From coaches to players, history runs deep in AFC Championship matchup between Chiefs, Bills

Kansas City Chiefs
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It is no secret that the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs have a history.

From playoff matchups in the AFC Championship game, to a trade that brought 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes to Kansas City.

Sunday’s matchup will also include individual matchups between head coaches and players.

For starters, much has been made about Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s “coaching tree”. Reid has had an influence on many head coaches and coordinators throughout the league and Sunday, he faces off against one of his former assistants.

“He deserves Coach of the Year,” Reid said when asked about Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott.

The pair worked together in Philadelphia when Reid was head coach. McDermott started as an assistant and moved his way up to defensive coordinator.

“Very organized, very smart and very tough I would tell you are the primary characteristics,” Reid said when asked about what made him believe McDermott could be a head coach.

McDermott was fired by Reid in 2010, two years before his departure to Kansas City.

“Those are moments that you go through in life that you say, ‘I came out better because of it,'” McDermott said. “Andy knew that. He did that because he knew it was the best thing for me. He knew the situation in Philadelphia and I respect him for it.”

McDermott added that he learned from that experience and uses it to help his staff.

“Even to this day to say that a guy is my mentor, professional mentor, I think its just incredible. I would hope that I would have that same effect on coaches that are around me later on in their career,” McDermott said. “Maybe when I’m done, they can turn around and say, ‘Hey, you know what I learned a thing or two from Sean.'”

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2019, file photo, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, left, encourages quarterback Josh Allen as he warms up before an NFL football game Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Allen and Daboll are overseeing an offensive renaissance in Buffalo in which the suddenly pass-happy Bills are among the NFL’s most explosive teams three weeks into the season. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

McDermott’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been a rising name in the head coaching carrousel. He also spent one year as the Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2012.

That year, Kansas City finished with a 2-14 record and was ranked 32nd in points per game. A stark contrast to now, with the Bills ranked second in both points per game and yards per game.

On the field, Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins was drafted by the Bills fourth overall out of Clemson in 2014.

Watkins spent three years with the Bills before he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. He spent one year in L.A. before becoming a free agent and signing with the Chiefs. He hailed in 17 touchdowns and nearly 2,500 yards in his three years with the Bills.

Watkins Tweet from 2017

On the Bills side of the field, a familiar face returns to Kansas City. Center Mitch Morse makes his return to Arrowhead since he departed for Buffalo in 2019.

“I’m sure flying into MCI will be a little bit weird,” Morse said. “Arrowhead will be loud as it always is for opposing teams and it will be a great environment for some good football.”

Morse was drafted by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft out of the University of Missouri and spent four years with the team.

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