The NFC Championship Game this afternoon will feature the Buffalo Bills, the away team, and the Kansas City Cheifs, the home team, in the winner takes all game with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl. Most of the focus in this game as was with the NFC’s Championship Game will surround the two starting quarterbacks. Much of the talk leading up to this game has been about the Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes who had to leave last week's game, a game the Chiefs won over the Cleveland Browns, with a concussion. He then had to enter the NFL’s concussion protocol which had put his status for this game in question.
While Mahomes was limited in practice all this past week, due to the concussion protocol, Mahomes announced on Friday that he had cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and would be ready to start in today's game. Today’s game will mark Mahomes third consecutive time to play in the AFC’s Championship game. For the Bills' starting quarterback Josh Allen, this will mark his first time to play in the Championship game. Allen has improved by leaps and bounds since entering the NFL three seasons ago, taking the Bills to the playoffs this season for the first time in 28 seasons or three years before Allen was born.
The two teams squared off in the first half of this season in week six. The Chiefs beat the Bills 26 to 17 in that game but the Bills have seemingly only improved as the season has gone along. In the first contest, the Bills could not shut down the run which directly led to their loss and should be a huge focus of the Bills defense today. The Chiefs will be thrilled to get their rooking running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire back today. Edwards-Helaire, who ran all over the Bills in their first matchup this season, racking up 161 yards in that game, has been inactive since Week 15 due to hip and ankle injuries. The Chiefs have not been able to top 100 yards since Edwards-Helaire went out of the lineup.
The Chiefs defense will be focused on slowing down the lethal combination of Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Digs has racked up 64 receptions and 919 yards on the season when defended in man coverage. The Chiefs will most likely need to double cover Diggs for most of the day if they wish to throw out a road bump to slow down the Bills’ potent offense. This game will most likely come down to one of two things, the Chiefs' ability to slow down the Bills offense and Patrick Mahomes' health and ability to bounce back from last week's head injury.
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Buffalo Bills (13-3) 1st AFC East @ Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) 1st AFC West