As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to visit Orchard Park to take on the Bills in the Divisional Round of the NFL's postseason, they should plan on leaning into the same offensive core that's provided some positive momentum late in the season: wide receiver Rashee Rice, tight end Travis Kelce, and Pacheco.
While the Bills are a familiar opponent that seemingly finds a way of playing K.C. at least once annually, the truth is that the Bills haven't yet been properly introduced to Pacheco despite the fact that he's got two full NFL seasons under his belt. Thus, Sunday's meeting will be interesting to see how the Bills handle Pacheco carrying the load.
The Bills and Chiefs have met twice in Pacheco's playing history but this is his first featured performance.
The Bills did cross paths, albeit briefly, with Pacheco in 2022. The Week 6 affair was in the midst of Pacheco's period of adjustment to the league, a stint in which he'd earn plenty of carries one game and basically sit out the next. In a loss at Arrowhead to the Bills, Pacheco played only 10 snaps and had 2 carries for 9 rushing yards.
Earlier this year, the Bills walked away with another close win at Arrowhead, but Pacheco was on the mend from having surgery to clean up his shoulder. In both games, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the lead back with just a bit of relief from Jerick McKinnon but the results were hardly impactful.
The truth is that a healthy Pacheco as the lead back is going to make a significant difference in what the Chiefs can do offensively against Buffalo. That's especially true given that the Bills are nursing numerous injuries at the position, from Matt Milano to Tyrel Dodson to Terrel Bernard.
Pacheco had 1,179 yards from scrimmage and 9 touchdowns during the regular season for Kansas City.