Can Kansas City contain Baltimore's rushing attack?
The Chiefs' offense did not play their best game against the Bills. They allowed 24 points, the first such occurrence since a Week 13 loss against the Green Bay Packers. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's bend-don't-break approach has worked for most of the season, but Buffalo broke Kansas City's defense at times.
The Chiefs allowed a season-high 182 yards on the ground to the Bills. While Buffalo has ridden running back James Cook hard, quarterback Josh Allen's legs did plenty of damage as well. That was the most yards Kansas City has surrendered in a playoff game since 2018 when the Derrick Henry-led Tennessee Titans racked up 202 yards against the Chiefs.
The truth is, Buffalo ran the ball an obscene 39 times against the Chiefs, so their yards per attempt amounted to 4.7 yards. The Ravens come into the AFC championship game not only with a similar rushing workload but a much better yard-per-attempt average. The Ravens average 5.5 yards per attempt on the ground against the Texans, with three different players registering double-digit carries and at least 40 yards.
Allen and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson both run the ball plenty but succeed in different ways. Allen is more likely to run through a defender, powering himself for a few extra yards. Meanwhile, Jackson speeds past the opposition, making defenders miss en route to large gains. With the trio of Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Dalvin Cook, Baltimore has plenty of options to carry the ball.
The film will reveal a way to hinder Baltimore's rushing attack like the San Francisco 49ers did in Week 16. Kansas City needs to find that revelation before their trip to M&T Bank Stadium.