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Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 42-36 Win Over the Bills

Here are some major takeaways from the Chiefs' second playoff game of the 2021 season.

On Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Buffalo Bills in the final of two AFC Divisional Round games. To fit the theme of the weekend, both teams went back and forth in what was a thrilling battle. In the end, it was the Chiefs that managed to pull away and secure the win to advance to the AFC Championship Game by a final score of 42-36. On the other side, it's the Bills will now begin their offseason and look ahead to the 2022 campaign. 

Here are four takeaways from Sunday's game.

1. As expected, Patrick Mahomes showed up to play

It seems impossible for the legend of Patrick Mahomes to grow at this point, but it did so yet again on Sunday against the Bills. From the opening quarter of the game, the MVP-winning quarterback made it clear that he was ready to remind the NFL of who he was: the best player in the game. Not only was he the most dynamic rushing threat for the Chiefs, but he also made several vintage plays through the air that only a couple (or possibly just one) of signal-callers in the league can make. Mahomes's stat line may not have been the craziest to start, but he had a very good game and did more than enough for the Chiefs to advance in the playoffs. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce also showed up big down the stretch.

2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire showed some pop

After missing some time due to a shoulder injury — yet another ailment that kept him off the field in his two-year career — Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to contribute a couple of big runs for the Chiefs on Sunday. His athletic profile and big-play abilities have both been questioned since he was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft but on Sunday, he looked about as explosive as he has since he joined the Chiefs. That's a major plus for Kansas City moving forward, as continuing to have success running the ball against soft zone coverage and light boxes is paramount.

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3. The Chiefs missed Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Fenton

A lot of context got lost in the ending of Sunday's game, but the absences of Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Fenton were certainly felt by the Chiefs' defense. Josh Allen carved up the Chiefs' secondary and connected with wide receiver Gabriel Davis on multiple occasions, taking advantage of miscommunications and a general deficiency of talent on Kansas City's back end. With Mathieu in concussion protocol and Fenton's back still bothering him, the Chiefs will have to hope for good news heading into their rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals. If neither player is able to go next week, Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase could be in for big days.

4. Josh Allen is here to stay

Under almost any other circumstance, I'd pick another Chiefs player or coach-specific storyline to write about. With that said, Allen was spectacular and deserves to be covered. The Chiefs have dominated the AFC for the past few years but if Allen and the Bills have anything to say about it, that may not always be the case. The Bills' electric quarterback made play after play on Sunday, falling to the same fate that Mahomes saw a few years back: not getting the ball in overtime. With Allen's talent, coaching staff and surrounding players, there's a good chance he gets another shot at defeating the Chiefs in the playoffs soon. He's to good to fade away, and there's little doubt in this writer's mind that he's here to stay. He'll be a thorn in Kansas City's side for years to come.

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