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Brady-Manning rivalry between his Chiefs and Josh Allen’s Bills is something Patrick Mahomes sees developing.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle in life is also the one that persists the longest.

Before winning their first championship in 1991, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls had to make four trips past their rival team, the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons. The Colts, led by Peyton Manning, famously required three playoff matchups against the New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady, to overcome him and get to their first Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

The Josh Allen-led Buffalo Bills are aiming for the same result. On Sunday, they take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who have terminated their season in two of the previous three years. And this time, the Bills will face the Chiefs at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, rather than having to fly to Kansas City.

Football fans who follow semi-recent NFL history will quickly draw comparisons to the 2000s Brady-Manning rivalry. Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Chiefs, is accepting the challenge after seeing the parallels.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mahomes said, “We’ve played in a lot of big games,” per ESPN. “I look forward to the task. I have a lot of memories from watching those [Brady-Manning] games as a child, and maybe we can participate in these fantastic games too and leave a legacy for the children that come up after us.”

Mahomes plays Brady again in this contemporary setting, the two-time Super Bowl champion hoping to maintain his superiority against an AFC opponent. Allen is Manning, who similarly needs the rivalry to go to his home stadium in order to defeat Brady’s Patriots in an exciting manner.

It seemed as if the Colts had defeated Goliath when they defeated the Patriots. Though they’re not nearly the same monster, the Chiefs still pose a significant threat. The reigning Super Bowl winners recently defeated Buffalo’s AFC East foe, Miami, in a very convincing manner at Arrowhead Stadium in bitterly cold weather.

In contrast, Allen’s Bills have seen some ups and downs along the way, but in the previous six games—all of which Buffalo has won—the situation has improved. They are looking to carry their hot run to victory against the Chiefs, a club they have trounced in the regular season, and enjoy a 3-1 record in Allen vs. Mahomes matches, even if the football isn’t the most visually appealing.

Allen and Mahomes are more than just rivals, unlike the conflict between Jordan’s Bulls and Isiah Thomas’ Pistons, or even Brady’s Patriots and Manning’s Colts. They really are close buddies. And since they are both very competitive people, they would both want nothing more than to beat each other.

“When you compete against your friends, you almost want to win even more because of it,” Mahomes said. “Josh is one awesome guy. I like both the man and the way he plays football. But when two very competitive individuals who are also buddies off the pitch face off, it goes without saying that we both want to win. We get to hang out during the off-season, and you want to share in the glory a little bit.”

This time around, Mahomes’ first playoff game will be played away from Kansas City or at a neutral site, thanks to Allen’s Bills’ home-field advantage. That in and of itself will be difficult, given how effectively the Bills play at Highmark Stadium (8-1 at home this season, including in the playoffs).

Buffalo enters as the most recent regular-season winner in both of Allen’s Bills’ postseason matches, the Bills having already beaten the Chiefs once this season.

Mahomes said, “The Bills are a great challenge.” “I believe everyone is aware that they have often obtained my number. They defeated us earlier in the season, but we were fortunate to see them in the playoffs. We are aware that we must play our best football to win, particularly because it is at their location, but our goal is not to spoil someone else’s season. It’s all about moving forward, figuring out how to stay alive, go on, and make it to the next round. This weekend, we’re going to do our best to accomplish that and attempt to win a football game.”

It is difficult to defeat a team more than once, as they say. This next weekend, Buffalo hopes to pull off the feat and drive out a terrifying monster in the process.

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