KANSAS CITY, MO (WROC) — 13 seconds. That’s how much time separated the Bills from hosting their first AFC Championship since 1994.
In that time, Patrick Mahomes found his top two targets in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on back-to-back plays to go 44 yards in just 10 seconds to allow Harrison Butker to kick a 49-yard field to send the game into overtime. The NFL’s number one defense needed to make one play, but fell short.
“Defense we had to make a stop and we weren’t able to do it,” said Jordan Poyer. “It’s a tough feeling man just a really tough feeling. Hard to put in words. It sucks, it’s something we’re going to have to live with and something we’re going to have to learn from.”
The Bills defense played by far their worst game of the season. They allowed 42 points and 552 yards of total offense which were the most given up all year.
The Leslie Frazier-led unit was unable to get any takeaways and only forced the Chiefs offense to punt twice on eleven possessions. It was an all-around rough night for a unit that had been dominant all year.
“You have to tackle well against this offense, they’ve got great speed,” said Sean McDermott. “A five-yard catch can turn into a 50 yard run after catch. You saw the one when we were in 2-man and Tyreek made a play and then he took it to the house. They challenge you defensively because of the speed they have on offense.”
For most of the night, the Bills defense kept everything in front of them and made the Chiefs methodically move the ball down the field. But late in the fourth quarter, the game plan fell apart with Tyreek Hill outran the Bills secondary for a 64-yard touchdown to take a 33-29 lead.
“I feel like we limited them most of the game on those big explosive plays and then they just got out the gate,” said Micah Hyde. “We take pride in not doing that and that’s why it hurts even more just cause we were able to allow them to do that.”
It was a completely different game from their Week 5 matchup defensively. The Bills defense forced four turnovers and never let the Chiefs offense get into a rhythm.
It’s a disappointing end to a season for a unit that was stout and played at an elite level all year. Except in those final 13 seconds.