Harsh weather that hit Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City led the NFL to suspend Sunday night's showcase game between the Buffalo Bills and host Kansas City Chiefs for more than an hour at halftime,
That forced the teams to play a marathon contest that lasted more than four hours and ended with the Bills recording a convincing 38-20 victory in a battle of AFC heavyweights that ultimately could determine homefield advantage in the playoffs.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed 15 passes in 26 attempts for 315 yards and ran for 59 yards yards on 11 carries, including a hurdle over L'Jarius Sneed to pick up a crucial first down in the fourth quarter. That kept alive a 12-play series that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, giving the Bills an 18-point lead with under 6 minutes remaining.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was stifled throughout by Buffalo's bend-but-don't-break defensive approach. He was 33-for-54 for 272 yards and was intercepted twice.
The Chiefs (2-3) began the game with a 17-play drive but could only come away with a field goal, thanks to pressure on Mahomes that forced two straight incompletions, leading to a rare fourth down for Kansas City, which had faced only nine fourth downs for the season coming in.
That's nine fourth downs in four games.
So a win for the Buffalo defense, to be sure, was followed by a touchdown drive in which Allen ran three times for 42 yards, including the final play, a 9-yard burst on a read-option.
The Bills missed on a chance to add to the lead, however, after a tremendous hit by Siran Neal knocked the ball loose from Byron Pringle on the ensuing kickoff return and the Bills recovered at the Kansas City 34.
But a holding penalty on Dion Dawkins that wiped out a 17-yard gain by Zack Moss and an egregious intentional grounding penalty on Allen on third down took the Bills out of field-goal range, forcing a punt.
That set the Chiefs up for a go-ahead touchdown drive that Mahomes finished off with a 5-yard pass to Pringle.
The Bills answered right back, however, going 75 yards on just five plays and regaining the lead when Allen rifled a 35-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders.
Buffalo's added to its lead after stopping the Chiefs' offense for the first time, going 62 yards to set Tyler Bass up for a 30-yard field goal to make it 17-10.
The key play in the series was a 61-yard pass to Stefon Diggs on third-and-long. Diggs appeared to hesitate after catching the pass, as if he thought the play had been blown dead, and that enabled Daniel Sorensen to catch him for a touchdown-saving tackle.
Late in the second quarter, the Chiefs went for it on fourth-and-5 and were denied when safety Jordan Poyer broke up a pass intended for Travis Kelce.
From there, Buffalo again showed its big-play ability when it scored two plays later, Allen heaving a 53-yard pass to Dawson Knox to finish off the quick drive with 1:16 left in the half.
Alas, that left a little too much time on the clock to prevent the Chiefs from responding, which they did when Harrison Butker kicked a 54-yard field goal with 2 seconds to spare.
Throughout the first half, the Bills avoided their trademark blitzes and rushed Mahomes with just their four down linemen, dropping seven into coverage.
The strategy worked as the Chiefs gained 231 yards and owned a 19:07 to 10:53 advantage in time of possession but had just 13 points to show for it.