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4 stats to know, matchups to watch for Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills have been two of the best teams in the NFL for years now. On Sunday, we get another classic with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes taking the field for another must-see Bills vs Chiefs game.

There’s plenty of history between these teams. Buffalo took home the last meeting in 2022, winning 24-20. However, the memories of a Chiefs’ 42-36 overtime victory in the AFC Divisional Round are still ripe in the minds of NFL fans.

Related: Stats to know, matchups tow catch for Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys

Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs game info

  • Time: 4:25 PM ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Arrowhead Stadium
  • Line: Chiefs -1

Let’s dive into the stats to know and matchups to watch for the Bills vs Chiefs game.

Josh Allen is playing at an MVP-caliber level

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a bit of a narrative right now that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is having a down season and some even blame him for the losses. At 6-6, there’s a legitimate chance Buffalo doesn’t make it into the postseason this year. However, Allen isn’t the problem.

According to RBSDM.com, Allen ranks second in the NFL in Success rate (53.4 percent), outplaying Mahomes (50.1 percent), Dak Prescott (52.4 percent) and Tua Tagovailoa (51.3 percent). He also ranks fourth in Completion Percentage over Expectation (5.5 percent) and has the third-highest Expected Points Added per Play (0.227).

The metrics love Allen and even his basic statistics are outstanding. He boasts a 102.5 quarterback rating versus the blitz, per Pro Football Focus, with a stellar 8-2 TD-INT line and 67.6 percent completion rate when blitzed. Keep those numbers in mind because Kansas City’s defense has the fourth-highest blitz rate (34.8 percent) in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs’ run defense is falling apart

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL statistically and they were even faring reasonably well against the run early in the year. From Weeks 1-5, Kansas City allowed a modest 4.3 yards per carry with opponents averaging 97.2 rushing yards per game with one rushing touchdown in five weeks. A lot has changed due to injuries at linebacker and safety.

Since Week 6, the Chiefs have allowed each of their opponents to accumulate at least 110 rushing yards. Over that seven-game span, Kansas City is surrendering 4.8 yards per carry, 127.1 rushing yards per game and it has ceded six rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Buffalo is coming off its most successful ground attack of the year. In Week 12 with play-caller Joe Brady, the Bills’ offense averaged 5.8 ypc with 185 rushing yards and two scores against Philadelphia. In a must-win game, running the football could be the X-factor for Buffalo.

Big problems for Chiefs’ pass-catchers

Syndication: The Post-Crescent
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s no secret that the Chiefs’ offense is struggling. Injuries along the offensive line certainly haven’t helped, but Kansas City has a personnel problem. The receiving corps is the most glaring problem, but it’s also evident that Travis Kelce is regressing thanks to Father Time.

  • Kansas City Chiefs passing offense (2023): 92.8 QB rating (13th in NFL), 7 yards per attempt (15th), 263.2 gross passing yards per game (9th)

In 2022, according to Player Profiler, Kelce led the NFL in Expected Points Added (+86.6), ranked 12th in contested catch rate (45.8 percent) and had the second-highest yards per route run (2.44 yards). It led to him leading the NFL in yards per team pass attempt (2.06).

Heading into Sunday, Kelce still boasts a 2.38 yards per route run, but his contested catch rate has plummeted to 25 percent. Not only that but his yards per team pass attempt has also fallen. Of course, he’s not the primary problem.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling ranks 93rd in yards per route run (0.84) and is 87th in yards per team pass attempt (0.61). Skyy Moore ranks 123rd in EPA (+3.1), 69th in average cushion (5.00) and 76th in route win rate (41.6 percent), while Justin Watson places 65th in route win rate (43.4 percent). In short, the Chiefs’ receivers can’t get open and Kelce isn’t the YAC threat he was.

Buffalo Bills pass rush vs Kansas City Chiefs offensive line

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Pressure is everything in the NFL. Collapse a pocket and get into a quarterback’s face, suddenly offenses struggle. If you give a great passer more than 2 seconds to throw, however, it’s going to end badly for a defense. That’s what we’re focused on in this matchup.

Related: Buffalo Bills coaching candidates

Entering Week 14, per ESPN, Buffalo boasts the third-highest pass-rush win rate (33 percent) in the NFL. While Kansas City’s offensive line owns the highest pass-block win rate (78 percent) in the league, left tackle Donovan Smith is unlikely to play on Sunday.

Of course, context is important. Mahomes has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL when pressures this season. As of Dec. 8, Mahomes ranks 24th in quarterback rating (62.1) versus pressure. While he is 12th in completion rate (51.5 percent), he has an alarming 4-8 TD-INT line.

History suggests the Chiefs’ offensive line will hold up well. If they do, Mahomes carries a spectacular 109.3 QB rating with 19 passing touchdowns from a clean pocket this season and the Bills’ secondary is a weakness. If the Bills can generate a pass rush, though, we could see a Sunday afternoon upset in the Bills vs Chiefs game.

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