Bills Reveal What They Learned From First Matchup With Kansas City

Josh Allen

Getty Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during their playoff matchup.

Earlier this season, the Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Orchard Park and put on a clinic against the Buffalo Bills.

The defending Super Bowl champions rushed for 245 yards, threw for 221 yards, and put up 26 total points as the Bills scored their second-lowest point total of the season in a 26-17 loss.

“They certainly outcoached and outplayed us,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on Monday via a video conference call. “They gave us fits on both sides of the ball and special teams and that’s where this week comes in. We’ve got a big week of preparation for ourselves to get ourselves ready to go against the defending world champ.”

Now, the two teams are set to meet again and the Bills coaching staff revealed exactly what they took away from that game and how they can use it moving forward.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll called that game a “point for reference” for the Bills as they head into their second matchup of the season, but both teams have come a long way since then.

The Bills are 12-1 and they are essentially a hail mary pass away from being 13-0 since their loss to the Chiefs. They’ve improved their running defense and just held the best rushing offense in the league to three points. The Bills defense has also played opportunistic football since that game and they’ve created at least one turnover in every game other than two.

So, when it comes down to it, McDermott knows there are things that they can take away from their first meeting with Kansas City, but it’s also a completely different matchup.

“At the end of the day this game is a separate entity to the last game,” McDermott said during his video conference call. “You try to do your best to learn from previous experiences.”

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The Bills Wanted to Force the Chiefs to Run in Their First Matchup

During their first matchup on Oct. 19, the Bills came into the game with a game plan and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said they wanted to take away Kansas City’s explosive plays down the field. So, they played a soft zone and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire took advantage of it, running for 161 yards on 26 carries.

“We said, ok, we’re going to dare them to stay with the run game, and lo and behold, they stayed with it and had a lot of success running the football,” Frazier said during the video conference call on Monday. “You know, we learned a lot from that ballgame, hopefully, some lessons that will help us going forward, but that was the strategy going into the game. We’ll have to find a balance, do a better job against the run than we did in that first encounter.”

Even though the Bills had a gameplan for stopping the pass, Mahomes still had a semi-successful evening as he completed 21 of his 26 pass attempts for 225 yards and two touchdowns.


The Chiefs Matchup Allowed Josh Allen and the Bills Offense to Improve

Buffalo’s loss to Kansas City was their second of a two-game losing streak in Weeks 5 and 6 of the season and those losses were a necessary stretch of games that the Bills needed to go through.

During both losses, the Tennessee Titans and the Chiefs both played soft zones against the Bills and took away the explosive plays, much like the Bills did to the Chiefs. So, Allen had to learn how to work through those adjustments and as time went on the third-year quarterback did just that.

In Buffalo’s next game, the New York Jets tried the exact same thing and Allen tore up the underneath routes, finding slot receiver Cole Beasley 11 times for 112 yards. He’s also taken off since that game and has attacked defenses in all different kinds of ways, including using his legs.

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