By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Buffalo and Kansas City have some bizarre and uncanny ties between them.
When the two square off for the AFC Championship In Kansas City for a scheduled 6:40 p.m . kickoff, there are plenty of storylines that predicted this sequel from their 1994 title game tilt.
Yet, I previously wrote earlier about the Bills heading to Tampa in two weeks, and I still have the faith.
The days of “wide right” and four Super Bowl losses are well behind them.
It is easy to overlook that the Bills (15-3) and Chiefs (15-2) have the amount of wins.
Patrick Mahomes got a late clearance to play for the Chiefs at home Sunday in what seems like an insurmountable task for the Bills and rising star quarterback Josh Allen.
To borrow a line from the fable song, this is the dawning of the Age of Quarterback Aquarius with Allen and Mahomes.
It’s easy to predict the sentimental Super Bowl 1 matchup between the Chiefs and Packers 54 years ago especially with the sexy Mahomes and Rogers matchup.
In their initial 1994 AFC Championship showdown, the Bills knocked out Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana, but they rode running back Thurman Thomas to a 30-14 victory, a day previous (Jan. 23) from the current one.
Buffalo relied on its defense this time around to knock out Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in a 17-3 victory last week.
Do you remember that it was the Chiefs who traded a 2017 first and third-round pick along with a 2018 first-round pick to the Bills to move up from 27th to 10th in the 2017 draft to acquire Mahomes?
The Bills received current starters cornerback Tre’Davious White, tackle Dion Dawkins, and linebacker Tremaine Edwards back for Mahomes.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott was a defensive assistant and later took over for legendary coordinator Jim Johnson upon his passing in Philadelphia under current Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid. Ironically, Bills’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier also was on Reid’s staff.
Theses are the signs a fortune teller would appreciate.
Allen continues to look like he’s in the same discussion with Mahomes. He wasn’t as effective against the Ravens as he was against the Colts, but Allen was efficient enough last week.
He can withstand the Chiefs’ defense that likely will send an array of blitzes, being highly effective against blitzing teams in the past. The key will be offensive coordinator Brian Dabroll’s balance even with a perceived mediocre running game.
It will be about a balance that doesn’t get into a shootout in the Chiefs.
The key again will be the Bills’ defense that will need to rattle and rough Mahomes and prove their league 17th ranking against the run is better to stop the Chiefs’ running game.
Cleveland proved last week that the Chiefs aren’t infallible as they were a fourth-and -one away from likely dethroning them.
Nevertheless, these Chiefs are regarded and expected to defend their Super Bowl trophy despite the usual factors working against a repeat champion.
Buffalo certainly will have to play a mistake free game.
The history, momentum and fate point Buffalo’s way.
Keep the faith, Bills fans.