As the Buffalo Bills prepare for their first AFC Championship since the 1993 season they have a unique challenge in front of them.
With the status of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes unknown for Sunday’s matchup, the Bills have to prepare for both Mahomes and backup quarterback Chad Henne, which makes preparation throughout this week a little extra difficult.
In Kansas City’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Mahomes went down with an injury with 7 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter and he never returned after he entered the concussion protocol and was ruled out of the game.
Although Chiefs coach Andy Reid told Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor that Mahomes had “passed all the deals that he needed to pass” on Sunday, Mahomes status is still up in the air, which means Henne would be the Chiefs’ next option.
After Mahomes’ departure on Sunday, Henne stepped up for the Chiefs. Although he threw an interception in the middle of the fourth quarter, he led the Chiefs to a field goal, came close to converting a 3rd and 14 with a 13-yard run, then converted a 4th and 1 pass to Tyreek Hill to secure the win.
So, according to Bills coach Sean McDermott, the Bills need to be ready for both quarterbacks and the weapons around them.
“Respectfully, they are so good with the weapons that they have around Patrick, Andy does such a good job and they are well-coached,” McDermott said during his video conference call on Monday. “We’ve gotta prepare for the system, we’ve gotta prepare for both quarterbacks and that’s why we’ve got a lot of work to do this week.”
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier also echoed McDermott’s statements and said preparing for both Mahomes and Henne is definitely going to change how they prepare this week.
“It makes a difference I mean he (Mahomes) is a reigning MVP, he’s a special quarterback who can do everything,” Frazier said during a video conference call. “He’s a pocket passer, he’s a mobile quarterback and he can get out of the pocket and make plays. It will definitely change our preparation. They are a very good football team. Patrick Mahomes is definitely a special talent.”
Whether it’s Mahomes or Henne, the Bills have shown their ability to be prepared this season and Sunday will be no different with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
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Frazier Talks About How the Bills Can Stop Patrick Mahomes
The entire league has been trying to find a way to stop Mahomes for the past few years, but not many have ever found a solution as he took the Chiefs to a Super Bowl last year and came home with the Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP.
But, whether they play against Mahomes or Henne, Frazier talked about what it takes to slow Mahomes down and not allow him to beat you with his arm or his legs.
“Keep him in the pocket, don’t let him scramble around and make plays,” Frazier said via News 4 Buffalo’s Heather Prusak. “If he gives you opportunities to make plays on the ball, make those plays. You really don’t want them to be a balanced offense. You gotta make them one dimensional.”
When the Bills played the Chiefs earlier this season the Chiefs were the furthest from one dimensional. Mahomes threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns while completing 21 of his 26 pass attempts in a 26-17 victory. But, the Chiefs’ weapons around Mahomes were just as dangerous as rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 161 yards on 26 carries.
Bills Coaches Rave About Andy Reid’s 4th and 1 Play Call
The Chiefs were leading, Henne was in the game, they were facing a 4th and 1 situation with a five-point lead. It was the type of situation where most people thought that Reid was going to try and draw the Browns offsides and then punt. But…nope.
Henne snapped the ball, looked at Tyreek Hill on the right side, and completed a pass for a five-yard game to seal the victory. While some were surprised by the play call, McDermott wasn’t.
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen him call a pass play in that situation,” McDermott said via Channel 13 WHAM’s Dan Fetes.
McDermott spent 12 years coaching under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles in several different positions.