The Kansas City Chiefs are heading to their sixth straight AFC Championship Game after knocking off the Buffalo Bills on their turf by a score of 27-24. It was a thrilling playoff game between these two rivals but it didn't matter that this year's playoff match-up between the two took place in Buffalo. The Chiefs still found a way to win.
Unlike last week where the turning point in the game felt pretty obvious, this week's wasn't as easy to pinpoint. Perhaps if Mecole Hardman hadn't fumbled the football into the end zone on 1st-and-Goal to give the Bills the ball back, the Bills' fake punt attempt after the Chiefs' defense forced the offense to go 3-and-out would have been the turning point.
With that fake punt not leading to any Chiefs points, however, I think the turning point came immediately after that.
What was the turning point in the Chiefs/Bills game?
With Hardman's fumble into the end zone, the Bills got the ball back on their own 20-yard line with the chance to move down the field and either tie the game or take the lead. The Chiefs' defense struggled throughout the first three quarters but finally found their groove in the fourth quarter.
On that Bills drive after the Hardman fumble, the Chiefs defense forced a 3-and-out, forcing Buffalo to punt it back to KC. While the Chiefs didn't score on their ensuing drive, the defense prevented the Bills from gaining any sort of momentum from that fumble.
When the Bills offense got the ball back again, the defense struggled to stop them but they eventually did on the KC 26-yard line. This set up a Tyler Bass field goal attempt from 44 yards out that, as we know, went wide right. The Chiefs offense then got the first down it needed to be able to run the clock out and that was all she wrote.
The Chiefs defense shutting the Bills down in the final quarter of the game but especially after that fumble, was the turning point and helped pave the way to another Chiefs playoff victory.