Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes walks on the sideline during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Two teams so absent from championship history for so long until recently face off for the AFC championship.

The Kansas City Chiefs won their first NFL title since 1970 when they beat San Francisco in last year's Super Bowl. When they host Buffalo, the Chiefs will take on a franchise that went from the 2000-2016 seasons without even getting to the playoffs.

What we get Sunday is a matchup of dynamic offenses and overlooked defenses, the top two teams in the conference. Kansas City (15-2) has the confidence of a reigning champion and a charisma few NFL teams can match. Buffalo (15-3) has an undying belief that after years in the doldrums, the formula is on hand for a return to the Super Bowl.

Here's what we figure to see.


Some Bills fans are worried about their team's ability to run the ball because Buffalo ranked 20th and didn't do much on the ground in the playoffs. It would be a boost to get Devin Singletary going behind a solid line anchored by center Mitch Morse and right tackle Daryl Williams. Of course, Josh Allen is one of the biggest threats as a runner among all quarterbacks, and he will use his feet and bulk to advantage.

Allen isn't as proven a passer yet as Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, but Allen's third pro season has been superb. He has learned to read the field and make smarter decisions while also utilizing a deeper receiving corps than some recognize.

Sure, All-Pro Stefon Diggs is the primary target and will cause havoc for Chiefs cornerbacks Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland, Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed. Allen to Diggs is the key offensive combination and one of the league's best, but Cole Beasley, John Brown, Isaiah McKenzie and rookie Gabriel Davis can be playmakers.