The Buffalo Bills receiver taking in the moment after the 2021 AFC Championship Game is one of many lasting images from the hard-fought games between the Chiefs and the Bills over the past few years.
While the Chiefs have been to three Super Bowls since the 2019 season, winning two, the Bills haven't gotten beyond the AFC title game and have been knocked out of the postseason twice by the Chiefs.
When the teams meet once again at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), the Bills' playoff chances could be at stake. Buffalo sits at 6-6 coming off a bye week and is in 11th place in the AFC heading into the weekend. Three teams that have already beaten the Bills are positioned ahead of them in the conference standings.
"There's definitely urgency. We understand what's ahead," left tackle Dion Dawkins said. "We have to win every week."
Per ESPN Analytics, the Bills enter Week 14 with the toughest remaining strength of schedule, starting with the game in Kansas City. The matchup will mark the sixth time the teams have met since 2020 and the fifth straight contest in Arrowhead Stadium. And if history is any guide, the game should be a memorable one.
• In the teams' five meetings since 2020, the Chiefs have a 3-2 advantage. But the Bills have won the past two regular-season games, while Kansas City has captured both playoff clashes.
• The Bills' defense held the Chiefs to 20 points in each of the past two regular-season meetings. But in the postseason, Kansas City has scored 38 and 42 points.
• The last playoff meeting is one Bills fans won't soon forget. After Buffalo scored a touchdown to take the lead with 13 seconds remaining in regulation, Kansas City marched to kick a score-tying field goal. The Chiefs prevailed 42-36 after scoring a touchdown on the first drive of overtime -- a result that played a part in a rules change where both teams are guaranteed an offensive possession at least once in overtime.
"Kansas City is always a nice, rough stop. A lot of history, I guess a lot of battles, man. A lot of emotions there," Dawkins said.
The Bills enter Week 14 with a 24.7% chance of making the postseason, per ESPN Analytics. Those odds will improve to 37.6% with a win over the Chiefs and drop to 9.2% with a loss.
"These next five weeks are big and excited to come back fresh off the bye week and be able to give it our all for these next five to see what happens," wide receiver Gabe Davis said.
A number of factors -- including inconsistent play, injuries and not being able to close tight games -- have left the team with almost zero room for error in the playoff chase. Turnovers have also played a part, including quarterback Josh Allen throwing an interception in eight straight games.
But Allen has also played a vital role in the team's offensive success, especially over the past two games when he has thrown five touchdowns to two interceptions. In the overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Allen had a season-high 81 yards rushing. The team scored over 30 points against the New York Jets and Eagles.
"That'll win you a decent amount of games, so that right there gives me hope. Hopefully, we're getting guys back healthier," general manager Brandon Beane said on Wednesday.
This key game comes amid a turbulent week with a number of potential distractions for the Bills. Pass-rusher Von Miller turned himself in last week on an arrest warrant for allegations of assault of a pregnant woman. Miller practiced Thursday and Friday and the team has made clear he is available for the game, with Beane saying the team wants to see how the investigation plays out and is following the NFL's lead.
On Thursday, a 2019 speech in which coach Sean McDermott told the team to come together and used the terrorists on 9/11 as an example came to light via a story published by Go Long. McDermott discussed the matter at a team meeting Thursday to clear the air for players who were not there.
But the Bills are prioritizing the challenge ahead.
"We have a very, very important game this weekend and, we got a lot riding on this game and these next few games that we have, so, and that's been the focus," wide receiver Trent Sherfield said.