The Buffalo Bills’ postseason ended abruptly against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team did slightly better in their second attempt at taking down the defending champs, but found themselves looking at the same result in a 38-24 loss. Both the offense and defense seemed to be caught off guard and disjointed, and that description also perfectly encapsulates the performance of the team’s rookies. More about how each rookie performed against the Chiefs below.
DE A.J. Epenesa
Watching each of Epenesa’s 20 snaps, you can see just how close he was to making a positive impact on the game. Ultimately, he was held back for various reasons. Take his first play of the night: After rushing upfield, the rookie managed to keep his body free from the grabbing left tackle, dipped and earned a free run to the quarterback. If Mahomes doesn’t choose that exact moment to escape the pocket, it’s a sack. Another example was late in the third quarter, where Epenesa was able to keep contain and stretch out a sprint pass, then disengaged and pressured the quarterback into a throwaway. Unfortunately, a penalty wiped that play away. If there is a criticism to be leveled at Epenesa during the game, it’s that he relied too much on his shoulder stab move against a big, strong tackle like Eric Fisher and was shut down much too often as a result.
RB Zack Moss
Moss’s season is over after he suffered an ankle injury against the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round. The rookie was placed on injured reserve.
WR Gabriel Davis
Seeing a precipitous fall in snaps (16) due to a nagging ankle injury, Davis struggled with separation on his routes all day. He was targeted three separate times, but none of those turned into receptions. All of those targets came later in the game, when it was getting out of hand. The first wasn’t really his fault, as it appeared to be a miscommunication on a screen pass and the third was a desperation sidearm from Allen who was being pressured.
QB Jake Fromm
As was the case during the entire regular season, Fromm was a healthy scratch against the Chiefs.
K Tyler Bass
A perfect ending for the rookie kicker, who nailed all four field goals he attempted against Kansas City. His first and then final attempts were both from 51-yards out, and not easy by any means.
WR Isaiah Hodgins
Hodgins remains on Injured Reserve after having surgery on his injured shoulder.
CB Dane Jackson
Although he was pulled up from the practice squad for the game, Jackson did not end up seeing the field against the Chiefs.
TE/FB Reggie Gilliam
Gilliam only managed a single offensive snap, as the team rarely looked to pound the ball against the defense. Per usual, he did see his regular batch of special teams snaps.