To say this game is a must win could be looked at as an overstatement. However, both the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are looking to get things right after being embarrassed last week. Each team enters Monday night at 4-1. So with two division leading teams, the players should be highly motivated to prove themselves. Today, we will hit on how each team can emerge victorious and list keys to victory for each team. Let’s get it started.
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Kansas City- Three Keys To Victory
1) Let The Big Dogs Eat
On the defensive side of the football, the Kansas City Chiefs cannot come out hesitant. Frank Clark and Chris Jones should be allotted an ample amount of opportunities to create pressure and havoc early. Do not let Josh Allen get comfortable or settle in. That could be hard to do, given the hot start for the Bills quarterback.
But no matter, Steve Spagnuolo knows when he needs to turn things up a notch and be creative. Don’t be surprised to see linebacker Damien Wilson, or Tyrann Mathieu and other defensive backs receive additional blitz calls. This will be a good test against an above average pass blocking unit in the Bills offensive line. Nonetheless, the Chiefs defense has to know that they can takeover a game, as long as the pressure is working.
2) Center of Attack
If you watched the Bills last week, their defense was susceptible to giving up big plays over the middle of the field. While injured linebacker Matt Milano could be back, the Chiefs have to test him often, due to possible rust. Kansas City also has the speed and change of direction skills to keep Buffalo guessing. If that defense becomes complacent about the Chiefs attacking the middle of the field, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid won’t hesitate to stick with what’s working. We have also continued to strive for quicker passes from the Chiefs during this current slump (to their standards). Time will tell if that adjustment will be made.
3) Ride The Jet
Now that Sammy Watkins will be out this week because of injury, Mecole Hardman‘s role should increase. The time is now for him to get rolling. Combine the absence of Watkins, and injured stars returning for Buffalo (i.e. Tre’Davious White), Mahomes may be forced to build more chemistry with the Jet. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can only make so many plays. Meanwhile, the Bills have a deep secondary that has the luxury of playing many reps together for a long time. Hardman has the natural hands, speed and improved route running to rely on in a big game like this. Kansas City must make him part of the immediate focus.
Buffalo- 3 Keys To Victory
1) Let It Rip
When you play the Chiefs you have to put up plenty of points. Even as bad as the Chiefs looked last week, they still scored 32. Bills head coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll completely understand that. And they have largely designed the offense that way this season. Allen has looked comfortable in a much improved season. Having the luxury of bringing in a true number one receiver like Stefon Diggs from an off-season trade, was a blessing. But that’s not all. In addition to Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis have enjoyed respectful starts to their own campaigns. If the Chiefs defense doesn’t communicate better this week, Allen and the offense will have no problem hitting on deep plays and lighting up the scoreboard like they have all season.
2) Play Copycat
Defensively, the Bills have been uncharacteristically bad in creating pressure or stopping the pass. Could they institute a similar game plan to what Mahomes faced the last two weeks? It’s certainly possible. If your scheme is faltering, that is one thing. However, it never hurts to steal from other NFL team, especially if it worked in slowing down the defending champs. The Bills are among the worst in the league in pressure percentage (last in AFC, second to last in NFL). It may be best for them to let that trusted back seven prove themselves. Against the Chiefs, the Bills have to know that they will be facing a highly motivated unit.
3) Turn the Corner
It has been a bit disappointing for Buffalo, in terms of the offensive rushing attack. Kansas City is coming off a game, in which they allowed 144 rushing yards on 35 carries. That is an average of 4.1 yards per tote. Devin Singletary has the ability to make guys miss. The Chiefs also rank among the bottom five in the NFL in missed tackles. Furthermore, Allen may not be taking off and running as much this season. We know how dangerous and confident he can be in that department, though. The Bills may have a prime opportunity to get the run game going.
Be on the lookout for gameday coverage on Monday for Chiefs vs Bills. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.