AFC Championship Game preview: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Photo: Bryan M. Bennett

The top two seeds in the AFC square off as the Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium with a trip to Super Bowl LV on the line.

With the winner facing either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Green Bay Packers, who play in the NFC Championship Game in the early game Sunday, VAVEL takes a look at the matchup between the Bills and Chiefs.

Bills' road to the AFC Championship Game

Buffalo finished the regular season 13-3 and won the AFC East for the first time since 1995. They were the second seed in the AFC playoffs and held off the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 in the Wild Card Game in what turned out to be the last game of Philip Rivers' career.

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The AFC Divisional round saw the Bills shut down the Baltimore Ravens 17-3, knocking out reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson in the contest to advance to the conference championship game for the first time in 28 years.

Chiefs' road to the AFC Championship Game

With a league-best 14-2 record, Kansas City earned the top seed in the AFC playoffs. With the league's new playoff format of seven teams per conference, the Chiefs got the conference's only bye into the divisional round.

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Facing the upstart Cleveland Browns, Kansas City held on for a 22-17 victory, playing the final quarter plus without Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a concussion, to advance to the AFC Championship Game for a third straight season.

Previous matchup

Meeting in Week 6, the Chiefs travelled to Buffalo and picked up a 26-17 victory over the Bills on a rescheduled Monday night game. Mahomes was 21 of 26 for 225 yards and two touchdowns with 36 yards rushing.

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a monster game on the ground, rushing for 161 yards on 26 carries while Travis Kelce caught both of Mahomes' touchdown passes. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw for just 122 yards while the Bills were held to just 84 yards rushing.

Injury update

The Bills are relatively healthy with defensive tackle Vernon Butler (quadriceps) and wide receiver Gabriel Davis (ankle) the only injury concerns as both are listed as questionable.

Mahomes was cleared to play after being in concussion protocol all week, but the Chiefs have other concerns. Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (ankle) is out while Edwards-Helaire (ankle, hip), Le'Veon Bell (knee), Bashaud Breeland (concussion, shoulder), Rashad Fenton (foot) and Sammy Watkins (calf) are all listed as questionable.

Playoff history

This is the fourth all-time playoff matchup between Buffalo and Kansas City with the Bills having won two of the previous three meetings. The 1966 AFL Championship Game would determine who would play Green Bay in Super Bowl I and the Chiefs ran out 31-7 winners behind 227 yards passing from Len Dawson.

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Their next playoff game was the 1991 AFC Divisional matchup in which the Bills blew away the Chiefs 37-14. Jim Kelly threw two first-half touchdowns as Buffalo built a 17-0 halftime lead and never looked back on their way to the first of four straight Super Bowl appearances, Kelly passed for 273 yards and three scores, Thurman Thomas ran for 100 yards and Andre Reed had 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

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The 1993 AFC Championship Game was their third and most recent matchup. Joe Montana was now in a Kansas City uniform and had led the Chiefs to victories over Pittsburgh and Houston the previous two weeks, but the Bills knocked him out in the third quarter with a concussion. Thomas ran for a team-record 186 yards and three touchdowns as Buffalo dominated 30-13.

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