Site: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.Time: 12:30 p.m...

January 23, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.

Time: 12:30 p.m. today

TV: Channels 2, 4

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Line: Bills by 3

Records: Chiefs 13-5; Bills 13-4

Last week: The Chiefs rallied behind Joe Montana in the fourth quarter to beat the Oilers, 28-20, in Houston. The Bills outlasted the Raiders, 29-23, on two Jim Kelly-to-Bill Brooks touchdown passes in subzero temperatures.

Last meeting: The Chiefs ripped the Bills in a regular-season game in Kansas City on Nov. 28, 23-7. Montana, coming off a three-week layoff for an injured hamstring, passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas City held the Bills to 43 yards rushing, intercepted Kelly three times and had four sacks.

The series: The Bills lead, 16-14-1.

BOn the sidelines: The Chiefs' Marty Schottenheimer is in his third AFC championship game (he was 0-2 with Cleveland) and has a record of 5-7 in the postseason. As a seventh-round draft pick by Buffalo, Schottenheimer played linebacker for the Bills from 1965 to 1968. The Bills' Marv Levy (9-5 playoff record) went 31-42 as coach of the Chiefs from 1978 to 1982. Levy is 1-4 against Schottenheimer teams.

What the Chiefs have to do to win: The defense must play at least as well -- and as aggressively -- as it did last week against Houston. If the Chiefs can muzzle the Bills' running game, it will put the burden on Kelly. And Kelly has a tendency to force throws into coverage when pressured. The Chiefs know they can score on Buffalo if they keep mistakes to a minimum.

What the Bills have to do to win: Get another big game out of Kelly, who played one of his finest postseason games last week. Pass protection could be pivotal for the Bills. Even if RB Thurman Thomas is unable to run against the Chiefs, he might be a critical factor in the short passing game against the blitz.

Injury report: Chiefs: WR Willie Davis (thigh), S Kevin Ross (thumb) are questionable; RB Kimble Anders (shoulder), QB Montana (hand), DE Neil Smith (ankle), LB Derrick Thomas (ankle) are probable. Bills: LB Mark Maddox (foot), TE Pete Metzelaars (finger) are probable.

Outlook: This is where home-field advantage is telling. The Chiefs are on the road for the second straight week and had to come from behind in their first two playoff games. The Bills had a scare against the Raiders, but as usual, found a way to win a game they could have lost. The Chiefs will need to play at a higher level than the past two weeks. The Bills must not let it come down to a game-ending drive because they will be facing the master of two-minute offense. And Montana has history on his side.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: CHIEFS AT BILLS

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