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The Running game will play a factor despite two high flying offenses

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Buffalo Bills in a game that may hold playoff implications.

The Bills and the Chiefs have played five times during the Mahomes- Allen era. The Chiefs have won four of those matchups.

 While the Chiefs and Bills have faced off multiple times over the last few years this game is different. This is the first time Mahomes has been an underdog in arrowhead stadium in his career. There are a few key factors that have the Bills favored in this game. First is that the Bills have blown out several opponents, including some with respected defenses such as the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their defense has also played well, especially their pass rush. 

The Chiefs need to make sure that they slow down the Bills’ pass rush. An effective way to slow down an opposing pass rush is to run the ball. If the Chiefs are able to run the ball early and often with success this can change the game plan of the Bills coming into the game. This will likely create more opportunities for the passing game as well.

The Bills will be looking to get pressure on Patrick Mahomes without having to send extra defenders. Over the off season the Bills acquired future hall of fame pass rusher Von Miller. He already has four sacks on the year and the defensive line has other talents on the field like defensive tackle Ed Oliver. With this stout of a defense, if the Chiefs run the ball two things can happen. 

One, if the Chiefs force the Bills out of a dime or pass heavy defense. If the Chiefs are able to force the Bills to put another player in the box in order to stop the run game it will allow the Chiefs to take shots down the field to score on big plays. 

Two, in order to stop the run their pass rushers can’t simply tee off on the Chiefs’ offensive line. The Chiefs O-line has not been consistent this year. A threat of a game by the Chiefs will force Von Miller and the crew will have to stay in their lanes to prevent large chunks from being broken off.   

The Bills depend on Allen for more than his arm. He is the Bills leading rusher. Allen leads the team in rushing yards with 225. That is more yards than any single rusher the Chiefs have. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the leading rusher for the Chiefs and has 223 yards.  

Allen is depended on for a significant part of the offense. Allen accounts for 84% of the team’s offensive production. For comparison Mahomes accounts for 76% of the Chiefs’ offensive production. This means that the Chiefs need to step up to make sure that Allen stays in the pocket and does not break off large runs on key first downs. 

The Chiefs do have some key players coming back for this game. Kicker Harrison Butker has practiced all week and his ankle swelling has not come back. He has not played since hurting that ankle in week one against the Cardinals. Another significant player to come back this week is Cornerback Trent McDuffie. McDuffie has also been practicing and he is eligible to come back from IR this week, he also has been practicing this week. 

It will be a fun one to watch regardless. Look to see adjustments from both teams early and often. The Bills are a tough team but the Chiefs are too, so get your popcorn ready.


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