One of the most memorable images from last year’s AFC title game was Stefon Diggs, one of the last Bills players to leave the field, watching the confetti fall at Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs celebrated making another Super Bowl.
The Bills and Chiefs will meet once again in Kansas City. Only this time around, it’s in the divisional round even though this matchup has a feel of a championship game. The Bills beat the Chiefs in week five on the road, 38-20 and Diggs says the emotions of that moment after the AFC championship game have kind of worn off.
“Just going back to that place I would say we played them earlier in the year. I would have had that feeling earlier in the year more than anything, but being in the position that we are in now we’re grateful for the opportunity to be in the show, to be in the playoffs,” Diggs said after practice on Wednesday.
“We’ve had our share of our bad with our good. I feel like this team has been built off a lot of character. That’s more driven me up to this point than a photograph.”
But the Bills haven’t forgotten this is the team that knocked them out of the postseason a year ago as they were one win away from making the Super Bowl.
“I think at the end of the day we don’t want to have that feeling that we had there last year. We know our season ended there last year and now we have to do everything in our power to put our foot forward and make sure that it doesn’t end there this year and that’s our main goal is to go out there and win one game as it is their’s,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said following practice on Wednesday.
“It’s two really good football teams going at it and I’m sure they’re excited for the opportunity as we are. Not many teams are playing this late in the season so to be playing meaningful games like this in January it’s all you can ask for.”
Even though the Bills dominated the Chiefs in their building back in week five, a lot has changed since then. Both teams are on a roll. Buffalo has won five straight, including a 47-17 win over the Patriots in the Wild Card round. The Chiefs are also coming off a big win in their first playoff game with a 42-21 win over the Steelers. After starting the season 3-4, Kansas City closed out the regular season 9-1.
So, none of the Bills were surprised they’d see the Chiefs again.
“I had a feeling if we wanted to get to the Super Bowl we were gonna have to beat them. And here we are some x amount of weeks later in that position for a great opportunity to go play our best football,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said on zoom.
“Yeah everybody knew that. The Chiefs are a hell of a team, they got all the talent in the world, they’ve been playing at a high level, they’ve been to the Super Bowl twice, they’ve got a hell of a quarterback, hell of receivers, good defense, they’re a good team. It’s something we look forward to as far as the challenge and putting ourselves in the position to have success,” Diggs explained.
And even though the Bills came away with a win over this team earlier in the season, the stakes are much higher this time around as it’s win or go home in the postseason.
“I think a lot of guys had that loss in their mind all offseason, really kind of fired them up throughout the offseason and kind of kept that energy going into the season, obviously remembering what happened last season,” Poyer said about the loss to the Chiefs in last year’s AFC title game.
“Nobody wants to go home yet, great opportunity against that same opponent. We gotta come ready to play, gotta execute at a high level but yeah the loss stuck with a lot of us over the offseason, you know coming into this season and even up to now.”