KANSAS CITY, MO (WIVB) – Settling for field goals isn’t the way to beat the Kansas City Chiefs and their high-powered, explosive offense they have on the other side.
The Bills experienced that in a 38-24 loss in the AFC Championship game on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium as Sean McDermott played it safe in a few situations kicking a pair of field goals inside the Chiefs’ 10-yard line instead of taking a shot at the end zone.
Now that’s not the sole reason the Bills lost this game, but it is a contributing factor.
With 11 seconds left in the first half, the Bills had 4th and goal at the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. Tyler Bass made a 20-yard field goal there to cut the lead, 21-12 at halftime.
Then with 5:49 left in the third quarter the Bills had 4th and 3 at the Chiefs’ 8-yard line and they had Bass kick a 27-yard field goal that made it 24-15, Kansas City.
On their next drive, the Chiefs went 75 yards on four plays to score one of two straight touchdowns after that Bass field goal.
After the game I asked Sean McDermott if he thought about going for it in those situations.
“I did, I thought about it in both occasions really. Maybe if I had to do it all over again I would have went for maybe one of them but the one before the half for sure I wanted to get points. We were having trouble coming up with points and I wanted to at least have something to show for it going into half especially knowing they were getting the ball after half and so I’ll look back at that and I’ll go back and reevaluate that especially the one after half there. As an entire team we’ll learn from this experience,” McDermott explained.
“That’s coach’s decision. We had three downs to get in there prior and we didn’t do our job. Lack of communication, lack of just execution down there and it falls on my shoulders,” Josh Allen said when asked if he had an input on going for it in those situations.
Allen also had his first career red zone interception early in the fourth quarter that also contributed to the Bills’ struggles on offense.
“Hats off to them, that’s a heck of a team, they had a heck of a game plan going into it. We didn’t execute and I didn’t execute how I should have. I didn’t perform well enough for this team and when you’re going against the reigning Super Bowl champs who were 15-1 and the No. 1 seed at Arrowhead and you don’t have your A-game you’re not gonna win the game,” Allen said.
“Just a couple decisions early on trying to press, I think in the second half we kind of got things going a little bit better but our red zone efficiency, you know settle for field goals when you’ve gotta score touchdowns against these guys. That’s basically it.”
Allen threw for 287 yards, two touchdowns and that interception. The Bills wide receivers had trouble getting open and the offensive line struggled as Allen was constantly under pressure. He was sacked four times but it certainly seemed like more as the game was happening. So it wasn’t just settling for those two field goals that added up to this loss but it’s something that just like last year’s playoff loss in Houston, this will motivate them.
“Every game situation that you’re in you learn from it. This one’s not gonna be fun watching over, it’s not fun falling a game short of the Super Bowl but one team had to win, one team had to lose. We didn’t play good enough to win tonight. It’s gonna fuel us and I got no doubt in my mind that we will be back,” Allen said.
“This is a team that fought hard until the end, a team that loves each other and we’re still young and we’re only gonna get better. That’s one takeaway I get out from this. We’re close and I know the results weren’t good tonight but I’m super proud of our team, we fought the entire season and we bonded together.”