clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Takeaways: Scattered Buffalo Bills have no answers for Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season ended at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday night. The Bills never settled into their groove against the Kansas City Chiefs, and were outclassed in the team’s biggest game in more than 25 years.

Here are my takeaways from the game.

Two possessions to two possessions

With 5:49 left in the third quarter, the Bills were inside the Chiefs’ 10 down 24-12. A field goal moves the lead from 12 to 9. That’s still a two-possession ballgame. The Bills kicked a field goal. Head coach Sean McDermott did the same thing at the end of the first half. The Chiefs had the worst red zone defense in the NFL this season, and Buffalo chose not to take another shot at them. McDermott has been so good all year about when to go for it, and twice in the AFC Championship he turtled.

Red zone scoring percentage

Speaking of scoring in the red zone, the Bills couldn’t seal the deal most of the night. On their first trip following a muffed punt, they scored on the first play from the 3. Before the end of the half, they kicked a field goal after six plays inside the red zone. On their next drive, they also kicked a field goal. Then it was an interception at the 12 after a bobbled pass to John Brown. They couldn’t get it done on the short field, but conversely the Chiefs kept scoring touchdowns every time they got the chance.

No answers on defense

Even when they were down on the scoreboard, the Chiefs offense was clicking. Travis Kelce had his way with the Bills’ defense, catching 13 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets. Tyreek Hill had nine catches for 172 yards. At one point, the Chiefs had 21 unanswered points and moved the ball 239 yards on those three drives. Back to the drawing board for defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier and Sean McDermott.

Can’t give Mahomes chances

Speaking of no answers, on the same second-quarter drive, the Bills had a free rusher and Matt Milano straight up missed. On the next play, it was A.J. Epenesa who missed. Both of them need to get Mahomes on the ground or at least hit him and make him think about it next time.

Shut down Diggs

With 18 minutes left in the game, Stefon Diggs had two catches for 12 yards. He finished with six catches for 77 yards on 11 targets but Allen didn’t feed him like he has at other points this year when the offense needed a spark. The KC secondary played very, very well all night.

What’s next for Josh Allen?

Was the moment too big for him? Was it a one-off bad game? Was it a great defensive game plan from KC? We went into this year thinking we wouldn’t get answers about the team or Allen until the playoffs, and then he had an MVP season. He showed us he’s the long-term answer at the position. But in the biggest game of the year, he reverted back to 2019 Josh; sailing passes, staring down receivers, two near-picks in the first half. It took Allen a long time to settle down in the game. (Did he really settle down in the game?) He finished 28-of-48 for 287 and two TDs with a pick and added 88 yards on the ground.