We'll all be treated to Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes, part four on Sunday evening, the first playoff matchup in a decade between the NFL's two highest-paid players (by average per year). 

Mahomes has the early 2-1 edge over Allen's Bills, but the most recent contest featured Buffalo thoroughly thrashing Kansas City inside Arrowhead Stadium in October. These teams have combined to win 15 of their last 16 games, including a five-game win streak from the Bills. 

Let's lay out how the Bills can emerge victorious in this colossal, super-hyped matchup against the Chiefs to advance to their second AFC championship game in as many years. These three elements of the game will be key.

The Bills weapons are healthy 

We later learned, in last year's AFC title game, Cole Beasley was playing on a broken fibula. Gabriel Davis injured his ankle in the divisional-round win over the Ravens but stuck it out and played against the Chiefs yet had 0 catches on three targets.

In May, Stefon Diggs made it known on Twitter, he labored through the playoffs with a torn oblique. Don't forget too -- John Brown was not the same after a Week 10 ankle sprain, an injury that limited his explosiveness. In that conference championship game defeat, he had just two grabs for 24 yards. 

This time around, the Bills deep receiver group is drastically more healthy than the collection of pass catchers that took the field inside Arrowhead Stadium last January. And by drastically more healthy I mean essentially no one is nursing an injury heading into this contest. 

Sure, the Patriots secondary was down starter Jalen Mills in the wild card round, but we all got a glimpse of what Buffalo's diverse passing offense can do when all of its targets are at, or very close to, 100%. Of Allen's 21 completions last Saturday, six players had at least two receptions. The Bills aerial attack is now much more than a one-man show starring Diggs. 

In this season's Week 5 victory at Kansas City, Allen completed 15 passes to eight different skill-position players. For as dynamic as Diggs is, Buffalo's passing offense operates best when the wealth is spread. 

In last year's AFC title game, Diggs had two grabs for 12 yards at the three-minute mark in the third quarter. At that point of the game the Bills had 15 points. Now the Bills are more apt to accumulate yardage and score points even if Diggs doesn't have a monster outing.

The Bills defense can win without blitzing

In Week 5, the Bills faced 63 Mahomes drop backs and did not blitz him once. Zero blitzes. It was one of Mahomes' least-efficient outings as a professional -- at the time, it marked only the fourth time he had a contest with a quarterback rating under 80. The Bills won running away, 38-20. 

Buffalo's anti-blitzing game plan worked exquisitely. 

In the 2020 regular-season, rain-soaked loss to Mahomes' Chiefs, Buffalo blitzed him once in 34 drop backs. And the Chiefs superstar quarterback was really good -- 21-of-26 with a 8.7 yards-per-attempt average with two touchdowns and no picks. 

Interestingly, during a game in which Allen and Buffalo's offense sputtered for much of the contest, and the Chiefs rushed 45 times at 5.3 yards per pop, the Bills were within seven points with under six minutes to go. 

Even when Mahomes has been effective, the Bills have mapped out how to, at the very least, keep it competitive with the Chiefs. Don't blitz. 

Well, wait, what happened in the AFC title game last season, then? Buffalo blitzed Mahomes eight times (!) on 39 drop backs. Seems low, but 20.5% is a far cry from 2.9% and 0%. On those blitzes in that contest, Mahomes completed six of eight passes for 59 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. 

And check the Bills overall blitz and pressure rates from the 2020 and 2021 regular seasons. 

Blitz RateOverall Pressure RateSacks

2020 Bills




2021 Bills




On the surface, the pressure rate and sack totals aren't drastic. But considering the Bills have clearly been content dialing back their aggression regarding extra rushers this season, it's a noticeable difference. 

It also indicates Buffalo has been better getting home with four rushers, a vital aspect to either limit Mahomes or the Chiefs offense as a whole. And it bodes well for the Bills on Sunday night.  

The Bills offense is in an advantageous situation

Since the start of the Bills five-game win streak, the offense has been hotter than suicidal wings in Buffalo. Its Expected Points Added (EPA) Per Play is 0.216. For context, the Packers finished the regular season with the NFL's highest EPA at 0.222.

Has the Chiefs defense improved after the team's 3-4 start? Ab-so-lutely. But since Week 15 -- yes, counting the wild-card round -- the Chiefs defense has allowed an EPA per play of 0.020, the 17th-best in football. That figure is right in between the Browns and Seahawks defenses during the regular season. 

If we're just talking Allen drop backs, Buffalo's EPA per play has been 0.296. And the Chiefs defense has surrended an EPA per drop back of 0.086, which is slightly worse than the defense of the Chargers on drop backs during the regular season. 

Enough of the numbers crunch. In short, the Chiefs have gotten better defensively. But that group has only drifted near league average recently, and the Bills offense is currently clicking on all cylinders.

The Chiefs are going to move the ball and score points in this one. But the Bills are more equipped to move it more efficiently and score more points. 

*all advanced stats courtesy of PFF or TruMedia,