Patrick Mahomes’ presence
No matter what the hype of any Bills-Chiefs matchup has brought in the last year or so, the game has never been about Josh Allen versus Patrick Mahomes in some sort of showdown of bright young quarterbacks. If you believe the national press, especially in 2020, you would have fallen for the idea that they were on some sort of equal football as bright NFL stars.
That’s not even remotely the case.
Even last year, Mahomes was light years ahead of Allen in terms of overall ability, personal achievements, and team ceiling. This year, the disparity is even greater. Mahomes is once again on an MVP pace with 14 touchdowns (the most in the league) through only four games and has the Chiefs sitting second overall in points and yards in the NFL. Mahomes also leads the NFL with a QBR of 82.9 (or if you like passer rating better, it sits at 119.6 for Mahomes).
Allen, meanwhile, is having a fine year. There’s nothing wrong with Allen’s numbers whatsoever with 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The Bills are 3-1 and are dominating opponents defensively. But Allen’s QBR is down at 57.6 (it was over 81 last year) and his passer rating is 97.0. His completion rate has dropped by six percentage points as well. Simply put, he’s not playing at the level he did last year, but fortunately for Buffalo, they haven’t needed Allen’s heroics quite yet.
It’s possible that K.C. is the sort of opponent that will energize Allen to rise to the occasion, but the presence of Mahomes here on the side of the Chiefs means the best overall player at the most important position is in red and gold. That should go a long way toward the confidence index.