Taylor Swift and Jason Kelce are expected to attend Sunday night’s AFC divisional playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 Eastern.
The winner of this matchup will head to Baltimore next Sunday to face the top-seeded Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.
For the Chiefs, history beckons for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce as they hope to reach the conference title game for the sixth year running. For Josh Allen and the Bills, a home win would exorcise the demons of previous meetings with Kansas City — and move the franchise a step closer to its first Super Bowl appearance in 30 years.
This is the third playoff meeting in four years between Mahomes and Allen. The Chiefs won the first two playoff matchups at Arrowhead Stadium, but the Bills won their regular-season matchup in Kansas City last month.
The elements on Sunday — including snowy stands and a kickoff temperature around 20 degrees Fahrenheit — don’t figure to bother either of these cold-weather teams too much, and Buffalo is a 2.5-point favorite to win.
A key game for Allen’s legacy
Despite marshaling a top-10 offense for four consecutive seasons, Allen has not been able to guide the Bills back to the AFC title game since the 2020 season and has never played in a Super Bowling.
.He has a chance Sunday night for a signature game — in front of pop superstar Swift and future Hall of Fame lineman Jason Kelce, whose Philadelphia Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs last week.
Allen was Buffalo’s driving force on Super Wild Card Weekend, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for one more in a 31-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills, once 6-6 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, have since reeled off six consecutive wins and are hoping the third time against the Chiefs in the playoffs will be the charm.
Can the Chiefs’ offense click into gear?
No team during the regular season dropped more passes than the Chiefs did. The inconsistency of Mahomes’ receivers has been a storyline all season in Kansas City, and someone will have to step up in order for the Chiefs’ offense to enjoy a productive evening in western New York.
Despite the worse-than-anticipated season from the Chiefs’ offense, Kansas City has found a playoff-ready formula anyway — timely throws by Mahomes backed by one of the NFL’s top defenses.
The Chiefs held the Miami Dolphins to one touchdown in the 26-7 wild-card round win last Saturday, and Kansas City has held six successive opponents to 20 points or fewer.