After their 2022 epic, Mahomes and Allen were expected to meet many more times in the post-season and before their latest match-up, some pondered whether they could develop a rivalry like legendary quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
This was Allen’s best chance yet to get one over his off-season golf buddy in the play-offs as, such has been the Chiefs’ recent dominance, Mahomes’ 16th play-off game was his first on the road.
Buffalo had 37 minutes of possession, 14 more than the visitors, with 27-year-old Allen rushing for two touchdowns, but Mahomes made the most of his opportunities with the ball, passing for 215 yards and two touchdowns for Travis Kelce.
After a cagey start, Allen first got into the end zone in the second quarter, and the Chiefs cut the deficit to 10-6 with their second field goal.
The lead then changed hands five times over the next 20 minutes, beginning with Kelce diving into the corner for a 22-yard score, before Allen charged in to give the Bills a 17-13 lead right before half-time.
Mahomes, 28, needed just three minutes of the third quarter to lead the Chiefs downfield and back into the lead through Kelce’s second touchdown, which took the pair past Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for the most TD connections in play-off history (16).
Allen fired a 13-yard laser to Khalil Shakir to cap a Buffalo drive lasting more than eight minutes and, right at the start of the fourth quarter, Isiah Pacheco barged over to put the Chiefs back in front.
That set up a tense finish and Buffalo turned over the ball on downs before Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman fumbled while reaching for the end zone.
Buffalo breathed a sigh of relief as the Chiefs failed to recover a fumble by Allen and the Bills kept the drive going to set up a 44-yard field-goal attempt with less than two minutes left.
But Tyler Bass sent the kick wide right, just as Scott Norwood did as the Bills suffered the first of four straight Super Bowl defeats in 1991, and their latest loss to Kansas City extends their wait to return to the NFL’s title game.