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Monday, October 18, 2021

I’ve got a feeeeeeeling… It’ll be Bills & Bolts in AFC title game


Both QBs have eyes on a deep January run.

Both QBs have eyes on a deep January run.
Illustration: Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills and L.A. Chargers are on a collision course that looks like it could wind up culminating in an AFC Championship Game matchup in January. I know we’re barely one-quarter through the season, but these teams are at the top of the conference as it stands after their Week 5 performances.

Buffalo went into Kansas City on Sunday night and gave the Chiefs more than they could handle. Josh Allen only completed 57 percent of his passes, and still threw three touchdowns, and ran for another against K.C. Allen took full advantage of a struggling Chiefs defense. And that’s me being nice; this Chiefs D is not playing well at all. When the offense is clicking, they can get by, but if the offense is going to play the way it did against the Bills, the Chiefs are in huge trouble.

I don’t know what happened with the Chiefs offense. That light switch I’ve talked about before was not clicking last night. Patrick Mahomes threw the ball 54 times in this game. I get that it’s tough to stay with the run when you get down early, but goodness, 54 pass attempts?! The Bills defense held the Chiefs to 20 points and forced three Mahomes turnovers.

On the other hand, the Chargers had a battle against the Cleveland Browns that went back and forth, with L.A. coming out on top, 47-42. Justin Herbert looked like a legit MVP candidate against the Browns defense, passing for 398 yards and five total TDs (4 air, 1 ground). Had the Chargers not goofed the game up against the Cowboys and had two TDs called back due to penalties, they’d be sitting pretty at 5-0 right now.

These two 4-1 teams have looked like the class of the conference through five weeks. Both teams have young quarterbacks playing like MVP candidates and have built enough around them to make a legitimate run this season. Since they don’t have a regular-season meeting scheduled this year, we’ll have to wait until the postseason for a Bolts-Bills matchup to take place. And with these QBs and offenses, that game is looking increasingly like it’ll be the AFC Championship Game.

There is still a lot of season left, but these Chargers and Bills have shown me a ton so far. We all know in today’s NFL; a team can be great in every other aspect of the game. But if they don’t have that franchise QB, the chances of making a legitimate run at a title are limited at best. The Ravens have a chance at 4-1 tonight against the Colts on Monday Night Football. Either way, I’m still envisioning a scoreboard with BUF and LAC on it in the AFC.

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