KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs will make their third appearance Monday appearance in a four-week span tonight - a rare occurrence that symbolizes the times.
The Chiefs have only had one game out of the national spotlight since the season began.
Head Coach Andy Reid and company flip the page to the next chapter with a trip to Buffalo. Kansas City will be greeted by a 4-1 Bills squad looking to take their best shot at the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs were taught a lesson by the Las Vegas Raiders a week ago: everyone is bringing their a game against you. It does not stop. No matter the week or the opponent's record.
Here are the four key points Kansas City will need to come away from Buffalo with a decisive victory and a much needed tiebreaker over another playoff contender.
1. Stretch Singletary to the sidelines
Running back Devin Singletary gives balance to the Bills offense. He is a north and south runner that is similar to former Chief Knile Davis. He has good straight line speed but his ability to maintain speed laterally leaves a lot to be desired. The key against him is to force him to bounce runs outside and continue to stretch him to the boundary. He will be rendered ineffective and easy to take away their run game. He is at his best on dives and straight line runs to reach top end speed.
2. Get Allen to hold on his back foot and two hops
Josh Allen has been commended this year for his improvement in accuracy. A key part of that is his ability to get the ball out once his back foot hits or on his two hops. Allen is a timing quarterback. His two hops after his back foot hits on the drop reset the timer in his head and his footwork. If he still has the ball longer than that he is more susceptible to sacks and very inaccurate throws. He also will start to panic a little bit and make some poor decisions.
3. Move the pocket for Mahomes
The Bills average around 17 blitzes a game. The Bills front four struggles to get pressure on their own and they have to manufacture pressure with a heavy blitz. Buffalo runs a cover two concept under Leslie Frazier but employees a unique amount of blitz. Kansas City can help Patrick Mahomes and their offensive line settle in by moving the pocket early to get into a rhythm and wear the blitz down quickly by missing their mark and chasing.
4. Get them to bite on the play-action
The Bills are solid against the run and screen passes. The Chiefs will likely have tough sledding to establish a consistent ground game based on their prior five performances. What they can use though is the playing pass to create voids over the second level of the defense. The Bills crash hard up field and will routinely leave the middle wide open. Kansas City can take full advantage of that in hopes the Bills back off in their blitzes and intense run support.
The other key will be for the Chiefs to remain assignment sound defensively unlike some of their blown coverages last week. But these are the four keys above to come away with a comfortable victory in Buffalo.