Buffalo Bills thump Kansas City Chiefs on the night that changed it all in the AFC

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There was a play Sunday night in the rain in Kansas City that encapsulated the 2021 version of Josh Allen perfectly. If you stayed up till midnight, you saw it. Bills up 31-20 at the Chiefs’ 24-yard line, driving for insurance, seven minutes left in the game. Allen took off running up the middle, his receivers covered on the outside. It looked like the 237-pound Allen could bull his way through the sparse coverage in the middle of the field and make it all the way for a touchdown. But he didn’t.

At the 12-yard line, pursuit really not close, Allen pulled up and slid on the wet turf. First down. The insurance score came two plays later.

Immediately I thought of Allen’s words to me in training camp when I asked why this year would be different, why there wouldn’t be reruns of the 14-point and 8-point losses to Kansas City last year.

Just try not to be a hero.

There’s your example from Buffalo’s conference-changing 38-20 win over Kansas City: Maybe Allen’s the bull in the china shop last year, and maybe he makes it into the end zone and spikes the ball hard and screams at the sky. Nothing wrong with that. But he didn’t need to do it, and he didn’t do it, and he still was the man of the match. And finally, inexorably, he outplayed the man who will be his rival for years in the AFC, Patrick Mahomes.

This felt bigger than one game. The Chiefs looked thin on offense and absolutely threadbare on defense. This looked like a changing of the guard in the AFC more than just a Week 5 game. It looked that way from the booth too. “When we get to the end of the season,” Cris Collinsworth said on NBC, “we’re gonna look back on this night and say, ‘This is the night a lot of things changed in the AFC.”

The AFC’s has two explosive front-runners this morning—the Bills and Chargers, both 4-1. The NFC isn’t as easy. On a given Sunday five teams can stake a logical claim to NFC superiority—the 5-0 Cardinals; then Dallas, Green Bay, Tampa Bay and the Rams, all 4-1.

On this given Sunday, it was a rollicking day for many of them. You’ll never see what you saw in Cincinnati again—five missed field goals in eight minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime. And in L.A., two missed extra points nearly cost the Chargers a 47-42 win over Cleveland. Has there been a Sunday with 12 missed PATs recently, by the way? The NFL has one unbeaten left, 5-0 Arizona. Safety Budda Baker thinks he knows why, and he’ll tell you. We’ll start in the drenched Midwest, with a changing of the guard.

The worst thing you can do after a game like Buffalo-Kansas City is think too much.

But I’m going to think a little bit about what we saw and where these two power teams stand.

KANSAS CITY

Now alone in last place in the strong AFC West—I would have said “powerhouse AFC West” except I saw Denver and Las Vegas play Sunday—and 2.5 games behind the Chargers, I see trouble. KC’s two games out, but I count the tiebreaker as a half-game, and the Chargers own the Week 3 head-to-head win at Arrowhead. Interesting to watch the frustration of the Andy Reid offense, with the Bills’ two-deep scheme taking Tyreek Hill out of the deep-passing game. When Hill catches seven for 63, with a long of 17, as he did Sunday night, it’s a win for the defense, particularly with no other deep threat to scare the D.

And that Kansas City defense. Frighteningly bad. I go back to draft day 2020 and think of the Clyde Edwards-Helaire pick. He’s been a B player. Imagine if that pick had been at a defensive need spot—at safety, maybe, where Antoine Winfield Jr., went 13 picks after Edwards-Helaire, or at corner, where Trevon Diggs went 19 picks after the runner. The Edwards-Helaire pick sounded great at the time, but needs were glaring elsewhere, and those needs really showed up all over the field Sunday night—and in the team’s 2-3 start.

Look at the standings this morning. Kansas City’s allowing 32.6 points per game, most in the league. Never thought I’d see this in the Mahomes Era, but the offense can’t outscore the defense (154 points for, 163 against) right now.

Reid was asked about this game, his team’s play, and the reaction of the locker room. “They’re embarrassed by it. We all are,” he said. Andy Reid has not had to say that many times in his coaching career.

BUFFALO

Entering the season, the Bills needed some answers on the defensive front. Over the first two rounds of the last two drafts, Buffalo GM Brandon Beane drafted three pass-rushers, including the largely unproven Gregory Rousseau, who had one impressive season as an edge rusher in his life. On Sunday night, Beane watched from the press box as Rousseau made the play that sealed the game. With 18 minutes left and Mahomes at the Buffalo 8-yard line, trying to carve into a 31-13 Bills lead, Mahomes threw for Mecole Hardman near the right sideline. Rousseau, rushing from the left side, stuck his hand in the air to block the pass. He tipped it to himself for the interception. Huge play, the kind of play the Bills’ defensive front hasn’t made enough of—especially when KC put up 64 on them in eight quarters last year.

The Bills also have discovered a tight end defenses have to worry about. Beane drafted Dawson Knox in the 2019 third round. Big and athletic, Knox already has five touchdowns this year, the latest a 53-yard TD from Allen, stretching the lead to 24-10 late in the first half.

This is an offense with more firepower than last year, and a defense growing stronger with players like Rousseau providing a needed pass rush. On this night, all of that helped Allen. One of the things he’s tried to do this year is to play more calmly. Playing crazy had its drawbacks for Allen in year one and two. “Back in the day,” he told me in camp, “I tried to play pissed off on the field and I found myself not playing very well, tensed up . . . Now, [I’ll do] small things like listening to calming music pregame, to not be so hyped and anxious for the game.”

On Allen’s pregame playlist, he told NBC, there was no Metallica, no metal. There was some Frank Sinatra (“Fly Me to the Moon”) and Paul Anka (“Put Your Head on my Shoulder”). Whatever works.

After the game, coach Sean McDermott told his team: “Don’t act surprised. We’re better than we even showed today.” If so, this could finally be the year western New York forgets all those nineties Super Bowl disappointments. Josh Allen will have a lot to do with that.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

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It’s Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady this Sunday night on NBC and Peacock as the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) head to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) in a rematch of Super Bowl 55. See below for additional information on how to watch the big game between the greatest of all time and the heir to the throne.

RELATED:  How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

Mahomes is currently in his fifth season as the Chiefs starting quarterback. The 2019 Super Bowl MVP signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July 2020, which was the richest contract in American sports history by total value. Over the last four seasons (2018-2021), Mahomes has led the league in both passing yards (18,707) and touchdown passes (151). The 27-year-old looks to lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight AFC West Title. Kansas City is the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

At 45 years old Tom Brady, who already holds 7 Super Bowl titles–the most in NFL history, is currently playing in his 23rd NFL season–one that many thought he wouldn’t see after an unpredictable offseason filled with rumorsretirement, and unretirement. But the greatest of all time is back–this time without the comfort of his longtime trusted TE Rob Gronkowski–and is not only facing the challenge of playing with a banged-up offensive line but is also adjusting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

This Sunday night’s game will mark the sixth meeting between Mahomes and Brady. The previous five matchups have been both high-stakes and high-scoring affairs as Brady holds a slight advantage over Mahomes. Here are all of their head-to-head matchups.

Every past matchup between Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes (3-2 overall record):

  1. Oct. 14, 2018 (Week 6) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40. Brady threw for 340 yards and 1 TD. Mahomes threw for 352 yards, 4 TD, and 2 INT.
  2. Jan. 20, 2019 (AFC Championship Game) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31, in overtime. Brady threw 348 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. Mahomes finished with 295 YDS, and 3 TD
  3. Dec. 8, 2019 (Week 14) – Chiefs defeated the Patriots 23-16. Mahomes totaled 283 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Brady had 169 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
  4. Nov. 29, 2020 (Week 12) – Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24. Mahomes threw for 462 yards with 3 TD. Brady finished with 345 yards, 3 TD, and 2 INT.
  5. Feb. 7, 2021 (Super Bowl 55) – Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium. Brady threw for 201 yards and 3 TD and was named Super Bowl MVP for a record 5th time.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

In an interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor for Football Night in America, Mahomes discusses the trademarks of a Brady-led team.

“First off, they take advantage of mistakes,” Mahomes said. “If you make a mistake on the field, if I throw an interception or if you fumble, or if something like that happens, he’s going to make you pay and get points on the board and then he’s going to manage the game.”

Mahomes also knows that while Brady has a knack for capitalizing on mistakes, he does not often make many of his own.

“He’s going to make some plays when he needs to make plays, but at the same time he’s not going to make that big mistake. So you have to go out there and play a near perfect football game to win. Another thing, he’s never out of it and I think that’s something I try to pride myself on as well is never being out of the game. So whenever you play against a Tom Brady-led team, you make sure you keep that foot down on the pedal and try to do whatever you can to finish the game off.”

Patrick Mahomes absorbs Tom Brady’s lessons

Despite the difference in age and experience, Brady and Mahomes are alike in their impact on the game.

“You want to not like Tom but he’s just like the best guy,” Mahomes said. “So it’s hard to not like him, but to be able to play in golf tournaments, and him give me kind of advice and stuff like that. I mean, he’s the GOAT. You want to learn from the best and it’s really cool to have that relationship with him.”

Even when Brady and Mahomes have faced off in high-stakes postseason games, the advice continues. The two met in the 2019 AFC Championship game, when Brady was still playing for the New England Patriots. Both quarterbacks delivered stellar performances, but Brady managed to lead the Patriots to an overtime victory.

Following this loss, Mahomes tells Taylor that he is upset and spends a lot of time after the game sitting in the locker room. But when Mahomes finally walks out, Brady is waiting for him.

“He could be celebrating” Mahomes said. “He’s going to the Super Bowl and everything like that, and all he said to me, ‘Hey, just keep doing it how you’re doing it. You’re doing it the right way.’ And as a young quarterback, you just go out there and play and try to have fun and do whatever you can to put your team in the best position to win.

But when the GOAT’s saying that, he’s saying you’re doing it the right way, it shows you that you are doing it the right way. And so that was big for me”

While Brady has not revealed all his football wisdom to Mahomes, the Chiefs’ signal-caller looks forward to learning more.

“He won’t give me all the secrets yet,” Mahomes said. “But hopefully one day I’ll get the secrets and can put those into my game.”

Patrick Mahomes embraces the Tom Brady mindset

While Brady and Mahomes are competitors, their respect from one another extends beyond the football field into their personal lives. Mahomes and his wife Brittany, have a young girl, Sterling, and are expecting a baby boy.

“You want to be able to be a family man and be with your family and you want to be able to do these different things, where you’re going into businesses and then helping out and shooting commercials and, at the same time, keeping football first.”

One of the biggest lessons Mahomes has taken from Brady is the importance of prioritizing football in addition to consistently improving at the game.

“That’s the greatness in Tom Brady is no matter how much off the field stuff he does, football is always the main priority and he makes sure to keep it that way,” Mahomes said. “And so you watch that and then at the same time you go back to him on the field and he’s always getting better. I feel like every single year he finds something he can get better at. And that’s what I want to do, is I want to keep getting better as my career goes on so that I can play hopefully, maybe not as long as him, but pretty long as well.”


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 in a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins, rings, MVPs, losses: Every appearance, NFL stats, records

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED:Will Tom Brady make playing beyond 40 more common for quarterbacks?

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!