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Four weeks ago, it looked like the Buffalo Bills lost their chance to win the AFC after back-to-back losses. However, two three-game win streaks later (one by Buffalo and one by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs), Josh Allen and company are back on top.

The Buffalo Bills are back atop the AFC after Week 13

The 2022 NFL season has already been a wild ride for the Buffalo Bills. After cruising to easy victories vs. the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 and defending AFC regular-season champion Tennessee Titans in Week 2, the team suffered a surprising (and maddening for Ken Dorsey) loss to the Miami Dolphins.

However, the team righted the ship and rattled off a four-game win streak, including a win over the Kansas City Chiefs, to give them a leg up on the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Consecutive losses to the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings followed, and winning the AFC East, let alone the entire AFC, looked like it was slipping out of the Bills’ reach.

Since then, it hasn’t always been pretty, but the Bills have put together another three-game winning streak (against the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, and New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football) to get their record to 9-3.

And with a bit of help from the San Francisco 49ers (beating the Dolphins) and the Cincinnati Bengals (beating the Chiefs) in Week 13, the Bills now, once again, sit at the top of the AFC, thanks to their identical 9-3 record and a head-to-head win over the Chiefs.

Buffalo owes Bengals QB Joe Burrow after his third-straight W over the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes

(L-R) Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott.
(L-R) Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes; Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott | Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images; Billie Weiss/Getty Images

It may be a surprise that the Buffalo Bills are once again in first place in the AFC. But it’s not exactly shocking that the Bengals beat the Chiefs in Week 13 to make that happen. That’s because Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has now beaten Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs three straight times, all by a single field goal.

In Week 17 of the 2021 NFL season (on January 2, 2022), the 9-6 and squarely on the playoff bubble Bengals hosted a red-hot 11-4 Chiefs team. At that point, Burrow’s crew was a mediocre 4-4 in their last eight, while Mahomes and company had won eight in a row.

Despite the differing trajectories, Burrow got the best of Mahomes in a 34-31 instant classic. The Kansas City QB was an uber-efficient 26-of-35 for 259 yards and two touchdowns while building a 28-17 halftime lead. To counter that, Burrow went off, throwing for 446 yards and four TDs while completing 30-of-39 passes, per Pro Football Reference.

That win helped propel the Bengals to the playoffs, where they won two games and met the Chiefs again in the AFC Championship Game.

The Chiefs jumped out to a 21-10 lead at halftime, and it looked like KC would cruise to another Super Bowl appearance. However, Burrow’s side outscored the Chiefs 17-3 in the second half and overtime to give his team a 27-24 victory.

In Week 13 of the 2022 season, guess what happened again? That’s right.

This time, the Bengals actually led at the half, 14-10, but Mahomes and the Chiefs went up 24-17 at the end of the third quarter. Burrows then led an eight-play, 52-yard field goal drive, a 10-play, 53-yard touchdown drive, and a 10-play, 39-yard drive to kill the game’s final 3:19.

So, for those keeping score at home, that’s another matchup, another comeback, and another field-goal win for Joe Burrow over Patrick Mahomes. And the winner is… the Buffalo Bills.


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