Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills insist revenge is not on the agenda when they face quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the struggling Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in a repeat of last season’s AFC Championship game.
Nine months ago, the Bills were comprehensively outplayed as the Chiefs punched their ticket to the Super Bowl with a 38-24 victory at Arrowhead Stadium that was more one-sided than the final score suggested.
But as the two NFL teams face off on Sunday, the tables have turned, with the Chiefs off to an unconvincing start to the year that has left them at the bottom of the AFC West with a 2-2 record.
Allen and the Bills, meanwhile, have pulled clear in the AFC East, bouncing back from an Week 1 defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers to record big wins over Miami (35-0), Washington (43-21) and Houston (40-0).
That does not bode well for an injury-depleted Chiefs defense that has allowed an average of 31 points per game in four outings this season.
Allen is adamant, though, that despite the Chiefs’ early season problems, they remain the team to beat in the AFC, having reached the last three AFC championship games as well as the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls.
“They’re the gold standard, what you would want to be as an AFC team — being to the AFC championship the last three years and competing for Super Bowls is what they’ve been doing,” Allen said.
“So that’s what every team wants to be and until somebody knocks them off in the playoffs, that won’t change.”
Allen dismisses the notion that Sunday is a chance to avenge last season’s playoff loss.
“Everybody wants to make this big deal about the AFC Championship rematch, and I get that’s what it is,” he said. “But it’s a new year and this team is different than last year, and their team is different than last year.”
Allen is only 14th in passing yardage this season, with 1,055 yards, but has impressed Mahomes, who believes the Bills quarterback has improved from last season.
“What you see with Josh as he gets better and better every single year, is he’s not satisfied with where he’s at,” Mahomes said this week.
“He works through his throwing motion, he works on his feet, he does different types of stuff to give himself an edge — and that’s what all the best quarterbacks do.”
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