KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Bills offense totaled 436 yards at Arrowhead Stadium. Quarterback Josh Allen accounted for 374 of those yards and every single offensive touchdown.
That was one of Allen’s best games of the season and arguably the Bills’ best win of the season.
In that game, big plays killed the Chiefs’ defense. Big runs and big throws by Allen helped put points on the board for the Bills.
With Allen being such a dangerous quarterback, and coming off of another great playoff game against the New England Patriots (308 passing yards, five touchdowns), the Chiefs are making sure that kind of performance doesn’t happen to them again.
“Man, he’s one of the elite quarterbacks in this league, and you’ve got to try to cancel out
every phase,” Chiefs linebacker Melvin Ingram said. “You’ve got to play assignment football because when you’ve got a quarterback that can run, that can throw, that can do everything, you’ve just got to play assignment football and not try to do too much.”
“They’re scary with the weapons they have. Every time we game plan, we say who we have to take away,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said.
“This particular team, if you put too much attention to one guy, they’ve got so many other people that can beat you. Allen running the football, I think that’ll just be part of it. I don’t think they’ll get away from it, but when they’ve been handing the ball off to 26 [Devin Singletary, 870 yards, seven touchdowns] and 20 [Zack Moss, 345 yards, four touchdowns] and they’re churning out yards, that makes them that much more dangerous.”
At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Allen can be a load to tackle, especially in the cold weather of the playoffs. For the Chiefs, one of the keys for this Sunday is getting pressure on Allen and bringing him down for minimal gains.
“It’s a great challenge for us to be able to obviously stop him from throwing the ball down the field, but rallying to him when he scrambles,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “And then the guys that are in coverage, just keep down on your man and just do your best to play fundamentally sound. I think that’ll really help us out coming into this week.”
The Chiefs do have weapons on defense this week that weren’t there in the last game: Ingram (with Pittsburgh Steelers), Chris Jones (injury), Charvarius Ward (injury).
With these key pieces back in place, the defense is confident it can limit the big plays from this explosive Buffalo offense.
“With the rotation we have, we’ve got a lot of quality guys in the room that we feel comfortable with that we’re able to rotate and keep guys fresh, especially chasing a guy like Josh Allen who loves to run, who loves to get outside the pocket, what we’re trying to do in this defensive scheme,” Jones said.
“We had players down and things like that, but we’re just a whole different team. Not even just on the defensive end, but offense, special teams and the way we’ve been playing,” linebacker Anthony Hitchens said.
“The way we look at it, this is a whole new ballgame. This is a one-game season. What happened in the past doesn’t matter, win or lose. All that matters is what happens on Sunday. We’re all prepared to play our best ball, and as long as we play our best ball, we have a great chance of winning this game, so I think we’ll be alright.”