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Buffalo Bills Links, 1/26: Bills know Chiefs are their measuring stick

Plus, the lessons the 2020 Bills can learn from their 1988 counterparts.

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The Buffalo Bills took their fans on a tremendous ride during the 2020 NFL season, advancing into the AFC Championship game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs. In today’s edition of the Bills daily links, we discuss why the Bills know the Chiefs are their “measuring stick” for success in the AFC, and how Buffalo will use the loss as motivation and “fuel” this offseason.

We also hand out positional grades following Buffalo’s 38-24 setback, discuss how Kansas City compressed the pocket and made Josh Allen uncomfortable, analyze why the Bills’ pass rush failed to harass Patrick Mahomes, dive into why the offense was unable to get going against the Chiefs, and assess why Buffalo’s lack of a ground game finally came back to bite the team in the AFC title game.

We reassure fans that despite the loss and the hurt they’re feeing, they should still celebrate what the team accomplished this year, hear from the 1988 Bills on the lessons that team learned and fueled them to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, break down the news that wide receiver Cole Beasley played the entire postseason with a broken bone in his leg, and much more!

Bills Know Chiefs are their “Measuring Stick”

Buffalo Bills made jump, but Chiefs remain their ‘measuring stick’ in AFC - Buffalo Bills Blog- ESPN
The Bills will use their AFC title game loss as “fuel” this offseason as Sean McDermott & Co. work to make the changes needed to catch Kansas City.

The beginning of a journey | Josh Allen, Bills look ahead after memorable season -
The Bills believe this run to the AFC Championship game will provide fuel for the team to achieve its ultimate goal next season.

Vic Carucci: Bills must ‘find a way’ to get better of gold standard | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“...they’ve put a bull’s eye on a new gold standard: the Kansas City Chiefs,” writes Vic Carucci.

Josh Allen on Year 3: I proved Bills ‘didn’t make a mistake by drafting me’ -
Josh Allen made a tremendous stride in his third season, leading Buffalo to the AFC Championship Game.

From the Locker Room: Bills at Chiefs - WGR 550
The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season came to an end with a 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Positional Grades and Analysis from AFC Title Game

Position grades: Josh Allen faced a lot of tight windows vs. K.C. corners | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Kansas City’s physical cornerbacks were the unsung heroes in the Chiefs’ 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills,” writes Mark Gaughan.

Jim Kubiak: Chiefs compressed the pocket to make Josh Allen uncomfortable in AFC title game | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense put Bills QB Josh Allen in positions to do things that he wasn’t accustomed to,” writes Jim Kubiak.

Analysis: Bills’ pass rush was not quite championship-caliber vs. Chiefs | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Patrick Mahomes was sacked just once and hit just twice in the Chiefs’ 38-24 victory over the Bills,” writes Mark Gaughan.

Bills offense fails its biggest test of the season - WGR 550
The Buffalo Bills needed a big performance on Sunday from the offense to be able to out-score the Kansas City Chiefs offense, but for a second time in 2020, their efforts were all for naught.

Bills gave up most yards to tight ends this season, and Chiefs’ Travis Kelce took advantage | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Kelce finished with 13 receptions – a record for most receptions in a championship game – for 118 yards and two touchdowns,” writes Miguel Rodriguez.

What we learned from snap counts in Bills’ AFC championship loss, game ball and more | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“There weren’t many attractive options for the Bills’ game ball after they were outclassed by the Chiefs,” writes Jay Skurski.

Upon Further Review: Running game failures finally catch up to Bills against Chiefs | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“For much of the 2020 season, the Buffalo Bills were content with their running game being an afterthought,” writes Jay Skurski.

Bills’ Josh Allen said this part of Chiefs loss didn’t sit right with him -
Allen: “I’m disappointed in myself.”

Bills Gave their Fans Reason to Celebrate

It sure was a great run by Allen, Bills in 2020 - Democrat & Chronicle
Bills fans are hurting after the 38-24 loss to the Chiefs, but 2020 was a great season, one that should be celebrated.

Erik Brady: Even in heartbreak, our unbreakable bond with Buffalo Bills goes on | Local News |
Erik Brady shares a Facebook post from his nephew that he says “expresses the sentiment of so many of us who have lived through this odd couple of a football season conjoined to a global pandemic.”

The Big Picture: Joy and hurt are all part of the journey - WGR 550
The Buffalo Bills gave their fans a great ride in 2020, but the season ended suddenly on Sunday in Kansas City. The loss will hurt, and that’s a part of a sports fan’s journey.

Bills from 1988 share words of wisdom on AFC title game loss – The Athletic
The 1990s Bills might not have accomplished so much without lessons learned from their first appearance, also a loss. (Subscription required).

Cole Beasley is a Warrior

Cole Beasley says he played entire postseason with a broken leg - Democrat & Chronicle
The Buffalo Bills’ All-Pro told reporters Monday he gutted out the NFL playoffs on a broken fibula.

Bills’ Cole Beasley broke fibula in Week 16, and played in postseason anyway | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“There was no way I was gonna to miss a playoff game,” Beasley said.

Bills’ Cole Beasley has been playing on partially broken fibula -
Beasley suffered the injury in Week 16 vs. New England Patriots.

Cole Beasley played through broken fibula in playoffs - WGR 550
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley slowed down at the end of the year, and we now know why, as the veteran told reporters he was playing through a broken fibula after suffering the injury in Week 16.

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley played in postseason on partially broken leg - Buffalo Bills Blog
Wide receiver Cole Beasley said he played in Buffalo’s three postseason games on a partially broken fibula, an injury he suffered in a Week 16 win.

Bills WR Cole Beasley played through broken fibula during playoffs | News 4 Buffalo
“If there was a ‘toughness’ award, it would probably go to Cole Beasley...” writes Heather Prusak.

Cole Beasley played through a broken fibula to finish his career season -
Bills WR Cole Beasley had a season of career highs and finished it while playing through a major injury.

Are Leslie Frazier and Ken Dorsey Gone?

Did Leslie Frazier, Ken Dorsey coach final games with Bills? -
Frazier and Dorsey are both candidates for open positions around the league.

Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier reportedly set to interview with Texans on Tuesday | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“With the Buffalo Bills season having come to an end, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is scheduled for a second interview with the Houston Texans for their head coaching vacancy.”

Leslie Frazier’s Bills players praise coach’s ‘calm’ approach -
With Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier potentially in line to get another shot as a head coach, Mike Giardi talks to Buffalo defenders about what makes Frazier special.

Odds and Ends

Tracking Bills QB Josh Allen’s every move in AFC title game – The Athletic
“Allen wore the markings of the game on his uniform. There was a grass stain on his right knee from an intentional grounding penalty in the second quarter, another on the left backside of his shoulder pads from just before halftime, and yet another on his left knee from the second half,” writes Joe Buscaglia. (Subscription required).

Bills sign Jake Kumerow, Antonio Williams to reserve/futures contract (Tracker) -
Buffalo had hoped to sign Kumerow to their practice squad this week.

Josh Allen on family’s battle with Covid-19: ‘It’s nothing to joke around with’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen said his father, Joel, is recovering at home from a bout with Covid-19 and pneumonia that caused him to be hospitalized recently.”

Bills Today | Tyler Bass earns Special Teams Player of the Week honor -
Here are three things to know about the Bills for Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Bills to pick 30th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft -
The Bills have finalized their first-round draft position.

Featured on Buffalo Rumblings

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley played the final month with broken leg - Buffalo Rumblings

Opinion: Buffalo Bills got what they wanted on defense and still couldn’t stop the Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Rumblings
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t get big plays over the top on Sunday night, but the Bills still couldn’t stop them.

Circling the Wagons: Bills lose in AFC Championship to Chiefs 38-24 - Buffalo Rumblings
Listen to our recap of this tough Bills loss while we maintain our optimism.

Buffalo Bills snap count notes: AFC Championship - Buffalo Rumblings
Not the ending we wanted.