The Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills competed in a divisional playoff game on Sunday, January 21, to determine who will proceed to the AFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs ultimately won the game, with a final score of 27-24. Sunday’s divisional game marked the first time that the Bills have played a home playoff game against the Chiefs at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, since the rivalry between their quarterback, Josh Allen, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes began.
The Chiefs will next take on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Sunday, January 28. The winners will go on to play either the Detroit Lions or the San Francisco 49ers — depending on the results of the NFC Championship Game — in Super Bowl LVII in Las Vegas on February 11.
The Chiefs and the Bills were due for a rematch after their controversial regular season game in December 2023. While the Chiefs were poised to win after Kadarius Toney scored a touchdown from a lateral pass thrown by Travis Kelce, the referees called a penalty for offensive offsides, reversing the points. The Bills went on to defeat the Chiefs, with Mahomes, 28, getting visibly upset on the sidelines, yelling at the officials and throwing his helmet.
Mahomes later took out his frustration on Allen, 27, telling him after the game, “Wildest f—king call I’ve ever seen. Offensive offsides on that play, man, f—king terrible.”
Soon after his outburst, Mahomes apologized for his interaction with Allen and his behavior on the sidelines. “I regret acting like that,” he said on Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio in December 2023. “But more than anything, I regretted the way I acted toward Josh after the game because he had nothing to do with it.”
He added: “I was still hot and emotional, but you can’t do that, man. It’s not a great example for kids watching the game, so I was more upset about that than I was about me on the sidelines.”
Mahomes acknowledged that his passion for the game got the better of him in the heat of the moment. “I care, man,” he explained. “I love it. I love this game, I love my teammates, I want to go out there and put everything on the line to win. But obviously, can’t do that. Can’t be that way toward officials or really anybody in life.”
Mahomes noted that he had learned his lesson in the aftermath of the ordeal. “It’s tough when you play a hard-fought game and the game comes down to stuff like that,” he said. “But it’s part of it, man. It’s part of the game. You’ve got to just learn from it and try to be better from it, be better as a person and be better as a player. It’s something that I’ll learn from in my career and try to be better the next time the situation arises.”
As for Allen, he had no hard feelings about his post-game conversation with Mahomes. “He reached out to me, and I was just like, ‘It’s football, it’s a game of emotion.’ I know he didn’t mean anything by it,” Allen told reporters in December 2023. “I know the cameras kind of caught the last few seconds of what we were talking about. But he’s an ultimate competitor. He wants to win and that’s why he is who he is.”
The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls in 2020 and 2023 since Mahomes became their quarterback, while the Bills have yet to make it to the Super Bowl with Allen.