular season, the game has huge implications in terms of home-field advantage in the postseason. In 2020, the Chiefs won in Buffalo and that was part of the reason why they were able to host the AFC Championship Game.

Last year, the Bills won in Week 5, but that head-to-head tiebreaker meant nothing in the end thanks to a rough patch in the middle of the season which included a truly egregious loss to the Jaguars later in the season. That was just enough to cost the Bills the chance to host the Chiefs in the divisional round and they had to go back to Kansas City.

Who is favored to win Bills vs Chiefs?

We have never seen this before, but for the first time since Mahomes became the Chiefs full-time starter in 2019, the Chiefs are opening the week as an underdog to the Bills, at home. That's right, that has never happened, but Las Vegas is clearly impressed by the Bills, especially after what just happened Sunday.

The early spread is Bills -2.5, though my sense is that could change later in the week. This spread was set before the Chiefs played the Raiders Monday night.

The money line is Bills minus-150 (bet $150 to win $100) and Chiefs plus-130 (bet $100 to win $130). The over-under for the game is 54.

What time is the Bills game?

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium.

Bills vs. Chiefs: How to watch and listen to the game

Cable/Network: CBS with announcers Jim Nantz, (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analyst), and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter). The game will be available locally via the following stations: WROC (Channel 8, Rochester), WIVB (Buffalo area), WTVH (Syracuse area), WKTV (Utica area), WENY (Elmira area), WRGB (Albany area), and WBNG (Binghamton area).

Online streaming services: and the NFL mobile app. Also, the NFL has a new streaming service called NFL+ which replaces NFL Game Pass, though you can’t cast the games to your TV — you must watch on your phone or tablet. The cost is $5 a month or $30 for the season, and a premium tier costs $10/$80, which includes all 22 coaches film and condensed and full-game replays. With it, you'll be able to watch every local game on Sunday and the national games on Monday and Thursday nights, as well as the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You can also stream if you have subscriptions to DirecTV, fuboTV, NFL+, Sling, Vidgo, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+.

How to listen: The Bills Radio Network has stations all across the state. They include Rochester (WCMF 96.5 and WROC 950 AM), Buffalo (WGR550, 550 AM), Syracuse (WTKW 99.5 and WTKV (105.5), Ithaca (WIII 99.9/100.3 FM), Bath (WVIN 98.3 FM), Newark (WACK 1420 AM), Dansville (WDNY 93.9 FM), Elmira (WNGZ 1490 AM), Auburn (WAUB 98.1 FM/1590 AM), and Geneva (WGVA 95.9 FM, 1240 AM). You can also listen on SiriusXM satellite radio on channel 225 (Bills) and channel 226 (Chiefs).

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This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: When do the Bills play next? Rematch of playoff classic ahead, Week 6