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Buffalo Bills Links, 1/25: Bills fall to Chiefs in AFC Championship

Recapping the good, the bad, and the ugly from the AFC title game.

The Buffalo Bills saw their quest to advance into their first Super Bowl in 27 years come to an end at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. In today’s edition of the Bills daily links, we offer up observations and lessons learned, provide analysis and grade the Bills on their 38-24 setback vs. Kansas City.

We analyze Buffalo’s conservative playcalling in the red zone, discuss how the Bills had no answer defensively for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kansas City’s high-octane offense, hear from Josh Allen, Jerry Hughes, and Micah Hyde on how they will use this loss to get better in 2021, explore why, despite the setback, the future is still bright for the Bills, and much more!


Recapping the Loss to the Chiefs

Bills fall to Chiefs in AFC Championship Game - WGR 550
“The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season came to a disappointing close Sunday night in the AFC Championship Game, as they were bested by the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-24, at Arrowhead Stadium,” writes Jon Simon.

Bills had no answer for Chiefs in AFC Championship Game – The Athletic
Against the Chiefs, the Bills were nowhere close to the team that had people believing they could win the Super Bowl this year. (Subscription required).

Chiefs outclass Bills 38-24 in AFC Championship Game - Democrat & Chronicle
After a great start, the Bills fell apart and lost the AFC title game to the Chiefs.

Game story: Buffalo Bills’ season ends with loss to Chiefs in AFC title game - newyorkupstate.com
Patrick Mahomes sliced up Buffalo’s secondary with ruthless efficiency as the Chiefs rolled to a 38-24 victory.

Defense wishes it had more for Allen: ‘He doesn’t have to put the whole team and organization on his shoulders’ | wgrz.com
The Bills showed their frustration for the first time in months in a 38-24 loss to Kansas City in the AFC championship game.

Quarter by quarter: Bills’ offense can’t keep pace with potent Chiefs | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Don’t miss Mark Gaughan’s quarter-by-quarter look at the Buffalo Bills’ 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

Final score, recap, highlights: Chiefs 38, Bills 24 - Democrat & Chronicle
Recapping Buffalo’s first AFC title game appearance in 27 years.

Bills Today | 5 numbers to know from the AFC Championship game - BuffaloBills.com
Here are three things to know about the Bills for Monday, Jan. 25.

Report Card, Observations, Analysis

Report card: Bills’ coaching staff has worst performance of year against Chiefs - Democrat & Chronicle
Sal Maiorana grades the Bills after their 38-24 loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Bills go conservative in AFC title game; Chiefs win big to advance to Super Bowl (Observations) - newyorkupstate.com
Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs’ offense score five touchdowns, gain nearly 450 yards to beat Buffalo.

Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Chiefs - WGR 550
“What was a really good and fun season for the Buffalo Bills came to a sudden and disappointing close on Sunday evening in Kansas City, losing to the Chiefs, 38-24 in the AFC Championship Game,” writes Sal Capaccio.

Report Card: Sean McDermott got schooled by his mentor in Bills’ loss | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Jay Skurski grades the Bills after their 38-24 AFC championship game loss to Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

10 observations: Conservative coaching, maddening defensive effort doom Bills in AFC championship loss | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
The Chiefs took advantage of soft defense by the Bills and baffling decisions by head coach Sean McDermott to settle for field goals.

Three Observations: Bills just aren’t on Kansas City’s level - WGR 550
“The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season came to a disappointing, unfulfilling, and flat-out depressing end Sunday night after falling to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-24 in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium,” writes Jon Simon.

Top 3 things we learned from Bills at Chiefs | AFC Championship game - BuffaloBills.com
Chris Brown takes a look at the red zone production, Travis Kelce and difficulties on third down.

Analysis: Chiefs use their world-class speed to burn Bills with big plays | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“The Buffalo Bills’ defense managed to keep the Kansas City Chiefs’ world-class speedsters in front of them Sunday night. It didn’t matter,” writes Mark Gaughan.

Slaughter: Super Bowl so close, yet so far away for Bills - Democrat & Chronicle
The Bills seemed Super Bowl-bound in the first quarter, and then Kansas City happened.

Jason Wolf: Josh Allen reflects on game that got away: ‘No doubt in my mind that we will be back’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“Josh Allen’s dream matchup against Tom Brady in Super Bowl LV ended with a splash of cold water in Kansas City,” writes Jason Wolf.

Josh Allen on Bills settling for FGs: ‘We had three downs to get in there prior, and we didn’t do our job’ - NFL.com
“The formula to defeating the Kansas City Chiefs starts with winning a shootout. Settling for field goals won’t get it done,” writes Kevin Patra.

Sean McDermott: Bills will do everything in offseason knowing Chiefs are ‘measuring stick’ - newyorkupstate.com
McDermott on conservative play calls and season-ending loss.

Offense Gets Conservative vs. Chiefs

Conservative coaching, lack of discipline doom Bills – The Athletic
McDermott called the Chiefs a measuring stick. In the AFC Championship Game, his team measured up short. (Subscription required).

McDermott panned for puzzling decisions to kick field goals - WGR 550
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott kicked two field goals, rather than going for it on 4th-and-short. Social media was not impressed.

Buffalo Bills’ Sean McDermott explains decision to settle for field goals: ‘I wanted to get points’ - ESPN.com
Bills coach Sean McDermott’s decision-making in Sunday’s AFC Championship loss to the Chiefs drew questions, particularly about a pair of field goals Buffalo attempted within Kansas City’s 10-yard line.

Looking Ahead to 2021

Vic Carucci: Even after AFC title game loss, Bills’ future remains bright | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“Here’s the good news for the Buffalo Bills. This was not a one-time thing. They’ll be back here again,” writes Vic Carucci.

‘We will be back’ | Bills players react to loss in AFC Championship game - BuffaloBills.com
Josh Allen, Jerry Hughes, and Micah Hyde share their thoughts on Sunday’s season-ending defeat.

2020 NFL season in review - What went wrong, what’s next for eliminated playoff teams - ESPN.com
The Bills could be back, but how many more chances at a second Super Bowl will Aaron Rodgers get? NFL Nation sorts through the issues facing those ousted from the playoffs.

Bills to pick 30th in NFL Draft; updated first-round order | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“The Bills will select 30th in the NFL Draft following their loss to Kansas City in the AFC championship game.”

What to know: Buffalo’s 2021 schedule, draft picks, opponents - Democrat & Chronicle
Buffalo enters the offseason with the No. 30 overall pick and a few million dollars in cap space.

Odds and Ends

Could AFC title game have been defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s last with Bills? | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“With the Bills’ 38-24 loss against the Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC championship game, Frazier could have an advantage because he’s immediately available,” writes Vic Carucci.

Stefon Diggs stays on field to watch Chiefs celebrate AFC championship - Democrat & Chronicle
“The All-Pro wide receiver ostensibly wanted to soak in the moment to use it as motivation for next year,” writes Ryan Miller.

Bills’ Stefon Diggs stays on field after AFC Championship loss until Sean McDermott comes back for No. 1 receiver (Watch) - newyorkupstate.com
Sean McDermott came to get his No. 1 receiver following the team’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Bills arrive home from Kansas City to awaiting fans | Multimedia | buffalonews.com
The Buffalo Bills arrived back in Buffalo early Monday morning after their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

Players thank Bills Mafia for their support, vow to come back strong | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
“A number of Bills players and team president Kim Pegula took to social media late Sunday night to thank the fans.”

‘We still Billieve’: Fans turn out at airport to welcome home Bills | Buffalo Bills News | NFL | buffalonews.com
Hundreds of Bills fans waited in frigid temperatures to greet the team at the airport.

Featured on Buffalo Rumblings

Takeaways: Scattered Buffalo Bills have no answers for Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season ended at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday night.

Buffalo Bills 24, Kansas City Chiefs 38: Rapid recap and notes - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills couldn’t stop the Chiefs.

Opinion: For a team built on scoring in 2020, Buffalo Bills had problems with that in AFC Championship - Buffalo Rumblings
Some shootout.

Report: Seattle Seahawks interested in Ken Dorsey for offensive coordinator job - Buffalo Rumblings
Brian Schottenheimer is gone.

Leslie Frazier, Eric Bieniemy both assembling coaches for Houston Texans head coach job - Buffalo Rumblings
The winner of today’s game may get more than a trip to the Super Bowl by not going home yet.

Report: Buffalo Bills’ winning ways kept Brian Daboll from Los Angeles Chargers job - Buffalo Rumblings
As had been speculated.