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Takeaways: Chiefs’ 45 yards in 13 seconds is a stain on Bills’ top defense

The Bills had this game won more than once

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 played a heartbreaking game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, falling in overtime. A back-and-forth exciting final few minutes showcased the excellent quarterbacking of both teams but, ultimately, the Bills were let down by their defense.

Here are my takeaways from the game.

“Gabriel Davis Game”

Eight catches for 201 yards and four touchdowns for the young receiver in regulation will be remembered for a long time. He faked a Chiefs’ defender out of his shoes on the third TD. It will be interesting to see the snap counts, but Emmanuel Sanders had one catch and seemed invisible. Davis probably cemented himself as WR2 in 2022 with this game. He was the security blanket tonight and performed really well.

Defense loses Mahomes in crunch time

The number-one defense in the NFL couldn’t control Patrick Mahomes. On the first drive, Patrick Mahomes ran all over the Bills for three rushes, 49 yards, and a touchdown. His 34-yard jaunt got the Chiefs in business and he was just getting started. He finished with seven rushes for 69 yards, but that wasn’t all of it. He had 378 yards through the air and three touchdown passes, and the inevitability of the final two drives was just deflating. I mean, 13 seconds and you couldn’t stop them from gaining 44 yards!? Are you serious? Mahomes is good, but that’s beyond the pale. That’s what this Bills’ defense is going to have to head into the offseason remembering; for the second straight year they couldn’t do enough when it counted.

The game lived up to the hype

At the two-minute warning, it was 26-21, Chiefs. Then the Bills scored a touchdown to make it 29-26 with 1:54 left. Then the Chiefs took a 33-29 lead with 1:02 remaining. Davis’s final touchdown with 13 seconds left wasn’t enough, as the Chiefs scored with no time on the clock to send it to overtime. Both QBs balled out. It was exactly what the NFL wanted and what fans of the other 31 teams tuned in for. We were on the short end of the stick. It happens. It ended 42-36, with 31 points scored in the last two minutes plus overtime.

Third downs were killer

The Bills decided to run on a few third downs, going 6-of-14 on the night. They were exactly half of that in the first half, finishing 3-of-7. The Chiefs were consistently able to convert, going 5-of-6 in the first half and 8-of-13 overall. Buffalo’s 4-of-4 on fourth-down conversions helped them out a lot, but KC was also 1-of-1 on fourth down.

Where was Dawson Knox?

In the first game against the Chiefs, Dawson Knox was a focal point. To start the playoff game, he dropped a pass. He eventually caught one crossing route for two yards on four total targets. It’s a far cry from three receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Buffalo’s best shot wasn’t enough. Again.

The Bills were almost completely healthy, save Tre’Davious White. They have Josh Allen on a rookie deal. They have their offensive and defensive coordinators for years and continuity in the organization. They have players in the elite years of their careers. This was their moment. They let it slip by again.