KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a never-losing performance between two of the NFL’s top teams and its two bright young quarterbacks, the Bills and Chiefs played a classic Sunday night, with one calling the Tails and the other paying for it.
Josh Allen’s decision on the overtime coin toss was his only fault for Buffalo all night.
Patrick Mahomes immediately followed it up against the NFL’s top-ranked but tired defense by marching on the Kansas City downfield, then found Travis Kells in the end zone corner from 8 yards, giving the Chiefs a memorable 42-36 win – And never dominated his opponent with the ball an opportunity.
“It worked well for us this time around,” said Mahomes, whose team is playing in the fourth AFC title game in a row. It stinks. But all you can do is follow the rules the way they’ve been explained and that’s what we did.”
It totally did, setting up a showdown against Cincinnati the following Sunday for another trip to the Super Bowl.
“People didn’t budge,” head coach Andy Reid said, “You talk about an epic game, well, that’s how the players took it.” He had great respect for the buffalo and knew it was going to be a fight and kept going.
What was Reid’s advice to Mahomes?
“When it’s serious, be the Grim Reaper, and get it,” Reed said. “He made everyone around him better.”
The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation, and scored 25 points on that stretch. Harrison Butcker, who had previously missed a field goal and extra points, took 49-yards at the end of time to enforce an extra session, and when the Chiefs won the coin toss, Mahomes took care of the rest. kept.
He finished with 378 yards and three touchdowns, including 64 yards to Tyrek Hill and a clutch throw to Kells during the thrilling final minutes of regulation, which sent players streaming off the bench.
“We’ve got tremendous leaders on both sides of the ball, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams,” Hill said. “Nobody panicked. No one was like, ‘Oh, the game’s over, there are 13 seconds left.’ We just did plays.”
Allen did everything he could to prevent another defeat at the end of the season inside Arrowhead Stadium. He threw a go-forward touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis, saving 1:54 in regulation, then second to Davis – his playoff-record fourth TD catch of the game – with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.
Allen’s fault? His coin toss call.
He finished with 329 yards, and Davis finished with eight catches for 201 yards as the Bills lost their ninth straight road playoff game—a streak that included last year’s loss to Kansas City in the AFC title game. is included.
“It’s just hard, you know? To be in that moment again,” Allen said. “It sucks the way it happened, you know? We wanted to win that match. We had the opportunities. Just, yeah, taking it all in, holding on to that feeling, and making sure we get back together again.” Don’t feel like it — back-to-back years in the same place. It’s hard to take.”
All told, Mahomes and Allen threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, completed at least 70% of their passes without interception, and — get it — ran for at least 65 yards. led their teams with
No other quarterback in NFL history has accomplished those feats in the game, regular season, or postseason.
“The Chiefs are a good football team. We knew it was going to take one heck of an effort coming here,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott, “and I thought people gave us that effort, starting with passion.” And all the way down the line. But those guys hurt, we’re disappointed – we’re all disappointed, we’re all sick to our stomachs. You move on and you try to learn from it, but it stings. It bites. I’m not going to sugarcane it. It bites.”
It was a playoff game for the history books, but few will remember the first 58 minutes.
The last two minutes and overtime, some people will forget.
The Chiefs were leading 26-21 when Allen, who was nearly full all night, joined Davis for the third time in the game – fourth and 13 darts to end a 17-play, 75-yard drive and give the Bills the lead. Is.
Not wanting to move forward, the chiefs replied when Mahomes was found to be shaken in the middle. The fleet-footed wide receiver ran off cornerback Levi Wallace for a 64-yard touchdown that gave Kansas City the right lead back.
Then it was the Bills’ turn: Allen threw a 28-yard pass to Davis, hit him again for 12 yards, then found Emmanuel Sanders on edge to give McDermott’s team a chance with 17 seconds on the clock.
Allen hit Davis in the middle of the numbers, his 19-yard strike giving him a postseason-record – but not victory.
That’s because Mahomes wasn’t one to cherish playoff magic. He found Hill for 19 yards, then struck Kelsea for 25 more in a schoolyard-style game, giving Butcker a 49-yard attempt to finish the time in light, chilly air.
Naturally, it splits upwards.
for a longer period of time.
A fitting way to end a divisional-round weekend filled with last-second heroism.
“Yeah, obviously, that’s the way we wanted our season to end,” said Bills safety Jordan Poore. “Man, the offense did everything they had to do. Defense, we had to go there and stop, weren’t able to do that. It’s just a hard feeling, man. Just a very hard feeling, to put into words It’s hard to do. It sucks. It’s something we have to live with.”
Bills: CB Micah Hyde walked away with an undisclosed injury that he sustained in the final game of regulation.
chiefs: Tyrone Matthews went off the opening drive with a jerk after he hit his knee with Pro Bowl safety teammate Jaran Reid. … CB Charvarius Ward was injured trying to tackle Allen with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.
The next Sunday the Chiefs tour Cincinnati, becoming the first franchise in NFL history to host four consecutive conference championship games. The 49ers play the Rams for the NFC title in a nightcap.