|Kansas City||24||-3||-1 (3)||-4|
First things first: the status of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who will be progressing thru concussion protocols throughout the week, is in doubt. We wouldn’t expect a definitive word on Mahomes’ availability until closer to the weekend. Though even if he is available, his status would figure to be a bit fragile as he looked as wobbly-legged coming off the field last week vs. the Browns as Trevor Berbick when Mike Tyson KO’d him at Vegas back in ‘86. There’s also the factor of a possible turf toe, which appeared to get aggravated just before the concussion, and, while unlikely to keep him out, could somewhat limit his mobility. As for the pricing on the game, Nevada oddsmakers have told us this number would probably have opened around 4½ with a healthy Mahomes, instead of the 3s that were originally posted with Mahomes likely, but not definite, to play. The same sources say Kansas City might not even be favored if forced to go with backup QB Chad Henne, who did just enough in relief to save the win over the Browns last week for HC Andy Reid but also lost his only start of the season (when KC was admittedly resting several regulars) in Week 17 vs. the Chargers. Referencing the October 19 Chiefs’ 26-17 win at Orchard Park must also be accompanied by a few disclaimers. KC was focused after suffering its first loss of the season the previous week vs. the Raiders, and took advantage of a Bills defense that zeroed in on limiting the overhead damage that could be caused by Mahomes; instead, the Chiefs ran wild (245 YR), with LSU rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (161 YR but hurting in January) doing the bulk of the damage. But it was also during a disjointed part of the season for the Bills, whose schedule was turned sideways during that span with a rescheduled game at Tennessee (which for a time appeared not likely to be played) shuffled to the preceding Tuesday, which in turn forced the KC game to be moved from Thursday, Oct. 15 to an odd Monday late-afternoon kickoff (Cards- Cowboys already slated for that night on TV). Buffalo was also in the midst of a rough patch, with QB Josh Allen hampered in mid-October by a sore shoulder aggravated vs. the Raiders on October 4; the three worst Buffalo offensive showings of the season ensued, including an unsightly 18-10 win over the then-winless Jets. Buffalo was also minus key LB Matt Milano (who would have likely drawn the assignment on TE Travis Kelce) in the first meeting vs. KC. It’s worth noting that since that loss to the Chiefs, Buffalo has only lost once on the “Hail Murray” rainbow pass from Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins on the final play of a 32-30 loss at Arizona on Nov. 15. While Chiefs backers might insist that last week’s nervous win over the Browns would have come easier without the KO of Mahomes, momentum had already seemed to shift in that game as the recent pattern of KC holding on for dear life (which it was forced to do several times in the second half of the campaign) seemed to be resurfacing. It’s a fact that the Chiefs have been cutting it close since midseason, with the margin of their last eight wins a puny 4 ppg, which also explains their startling recent failures vs. the spread, having failed to cover nine in a row into this weekend. While KC needs make no excuses for winning 15 of 17 games, it also hasn’t put together 60 minutes of “Chiefs football” since perhaps that win vs. the Bills, or a few weeks earlier vs. the Ravens.
|Previous meetings||SU Record: Kansas City 19-18|
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