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Patrick Mahomes vs. Josh Allen: Going over the QB rivalry ahead of Chiefs-Bills matchup

We take a look at the rivalry between two of the top quarterbacks in the entire NFL.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs will visit the No. 2 Buffalo Bills in the 2024 AFC Divisional round this evening and that means another postseason clash between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

As two of the top quarterbacks of this era, Mahomes vs. Allen has become the premier quarterback rivalry of the NFL, similar to what Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning was in the previous generation. The league has made sure to carve out a primetime clash between these two foes every regular season, knowing there’s a good chance they’ll be meeting again that January in the playoffs.

Below, we’ll take a look at the history of this QB rivalry.

NFL Playoff History

Patrick Mahomes vs. Josh Allen

Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have met six times in their careers and have split those matchups for a 3-3 record. Allen is 3-1 in regular season matchups while Mahomes has triumphed in both of their playoff clashes.

Their first game came in Week 6 of the 2020 season, a 26-17 road victory for the Chiefs where Mahomes threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. They’d meet again that January for the 2021 AFC Championship Game, where Mahomes threw for 325 yards and three TDs in a 38-24 victory that sent KC to its second straight Super Bowl.

Allen would get on the board in Week 5 of the 2021 season in a 38-20 road victory, passing for 315 yards through the air, rushing for 59 yards on the ground, and accounting for four touchdowns. They’d meet again that January in the AFC Divisional round, a 42-36 overtime win for Mahomes and the Chiefs in what many consider to be one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history and the defining moment of this rivalry.

It was one of the wildest finishes to a game in league history as an Allen touchdown pass to Gabe Davis put the Bills on top with 1:54 left, only for Mahomes to hit Tyreek Hill for a 64-yard TD roughly 50 seconds later. Buffalo miraculously took the lead again when Allen zoomed his team downfield and hit Davis for another go-ahead score with 13 seconds left. However, that was just enough time for Mahomes to complete two long passes and set Harrison Butker up for a 49-yard game-tying field goal to send the contest into OT. Getting the ball after winning the coin toss, the Chiefs QB marched his team down the field and hit Travis Kelce for the game-winning TD. The fact that Allen didn’t get a chance to respond sparked a dialogue about OT rules and the league adjusted them that offseason.

Buffalo would go into Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6 of the 2022 season and walk out with a 24-20 victory, a game where Allen fired the go-ahead touchdown to Dawson Knox with 1:04 left in the ballgame. The Bills would triumph once again in their most recent matchup, a 20-17 road victory in Week 14 of this season.

The pressure is on Buffalo in this year’s contest considering it lost the previous two playoff matchups against Kansas City. The Bills are at home this time around and it will actually mark the very first road playoff game for Mahomes. Those narratives should lead to high drama for this showdown of two AFC heavyweights.