KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Josh Allen threw for 233 yards with touchdowns running and throwing, the Bills kicked a go-ahead field goal with 1:54 to go and, thanks to a crucial penalty on Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney, Buffalo held on to beat Kansas City 20-17 on Sunday.
The game was tied 17-all when the Bills (7-6) took over with about seven minutes left. They converted on three third downs, one courtesy of a penalty on Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson, before Tyler Bass kicked his 39-yarder for the lead.
But two pass plays that Buffalo called just before the two-minute warning — both incomplete — left time for the Chiefs (8-5) to work.
And moments later, they thought they'd taken the lead when Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce over the middle, and the high school QB threw far across the field to Toney, who ran the rest of the 49 yards for a touchdown.
Only one problem: Toney had lined up offside. The penalty wiped out the play.
The Chiefs still had 1:12 left to get within range of big-legged kicker Harrison Butker, but Mahomes threw incomplete on his next two passes, and his fourth-and-15 throw across the middle of the field found nothing but grass.
James Cook had 58 yards rushing and caught five passes for 83 yards and a score for Buffalo, which finally proved it could win a close game. The Bills had been 2-6 in games decided by six points or fewer, including a pair of overtime losses, and they had lost a lead in the final two minutes in three of their losses.
Mahomes finished with 271 yards passing and a touchdown with an interception, though he was pressured all day by a healthy Buffalo pass rush. Rashee Rice had seven catches for 72 yards and the score.
It was the fourth loss in six games for the Chiefs, whose chances of the No. 1 seed in the AFC are quickly slipping away.
The Chiefs continued a recent track record of lousy starts. Mahomes was intercepted by A.J. Epenesa on their first series, they punted on each of their next three, and it wasn't until the closing minutes of the first half that Kansas City was able to sustain a drive that ended with Jerick McKinnon's touchdown run.
By that point, the Bills had already reached the end zone twice.
The first touchdown came when Cook was unchecked coming out of the backfield, caught a flick from Allen and breezed 25 yards for the score. The second came at the end of a 73-yard drive, when Allen kept the ball over the right side and was stood up at the Kansas City 4, only for the entire Bills offense to gather behind him and shove into the end zone.
If the Eagles have the “tush push,” the Bills offered their “team trample.”
Buffalo added a field goal out of halftime, but momentum quickly tilted Kansas City's way. Mahomes led a nine-play, 75-yard march that ended with Rice's touchdown catch, then their defense forced back-to-back punts, before another drive ended with Butker's tying field goal with 11 1/2 minutes to go.
Buffalo lost Epenesa in the first quarter, shortly after he had batted a pass into the air and picked it off. ... FS Micah Hyde left late in the first half with a stinger. He was replaced by Taylor Rapp in the second half.
Buffalo plays Dallas next Sunday.
Kansas City visits New England next Sunday.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Dave Skretta, The Associated Press