© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Being a Bills fan, I think it can be very difficult at times to find a sustained "happy place" within the season. There's always another game on the schedule against someone that could ruin your day, a recent loss that gives you doubts about how far the team can go, or just some devastating loss due to a dumb play that lives on national tv for a week. However, for the first time in a long time, I'm at peace as a fan and don't see that changing until after the bye week. I'm not foolish enough to believe that the Chiefs' win has any impact on how we play them again in the playoffs or if we will win it all, but I am able to take comfort in the fact that we can, and SHOULD, expect this team to win every single game they play. That we have a balanced offense, MVP quarterback, bend but don't break defense, and coaching staff that has what it takes to be the best team in the league. And for that, I can take comfort in knowing this is going to be a very good team for a long time. We may lose some games, but it's because we found a way to lose, not because we were beaten.
1 - Diggs/Dorsey
While I know there are so many other things to talk about, this is something I've wanted since the start of the 2021 season. After Diggs' breakout first season, teams really started to focus on him, and he wasn't as explosive or game-changing for us. I always watch players like Kupp or Jefferson and wonder why our OC can't move Diggs around like that to create mismatches and more opportunities. Well, this was the game for that. Considering how the Chiefs have neutralized Diggs in the past, it was even more special to see him put up a ten-catch day and come up big, over and over. Dorsey had Diggs in motion, the slot stacked, and just plain everywhere. And as you see Diggs get fed the ball, you remember more and more how special of a talent he is because he doesn't drop anything and makes the contested catches look easy. Add a healthy Davis on the other side of the field, and watch out.
2 - Milano
I've never hidden my love for Milano as my favorite player on this defense. But I don't think I'm being a homer here when I say he was the best overall player on the defense and was just as responsible for the game-ending pick as Von was. I'm not trying to take away from Von, as he made two HUGE plays that helped steer the Bills to victory, but Milano played like a man possessed. I don't know if he broke into Josh's locker and ate some of his sugar, but Milano was absolutely flying to the ball. He looked as fast as I'd ever seen him. There were some RB swing passes that Milano tracked from the middle of the field and brought the ball carrier down with almost no gain. I'm talking 25-40 yards of coverage, and did it with authority. His ability to watch that last defensive play and know when to switch from spy to blitzer was perfect. He covered the middle lane enough for Pat to hesitate; Von comes up at him, then the moment Pat is distracted by Von, Milano rushes in and helps force the quick throw to TJ. Milano is having an all-pro season up to this point and was another player who really stepped up in a big game.
© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
3 - Mahomes
Before the break, I did want to take a moment and really appreciate the talent we got to witness in Patrick out there. No matter what happens, Josh is the perfect QB for the Bills, and I wouldn't change a thing, but Mahomes operates in just a very different way. Sometimes, I think his swagger is a little arrogant, and he can have a punchable face. But he almost dances with the ball behind the line. Where Josh is a psychopath wrecking ball, Mahomes is a graceful ballerina (no pun intended). All of his movements, throws, and overall stature on the field looks effortless and make you think anyone could do it. The fact that we get one-half of the new Brady/Manning era is amazing, and I'm almost appreciative that the other guy is Mahomes.
You have the choice
To hear the noise
Or hear the sweet sound
Of your sweet voice
I know I've heard it
I heard it in my sleep
5 - Allen
The Bills are backed up against the goal line after one of many great punts by the Chiefs. Someone, I honestly can't remember who drops a pass, and it's 3rd down, I think. The camera zooms in on Josh's face, and there's a look on his face that is hard to describe. He's not panicked. He's not frustrated. It's confident but determined while also being relaxed. For me, beyond all the throws, that was when you could see that Josh was in complete control of this game. You knew that if we did lose, it wasn't going to be because of Josh. The moment wasn't too big for him, and the situation wasn't too daunting... Josh was going to win this game; it just hadn't happened yet. Now, with that being said, holy *****, that throw to Knox. I could watch that play all day.
Sometimes, you see receivers catch the ball with their outstretched hands and think, "wow, what a throw, but the receiver equally made adjustments to the pass to make it happen. On this throw to Knox, I'd love to see the sports science of it because that was a 1 out of 100 throws to me. It had the absolute perfect elevation and speed to get just over the outreached fingers of a defender. But it also has the accuracy to hit Knox just as his toes got to the sideline, around the other defender, and thud into his chest. I could talk about how perfect the deep balls to Diggs and Davis were, which is so damn refreshing, but this Knox pass was next level. I remember them showing a stat of him going 0-8 in a row, and then almost like he heard the announcers, he proceeded to hit his next 10 (I think?). Josh is a MVP; make no mistake about it.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
6 - Mistakes
If there's one thing that worries me about the playoffs, it is us making dumb mistakes that we can't come back from. The defense had two horrible tackles on Juju that allowed him to look like a real receiver again and break 100 yards. I want to say Juju had almost 75 YAC, thanks to poor tackling. You could argue that those plays made the game closer than it should've been. Same on the McK pitch play. I'm not going to blame McK fully, but he really needed to be more ready if that was the call. Josh also needed to look and realize McK wasn't ready. In any case, we missed Hyde on those tackles and were able to overcome in the end, but this is now three games where dumb mistakes early put us in tough situations late. If we can clean those up, none of these games are even close.
7 - Von
Let's be clear, games against the Chiefs are the reason we paid Von. With that, I'd say Von is exactly as advertised and was huge in this game. Von played a massive part in stopping the Chiefs in the 4th quarter and seemed to know the exact moment to turn it on. I was disappointed not to see him get more help from Groot or the rest of the line, but he clearly didn't need it at times. Additionally, some of Mahomes' best plays came when Von wasn't on the field. The lack of speed rush threat hurt us, even moreso why we need other guys to step up. Honestly, I wouldn't care if they reduced Von's snaps down to 40% the rest of the year to keep him fresh. We need this man in the playoffs.
8 - Refs
I actually appreciate being able to talk about the refs after a victory because it doesn't come off as much of an excuse. Holy *****, were these guys terrible. Granted, it went both ways at times, but the lack of offensive holding calls was insane. I'm all for letting people play, but wow. You could see defenders getting tackled, spun around, and jerseys pulled within feet of the quarterback. The missed tripping call was impossible to comprehend. There was another obvious facemask penalty that makes you think all the refs blinked at the same time. The offensive PI against Kelce felt like an apology call for the Bills. I'm incredibly worried about this trend of no holds being called, as our front 4 being able to get to the quarterback is a massive piece of our overall defense,
© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
9 - Motor
When I saw that Moss was a healthy scratch, I figured it was going to be time for the Cook show. Nope. What a game for Motor! I mean, this might be the most usage I've seen out of him, and he did an absolutely smashing job. There was only one play where he danced a little too much behind the line and cost himself a first down. But outside of that, Motor was used often and was incredibly effective. No turnovers and multiple 7+ yard runs. He hit the hole hard, fast and dragged guys with him. I would argue this was the perfect balance of running in our offense. The only thing missing was a goal-line drive where Motor got to punch one in. If teams have to start respecting our rushing attack, watch out.
10 - McD
Don't tell me this game didn't mean more than others. The players can say it's just the next game on the schedule all they want, but watching the locker room speech after the game was all I needed to see. McD was as fired up as I've ever seen him, and it was amazing to see. McD has done a fantastic job this season of leveling expectations, getting his team ready, not forgetting the past, and not letting it define the future. Like Allen, we have the perfect coach for this team. He has the perfect coordinators and built an unparalleled culture in the NFL. This could finally be his year to win Coach of the Year.
-Can we please start using Shakir more? I can't handle any more McKenzie mistakes. We aren't using him as a speed decoy anymore, so get the rookie some more reps
-Considering how well we shut down Mark Andrews, I wonder if there was a different plan for Kelce, as he seemed to be left wide open a little too much.
-If that interception by Elam is a flash of things to come, get ready...
-Congrats to Knox on a moment that I'm sure meant a lot to him
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