The Buffalo Bills blasted the back-to-back defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs, pummeling Patrick Mahomes on the road 38-20.
Only a 1-hour weather delay could slow the Bills, as Josh Allen ripped apart a struggling Chiefs defense for 315 yards on just 15 completions (21 yards per completion), three TD passes, 59 yards rushing, and another score. The Buffalo defense discombobulated Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense holding the big plays to a minimum, and intercepted the star QB twice, including a pick-six.
It was a massive win for the Bills, who moved to 4-1 and already have a stranglehold on the AFC East. Sunday’s beatdown in K.C. felt like a potential turning of the tide in the conference, one that could matter for playoff seeding down the road.
Just don’t ask any Bills players to trumpet the meaningfulness of beating the reigning conference champs, on the road in a hostile environment, in primetime, in a contest that never felt all that close for the final two-and-a-half quarters.
“It’s one game, and we’re not going to try to make this a bigger deal than what it needs to be,” Allen said, via the team transcript. “If we lost this game, we wouldn’t have made it a bigger deal than it needed to be. Again, there’s a whole lot of football left in this season, and we’ve got to continue to stack wins.”
Sure, it’s the next win. But it seems incongruous to suggest there isn’t a tad more meaning in whipping a team that’s lost 11 games in 51 Patrick Mahomes starts than, say, pounding a meandering Houston Texans team.
Asked what message the W sent to the rest of the AFC, Allen still wouldn’t bite.
“I think, as it is your guys’ job, this is going to be made a bigger deal than what it is. We are in Week 5,” the QB said. “Last time I checked, four wins doesn’t get you into the playoffs. We came into a hostile environment, played a really good team, ended up with a win and that’s our goal each and every week. To come out here and to be resilient through the lightening delays and a couple plays here and there, but I’m proud of our team for how we handled the situation. Coming in, like I said, away games are never easy, no matter who you’re playing. Each week is a different situation, a different match-up. You’ve got to go out there and execute a game plan and that’s what we did today. That’s what we’ll have to continue to do.”
The Bills business-like approach to a big win permeates from the star QB to every level of the club. One by one, each of the Bills players asked about Sunday night’s big win, downplayed the significance.
Safety Micah Hyde: “I’ve been in this league long enough, I understand that kind of stuff … head-to-head, late in the season is huge. But it’s week five. We’re not throwing all of our marbles into this game. We understand that it’s a good road win for us. Any win is a huge win. We’re thankful that we got that today.”
Safety Jordan Poyer: “It’s Week 5. It’s still early in the season. It’s a great road win for us. There’s still some mistakes out there that we can learn from. It’s still early in the season. It’s still early.”
OT Dion Dawkins: “A win is a win. It’s just one win. Just because we beat them that it’s two or three. Every win matters, and no matter who is on that schedule every win is a win. It’s another win for us. We have a quick week coming as we have to get back to it.”
WR Emmanuel Sanders: “I’m not going to lie up here and say the end goal is not to win the Super Bowl. At the same time, it’s step-by-step. Today was a big step, to go on the road and beat a team like this. But at the same time, there’s a lot of ball to be played. We’re not going to go crazy about it, we’re going to go right back to work.”
Coach Sean McDermott has to love hearing the refrain from his players. After losing twice to K.C. last season, including in the AFC Championship Game by 14 points, the Bills could have toasted their accomplishment. Instead, they’re shrugging at the feat of dominating the Chiefs on the road.
There are bigger fish to fry in Buffalo than earning a fourth win of the season.
Allen & Co. want to be celebrating come February, not Oct. 11.
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