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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills Preview and Predictions 10-19-2020
Two teams that seemed to be steamrolling toward a clash of unbeatens now find themselves looking to recover.
Although the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are each 4-1 and leading their respective divisions in the AFC, each will be coming off their first defeats Monday at Orchard Park, N.Y. The game got pushed back four days because of dominoes related to COVID-19 developments and kick off at 5 p.m. ET.
Each team allowed 40 points in their recent losses, creating deficits neither Patrick Mahomes nor Josh Allen could overcome quarterbacking the Chiefs and Bills, respectively.
Mahomes was constantly hounded and sacked three times by the Oakland Raiders in a 40-32 loss, leaving him to scurry quickly from the pocket and often look over the top in third-and-long situations.
"We can't just rely on the big play," said Mahomes, who completed a season-low 51.2 percent of his passes against Las Vegas. "We have to execute at a high level and when the big play comes, you have to hit it."
Although Mahomes often clicks on those looks, the end of a 13-game winning streak -- including playoffs, highlighted by last season's Super Bowl victory -- proved he is mortal.
Now, Mahomes must move on from a setback without experienced receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and guard Kelechi Osemele (knee).
"I can help with different calls and putting people in better positions," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "Everyone has a little piece of the pie here."
That includes the Kansas City defense, which permitted 20 points or less in each of the Chiefs' first four games before allowing 490 yards to the Raiders, including five chunk plays of 40-plus yards.
Botched execution hurt the Bills in their first defeat and now they have a short week to recover after falling to Tennessee, 42-16, on Tuesday. Two interceptions and long returns Buffalo gave up on special teams proved fatal against a virus-plagued opponent that had practiced only once in 12 days.
One of Allen's interceptions bounded off the hands of a receiver, but the Bills quarterback will still be looking to rebound against the Chiefs. That will be a collective effort, though, after his defense could only get him the ball twice in the final 17 minutes against Tennessee.
Allen relies on one of the NFL's hottest receivers, Stephon Diggs, who ranks second in the league with 509 receiving yards. Allen, meanwhile, ranks second in passing yards (1,589) and touchdown strikes (14).
Those impressive numbers also present a concern, however. The Bills have become one-dimensional, gaining just 469 yards on the ground to rank 28th in rushing after ranking eighth in the NFL last season.
"The number of opportunities, run versus pass, has been a little bit different," Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said. "So, that would be one piece. Then the other piece is making sure that we're staying true to our philosophy in terms of what we're doing up front. It's a mentality."
Ground opportunities could exist against the Chiefs, who rank 29th against the rush, allowing 157.6 yards per game. Allen, however, is focused on overall execution.
"We're not going to let this one loss define us," he said. "We've got to be better, we've got to be prepared and we've got to come out swinging early."
The Chiefs' ground game (13th overall, 119.3 rush yards per game) looks like it will soon get a boost as former New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell tweeted Thursday afternoon that he has joined Kansas City -- news that the Chiefs seemed to confirm with a subsequent tweet. The Jets cut Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, Tuesday as the former three-time 1,000-yard rusher currently has just 19 carries and 74 yards in two games this season.
Bell will not be available to play Monday due to coronavirus-testing protocols, according to ESPN.
Buffalo wide receiver John Brown (knee) and cornerback Tre'Davious White (back) resumed light workouts after missing Tuesday's loss to Tennessee. Tight end Dawson Knox is dealing with a calf injury.
--Field Level Media
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News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
no tickets found.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Winters is tending to a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be a participant in Sunday's clash with the Patriots.
- AnkleQues Sun | I-R
Wallace has been entered on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list due to a left ankle injury. It is unknown if the team will take him off the IR in time for Sunday's game versus the Patriots.
- HamstringDoub Sun | doubtful
Norman missed the last game with a back injury, and he is not expected to participate in Sunday's contest against the Patriots.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
McKenzie is hobbled by an ankle injury, and it has yet to be established if he will line up Sunday against the Patriots.
- PectoralQues Sun | questionable
Milano is bothered by a pectoral injury, and his status for Sunday's game versus the Patriots is clouded.
- ConcussionQues Sun | questionable
Hyde is dealing with a concussion, and it is unknown if he will pass protocol in time for Sunday's matchup with the Patriots.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Jefferson is battling a knee injury, and it is uncertain if he will be available against the Patriots on Sunday.
- WristQues Sun | questionable
Lewis is hampered by a wrist injury, and it is undetermined if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Patriots.
Kansas City Chiefs
- KneeQues Sun | I-R
Rankin has been designated for the PUP list with a patella injury. His two-week window to be activated has now begun.
- IllnessQues Sun | questionable
Watts is ailing from an illness, and it is unclear if the symptoms will subside in time for Sunday's matchup versus the Jets.
- BackQues Sun | questionable
Schwartz was absent from the last game due to a back injury, and it is uncertain if he will be active against the Jets on Sunday.
- GroinProb Sun | probable
Jones is dealing with a groin injury, but he is expected to be in Sunday's lineup versus the Jets.
- HamstringQues Sun | I-R
Danna is on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list due to a hamstring injury, and the team has three weeks to activate him.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Charlton missed the last game with a knee injury, but he is likely to play in Saturday's clash against the Jets.
- HamstringOut indefinitely | I-R
Okafor has been shifted to the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.
- ElbowProb Sun | probable
Saunders has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recovering from a dislocated elbow, and he is likely to return against the Broncos on Sunday.