The Buffalo Bills went into a hostile environment at Arrowhead, battling a raucous crowd and a torrential downpour to ultimately knock off the Kansas City Chiefs. In a “measuring stick” game for a Buffalo team looking to avenge their gut-wrenching AFC Championship loss from a season ago, the Bills left no doubt that they’re the new team to beat in the conference.
Here are the four biggest takeaways from Buffalo’s Week 5 domination.
Josh Allen puts the team on his back
On Sunday night, Josh Allen must have channeled some of the lightning that was striking throughout the greater Kansas City area, because his performance was nothing short of electric. Allen completed just 15 of his 26 pass attempts, but they resulted in a staggering 315 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 12.1 yards-per-attempt and 21 (!!!) yards-per-completion.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense put together multiple long drives, but Allen and the Bills offense answered quickly with explosive play after explosive play. Allen connected on six passes of 20-plus yards during the game. On the ground, Allen gained 59 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. The Bills designed runs for Allen and the Bills to get a numbers advantage against an overmatched Kansas City defense and they executed to perfection.
Allen engineered a signature 12-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that ate 7:51 off the clock in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Bills. Allen showcased all aspects of his game on that drive – extending plays, pushing the ball downfield and even hurdling a defender to earn a critical first down on third-and-short to move the chains, before firing an eight-yard missile to Emmanuel Sanders for the veteran’s second touchdown of the game.
All in all, it was a statement win and an iconic performance by Allen, who proved not only that the moment wasn’t too big for him, but that he’s just as deserving of claiming the title as NFL’s best quarterback.
Bills defense dominates, knocks Patrick Mahomes off his game
Everyone knew that the Bills’ offense had an advantageous matchup against a struggling Chiefs’ defense, but defending Patrick Mahomes and the surging Kansas City offense was a major question mark entering the game. After spending an offseason crafting a roster and scheme to combat them, the effort paid off.
Buffalo didn’t blitz Mahomes a single time, allowing their revamped front four to generate pressure while playing two-high in the secondary to limit Tyreek Hill’s explosive plays and keep Travis Kelce in check. Buffalo’s defensive line tallied two sacks and hit Mahomes eight times.
Hill and Kelce took over both games the Bills and Chiefs played in 2020, but in Week 5, that dynamic duo was held to 15 catches for 133 yards and a score. More importantly than the volume numbers is that neither had an explosive play of 20-plus yards.
The Bills defense forced four turnovers, including an interception that safety Micah Hyde returned for a touchdown.
Dawson Knox puts the NFL on notice
We’ve talked about Dawson Knox’s emergence in just about every takeaways piece this season, but the third-year tight end earns his own section in this recap yet again. Knox had a monster game, reeling in three catches for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. Knox made a huge impact on the game, recording catches of 23, 53, and 41 yards. He scored on the 53-yard grab after securing the catch and scampering 16 additional yards to the endzone, but it was the 41-yarder that was most impressive. Knox elevated, adjusted his body and high-pointed the ball to make the difficult contested catch.
It was a play that the Ole Miss product would have never been relied upon to make a year ago, but it’s a testament to his development and growth during the offseason that’s made him the flashiest and most productive tight end in the NFL through the first five games of the 2021 season.
Greg Rousseau dominates
The Bills drafted Greg Rousseau in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the Kansas City Chiefs in mind. And the rookie had a stellar performance, finishing with five tackles, one sack, one hit, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup that he intercepted.
Rousseau was a force against the run, making several stops himself, in addition to sealing his edge and forcing the Chiefs’ runners back inside so his teammates could clean up. He generated a handful of pressures as a pass rusher and made a critical interception in the third quarter on the 10th play of a Chiefs’ drive inside the redzone.
Rousseau has not just been a pleasant surprise to start Buffalo’s season – he’s been a huge key to the team’s defensive success. Brandon Beane knew that the Bills’ front needed length and power to take the unit to the next level, and through five games, Rousseau has been even better than advertised.