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Patrick Mahomes discusses his first road playoff game: It's going to be hostile

The Kansas City Chiefs are heading east to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night in a highly-anticipated AFC divisional playoff game. It will be the latest installment of a quarterback rivalry that could define the 2020s -- Patrick Mahomes battling Josh Allen for a spot in the conference championship game, against the winner of Ravens - Texans in Baltimore.

Much has been made of Mahomes playing in a road playoff game for the first time. All 15 of Mahomes' previous playoff games have been held at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, or on neutral ground because the Chiefs had made the Super Bowl. Mahomes on Wednesday addressed his mindset entering the Chiefs' most important game of the 2023 season -- which will determine whether Kansas City's championship defense will continue.

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Mahomes is excited: Buffalo is one of the NFL's best environments

An elite competitor like Mahomes will not be afraid of any hostility from Bills fans in the stands on Sunday -- even though this will be the first time Mahomes has played at Highmark Stadium with fans present (due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the 2020 season). The two-time MVP is embracing the challenge -- and the trash talk that comes with it.

"I've been lucky enough to play a lot of games at home at Arrowhead Stadium," Mahomes said Wednesday. "But now we have a great opportunity to go on the road, play in a hostile environment. ... Even though I know it's going to be hostile and there are going to be people talking trash, I'm excited for it because it's one of the best environments in football, and you want to do that when you grow up watching these games, play in the best environment and see what it's like."

The Chiefs had a "down" regular season by their standards, finishing with an 11-6 record and the #3 seed in the conference. That is the main reason why Mahomes and Travis Kelce will not be playing pitch-and-catch at Arrowhead on Sunday, as has become customary. But Kansas City had one of the best road records in the NFL this season -- including a win over the Miami Dolphins in Germany, the Chiefs went 7-2 away from Arrowhead this year.

"We know it's going to be a great challenge for us but our mindset is we're going to prepare ourselves this week to go out there to win the football game, and that never changes," Mahomes said.

Reid has no doubts: Mahomes will be ready

Head coach Andy Reid has guided the Chiefs to unprecedented playoff success, teaming up with Mahomes and Kelce to bring two Super Bowl championships back to Kansas City in the past five years. Reid works day in and day out with his quarterback, and he has zero doubt that the two-time Super Bowl MVP will be fully prepared for the Bills -- and the elements.

Gametime temperature on Sunday is expected to be around 15 degrees Fahrenheit, without factoring in potential wind chill. Buffalo has opened as a slight favorite against Mahomes and Kansas City -- and with Allen on the other side, fans could be in for one of the most entertaining games of the 2023 NFL season on Sunday night.

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