Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes battles Josh Allen, Bills in playoff road debut

Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes will finally face rabid, boisterous and unfriendly fans in a postseason setting.In his sixth season as an NFL starting quarterback, Mahomes plays in his first playoff road contest on Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Buffalo Bills in the AFC divisional round at Orchard Park, N.Y.Mahomes has played in 12 home games and three Super Bowls during the postseason. But he’s never once had to get on a plane and fly to play in a raucous road environment while leading the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC championship game appearances.Until now.”It kind of is what it is,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of games at home, at Arrowhead Stadium, and things have fallen that way. Now we get to go on the road to a hostile environment, and one I have not played in with fans in the stands. But it’s what you want to do when you grow up watching these games.”Mahomes’ lone visit to play the Bills occurred during the 2020 season when stadiums were empty due to COVID-19. Kansas City won 26-17.Since that contest, the Chiefs and Bills have met five times, all in Kansas City over a span of 34-plus months.The Chiefs twice eliminated the Bills from the playoffs — 38-24 in the 2020 season AFC title game and again the following season, 42-36 in overtime in the divisional round.But Buffalo’s 20-17 win this season at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 10 proved big, eventually leading to the Bills being the No. 2 seed and relegating Kansas City to No. 3.Buffalo is relishing the opportunity to battle the Chiefs in its stadium after all the frequent flyer miles earned with trips to Kansas City.”(Mahomes) might wanna come here, man, the many times we played there, he might need a change of scenery,” Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “He might be happy to come here. Never know.”Temperatures in the Buffalo area are projected to be the mid-20s, which is certainly better weather than both teams dealt with in the wild-card round.Kansas City’s 26-7 home win over the Miami Dolphins was the fourth-coldest game in NFL history with the temperature at minus-4 degrees at kickoff.The Bills’ had their game moved back a day to Monday because of a massive snowstorm. Workers cleared the field but left snow packed throughout the stands for the 31-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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