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Plays That Defined 2021: Divisional Round vs. Kansas City

Heartbreak City

Welcome to Plays That Defined 2021! This ain’t your usual game recap. Here’s what to do. Pretend you’ve just written a novel and it’s time to select the cover art. You want a single picture that tells the reader what it’s all about, right? That’s the deal here. Vote for the play that best tells the “story” of this game. Which GIF is the best “cover art” for...

Divisional Round: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City

Arguably, this is one of the greatest games in NFL history. Also arguably, in the way of that claim is a short duration of time where questionable decision-making abounded. I don’t have much more to say on this game, but I will comment on a deviation from my usual practices here. I generally attempt to spread plays out across the entire game whenever possible. This one is unusually backloaded at the end of the game, and I don’t think I need to explain why.

Josh Allen’s fourth-down conversion (Q1, 12:44)

Buffalo came to win this game. At precisely midfield, the Bills were faced with 4th & 1. They elected to go for it and converted. They were faced with the same decision at the goal line to end this drive. They went for it again, with Devin Singletary scoring the game’s first touchdown. Without these gambles, much of what you see below would be irrelevant as Kansas City would have been able to pull farther ahead. Buffalo’s newfound aggressive tendencies, by and large, were continued in the postseason.

Gabriel Davis’s fourth touchdown (Q4, 0:17)

Gabriel Davis set a postseason record for receiving touchdowns, which is sadly overshadowed by the loss. This was his fourth touchdown of the game, a pass that also allowed him to break 200 yards in a single game (201). It was a tossup between this one and the 75-yarder. This one got the nod as it was the touchdown that pushed his day into “legendary” status and should have been the game-winning score.

Tyler Bass’s kickoff (Q4, 0:13)

The kickoff that enjoyed a whole hell of a lot of scrutiny after the fact doesn’t need to be debated here, though the debate is part of why it landed here. For Plays That Defined, what matters most though is that the touchback guaranteed that KC would have the full 13 seconds to work with and all their timeouts. As we all likely recall, that was kind of a big deal.

Mahomes to Kelce (Q4, 0:08)

It was a tough call between this play, the one before it to Tyreek Hill, or the tying field goal itself. The 25 yards to Kelce won out due to the post-game chatter from Kelce explaining how they took advantage of what the Bills’ defense gave the Chiefs.

Travis Kelce’s touchdown (OT, 10:50)

While the coin flip might have been appropriate, it’s not technically a play. With both teams playing as they were in the second half, the opening possession always felt like it would be the only one in overtime. The eventual touchdown here is the result of inevitability.

The last vote before the bracket!


Which play best defines (illustrates) the heartbreaking loss to KC?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Fourth-down conversion
    (4 votes)
  • 7%
    Gabriel Davis touchdown
    (24 votes)
  • 42%
    Tyler Bass kickoff
    (136 votes)
  • 41%
    Mahomes to Kelce
    (133 votes)
  • 7%
    Kelce touchdown
    (23 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now