The way the Bills defeated the Chiefs speaks much about their potential in 2022.

 The way the Bills defeated the Chiefs speaks much about their potential in 2022.

The way the Bills defeated the Chiefs speaks much about their potential in 2022.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri This was the route to win for the Buffalo Bills. Not in a rout highlighted by highlight-reel splash plays. Not while backup players logged pointless time in the fourth quarter of the game. Josh Allen had to make crucial plays, his receivers had to make big catches, and Von Miller had to wreck havoc as Patrick Mahomes tried to work his all-too-familiar brand of magic.

The Bills defeated the Chiefs 24-20 on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City to secure the victory they were looking for. That victory's ultimate source says much more about them than the outcome itself. Buffalo's first four victories this season have been by an average margin of 30 points for three of them. The likelihood of them soundly defeating the Chiefs was low going into the game, therefore it was better for their long-term objectives that it didn't.

The NFL's top team is the Buffalo Bills. They must win matches like this against clubs like this if they hope to still be able to make that assertion at the end of the season.

Allen stated, "I'm happy of our team and how we competed tonight. "We obviously didn't get off to the best start, but the players just kept their heads down, stayed calm, didn't freak out, trusted the game plan, and played situational football to get the win. Coming in here, it was our main objective. We strive to achieve it each and every week, whether it's by one point or one hundred."

Allen made reference to a fumble that occurred on an option throw during Buffalo's opening drive of the contest. At the 11-yard line, Chiefs linebacker Darius Harris recovered the lost possession, ending the Bills' first chance to make a strong statement in a hostile environment. That play might have been a warning sign for the Bills of what was to follow. Instead, it gave rise to even greater hope for this team's potential as it pursues a Super Bowl title.

Of course, when the Bills have dominated their opponents, they have been spectacular. However, they haven't had the best recent record in close games. Prior to their Week 4 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo had dropped seven consecutive one-score games dating back to the beginning of last season (including the playoffs). The Bills' most notable loss during that run of failure was their agonizing 42-36 overtime loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City during the Divisional Round of the playoffs the previous season.

The Bills needed this victory because it improved their record to 5-1, retained them in sole ownership of the AFC East lead, and gave them the upper hand when selecting whether the AFC Championship Game will be held in their stadium in late January. However, the optics of this victory should convey much more about Buffalo. The Bills appeared to have that game in hand until the Chiefs unexpectedly tied the game on a field goal after seizing the ball with only 13 seconds left in regulation, which made that playoff setback in Kansas City all the more upsetting. That memory remains after this triumph.

The moment Miller, Buffalo's prized offseason addition, put pressure on Mahomes to the point where the quarterback threw the game-winning interception to Bills cornerback Taron Johnson with less than a minute remaining, had to be the most satisfying moment of Sunday's game.

Miller, who finished with two sacks, stated, "I know what happened today — we won. "Everything else has already happened. I do not believe that bliss is ignorance, however (desire for redemption after the playoff loss). I wasn't there to play that game with these guys. However, I was present today and saw how hard these guys worked all week and during the offseason to succeed in this environment."

The Bills signed Miller because they believed he could be the last piece in their quest for a championship. The Chiefs also defeated Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game during the 2020 season, so Mahomes had bamboozled them in back-to-back postseasons. Buffalo needed to find a way to pressure Mahomes in crucial situations. The Bills' quarterback has continued to grow as a player, as their offense demonstrated on Sunday. Although Allen offered many thrilling moments, it was his performance in crucial moments that distinguished out in this competition.

Late in the first half, Buffalo was down 7-3 when Allen took his team on a 7-play, 96-yard drive in just 1:13 of play. When Patrick Mahomes put Kansas City in position for Harrison Butker to kick a team-record 62-yard field goal for Kansas City as the half came to a close, Buffalo's advantage from his 34-yard touchdown toss to Gabe Davis was barely surpassed. When Allen received the ball with 5:31 remaining in regulation, the Bills were trailing 20-17. This time, with 1:04 left, he orchestrated a 12-play, 76-yard drive that finished with his touchdown pass of 14 yards to tight end Dawson Knox.

A couple of years ago, Allen wasn't prepared to routinely make those plays. When it mattered last season, he converted them, but Buffalo was unable to stop Mahomes. The Bills' ability to maintain perspective was their finest response to Sunday's result. They are aware that there is a strong possibility they will require the same kinds of plays in the postseason, potentially once more against the Chiefs.

After throwing for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns, Allen stated, "We're just trying to be playoff-caliber." "In the NFL, every game is important. It makes no difference if you are playing a 4-1 or 1-4 squad. When you're on the field, any team can win on a given Sunday, Monday, or Thursday.

Allen said that he was unaware of Buffalo's upcoming opponent because the Bills have a bye week before visiting Green Bay on October 30. He did admit that he was looking forward to some downtime and that playing golf or going fishing was probably on the schedule. A little rest and relaxation won't hurt since the Bills are off to the quick start every team wants. They are aware that their current success will matter more in the postseason the more success they enjoy now.

Since Buffalo triumphed in Kansas City in October of last year, Allen didn't need to mention that this victory was sweeter than others. A 38-20 win in that contest was a rout similar to the Bills' thrashing of the Rams in the season opener this year and their 35-point triumph against the Steelers last week. The viewers of those victories left gushing about what the Bills could be at their peak. After Buffalo's season ended in Kansas City in January of last year, there wasn't the same level of conversation.

Since Miller joined the team, the Bills have a distinct personality. They've been clear about saying they're all-in to win a title, and they've taken some significant actions to support that. But this club should know better than any other that winning titles is not something that happens overnight. You have to work hard for them, and it helps to have a lot of experience in that field.

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