Bills vs. Chiefs Draws Highest TV Rating for NFL Divisional Playoff Game in 5 Years

Adam WellsJanuary 25, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to pass during the second half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Sunday's thrilling AFC divisional-round game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs was a huge ratings success. 

Per Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith, Kansas City's 42-36 overtime win was the most-watched divisional-round matchup in five years with an average audience of 42.7 million viewers. 

According to Smith, the rating peaked at 51.7 million in overtime. 

The most recent divisional-round contest with a higher rating was between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 15, 2017. 

The Packers-Cowboys game may have been the best fourth-quarter duel in a playoff game until the Bills-Chiefs game. 

Trailing 28-13 going into the fourth quarter, Dallas scored 18 points to even the score at 31 with 35 seconds remaining. Aaron Rodgers hit Jared Cook for 36 yards on 3rd-and-20 to set up Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal as time expired. 

The Bills-Chiefs contest took things to a completely different level. They combined for 34 points between the fourth quarter and overtime, with 31 of those points coming after the two-minute warning. 

Buffalo began the scoring onslaught when Josh Allen hit Gabriel Davis for a 27-yard touchdown on 4th-and-13 with 1:54 remaining. The Bills added a two-point conversion to take a 29-26 lead. 

Kansas City regained the lead 52 seconds later when Tyreek Hill ran past the entire Buffalo defense after catching a pass for a 64-yard score. Davis caught his fourth touchdown pass of the game with 13 seconds left in regulation to put Buffalo back on top 36-33. 

Patrick Mahomes completed passes to Hill and Travis Kelce to set up Harrison Butker's game-tying field goal as time expired in regulation. 

After winning the coin toss in overtime, the Chiefs capped off the game-winning 75-yard touchdown drive when Mahomes hit Kelce in the end zone. 

The victory sent Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game for the fourth consecutive season. The Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday looking to reach the Super Bowl for the third straight year.