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Patrick Mahomes sees Brady-Manning rivalry forming between his Chiefs, Josh Allen's Bills

In life, sometimes the greatest hurdle is also the most persistent.

It took Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls four tries to advance past their foil, the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons, before winning their first title in 1991. Peyton Manning's Colts famously needed three postseason showdowns with Tom Brady's New England Patriots before they were able to defeat him and move on to win their first Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Josh Allen's Buffalo Bills are hoping the same will be true for them. They meet the Kansas City Chiefs -- the team that has ended their season in two of the last three years -- on Sunday. And this time, instead of being forced to travel to Kansas City, the Bills will host the Chiefs at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.

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Fans of semi-recent NFL history will be quick to point out the parallels to the Brady-Manning rivalry of the 2000s. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sees the similarities and is embracing the challenge.

"We've played in a lot of big games," Mahomes told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPN. "I'm excited for the challenge. I grew up watching those [Brady-Manning] games and remember how many memories I have from that, and hopefully we can play in these great games as well and give memories to the kids that come up behind us."

In this modern scenario, Mahomes reprises the role of Brady, a two-time Super Bowl winner looking to continue his dominance over an AFC rival. Allen, meanwhile, is Manning, who also needed the rivalry to shift to his home stadium before taking down Brady's Patriots in thrilling fashion.

When the Colts topped the Patriots, it was as if they'd slain Goliath. The Chiefs aren't quite the same monster, but they do present quite a challenge. They're the defending Super Bowl champions, and just knocked off Buffalo's AFC East rival, Miami, in relatively convincing fashion amid frigid temperatures at Arrowhead Stadium.

Allen's Bills, meanwhile, have traveled a bit of a bumpy road that has smoothed out in the last six games, all victories for Buffalo. Even if the football isn't the most aesthetically pleasing, they're hot, and are hoping to ride their streak to a triumph over the Chiefs, a team they've dominated in the regular season, owning a 3-1 record in Allen vs. Mahomes matchups.

Unlike the battle between Jordan's Bulls and Isiah Thomas' Pistons, and even Brady's Patriots and Manning's Colts, Allen and Mahomes share more than mutual respect. They're legitimately good friends. And as incredibly competitive individuals, each would love nothing more than to defeat the other.

"When you compete against your friends, you almost want to win even more because of it," Mahomes said. "Josh is a great dude. I respect the way he plays football and just the guy that he is. But when two guys that are ultracompetitive that are friends off the field go up against each other, we obviously both want to win. We see each other in the offseason, and you want to have a little bit of those bragging rights."

Allen's Bills own home-field advantage this time around, marking Mahomes' first postseason game played outside of Kansas City or a neutral site. That alone will be a challenge, especially considering how well the Bills -- owners of an 8-1 home record this season, including playoffs -- perform at Highmark Stadium.

Allen's Bills have also defeated the Chiefs once already this season, making it two straight playoff matchups in which Buffalo entered as the most recent regular-season victor.

"The Bills are a great challenge," Mahomes said. "I think everybody understands that they've gotten my number a lot of times. We've been lucky enough to get them in the playoffs, but they beat us earlier this year. So we understand that we're going to have to play our best football to win the game, especially at their place, but it's not about ending someone's season for us. It's about just advancing, trying to find a way to survive and advance and get to the next round, and whatever that takes this weekend we're going to try to do and try to go out there and win a football game."

As the saying goes, it's tough to beat a team twice. Buffalo will hope to accomplish the feat this weekend -- and exorcise a menacing demon in the process.

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