Jump to content
Bills Fans Gear Now Available! ×

I've Got Nuthin'

   (2 reviews)

Image Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


I’ve written this column for about 15 years.  It varies from week to week, sometimes about the stadium experience, sometimes about an important play, sometimes about what players or coaches did or didn’t do.  I write about trends, prospects, shortcomings and needs.  Sometimes it might be funny, sometimes quirky, and certainly sometimes boring or pedestrian.  When I start writing, I don’t always have a plan – the essay just seems to go where it needs to go.


Last night in Kansas City, in the second round of the playoffs, the Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime, 42-36.  This morning, I sit before my keyboard, numb.


I’ve got nuthin’.


If you watched the game, you understand.  If you didn’t, I cannot go all Grantland Rice on you to explain.  I’m not Shirley Povich.  Where is Frank Deford when we really need him?  


I’ve been a fan of the Buffalo Bills since 1960.  There were several years when work and family and geography left me less involved with the team, not going to games or being able to see them on television.  Still, fan-wise, I’ve had a pretty good run.   I can say figuratively, if not literally, I’ve seen it all.


The only way to describe what happened last night is that it was Wide Right, 31 years later.  (If you don’t know what Wide Right was, look it up.  It has its own Wikipedia article.)  I was in Tampa that night, I sat in the stadium stunned as the winning field goal sailed past the right upright.  (I was in Buffalo on the Monday night when the Cowboys beat the Bills with a long field goal on the final play – that game gets honorable mention, but wide right and Chiefs-Bills stand together on top of the “OMG -what-just-happened?” list.)  The day after Super Bowl XXV, I walked aimlessly through Epcot Center, and it seemed every third person was wearing a Giants sweatshirt.  This morning, everything is Chiefs red. 


MozJPEG USATSI_17555466.jpg



When your team loses a game like that, and my team has done it twice, I’m here to tell you that everything in your life goes numb for a day or two.  It’s not a tragedy, it’s not life changing; after all, it’s just football, but when you’re emotionally invested and a game like that happens, it’s stunning.  It’s as though you’ve seen and heard a large explosion, so large that for a few seconds or minutes or even hours, your eyes are recovering from the flash and your ears are ringing.   “OMG!  What just happened?”


A week before the game, I thought that this game might be the real Super Bowl, that these were the two best teams playing for all the marbles.   No, that couldn’t really be true, because the King was back leading the Titans, there was the G.O.A.T., trying for another repeat, and if it wasn’t going to be Brady in the Super Bowl, it was going to be Rodgers. 


Then, one by one, Derrick Henry lost, Rodgers lost, Brady lost, and the surviving teams lacked the key ingredient – the star quarterback.  Burrows may be a star on the rise, Stafford may be a star postponed, and Tannehill may be, well, a nice guy, but nobody is crowning any of them as a legendary signal caller, at least not yet.


So, by Sunday night, the game between the Bills and the Chiefs actually was looking like the Super Bowl, without the halftime show.  These were the two hottest teams in the playoffs, each coming off blistering blowout wins the previous week, each having overcome early season inconsistencies to look now like powerhouse winners.  Each with an already certifiable superstar quarterback.  Before the opening kickoff, people knew it was a big game.  I got my pizza and sat before the TV.


What happened was epic. 


MozJPEG USATSI_17554646.jpg

© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports


There have been a lot of great football games with spectacular plays and dramatic finishes.  I can’t sit here this morning and say that Chiefs-Bills was the greatest, but it has to be in the discussion.  This was two great teams with two great quarterbacks playing their best games.  Two teams and two guys refusing to lose in a game where ultimately someone would win.  


A couple of days before the Bills-Chiefs game, I looked up the playoff passer rating records.   If you’re not a fan boy like me, know that the passer rating is a number that is calculated using a formula and some of the more important statistics that demonstrate passing effectiveness.  The passer rating isn’t perfect, but it’s a pretty good measure of who’s the best.  After last week’s games, Patrick Mahomes (did I mention that he is the Chiefs quarterback?) was number 1 on the all-time playoff passer rating list.  Josh Allen, the Bills quarterback, was fourth.  Now, that data is skewed by a variety of factors, so it isn’t necessarily the definitive measure of greatness, but it isn’t bad.  Bart Starr and Kurt Warner, two legendary QBs who are in the Hall of Fame, were number 2 and number 3 on the list.  Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Troy Aikman are in the top 20, along with future Hall of Famers Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. 


This morning, Patrick Mahomes is still number 1.  Josh Allen is number 2. 


The game was a display of modern quarterbacking excellence that rarely has been seen in the NFL, dual excellence that probably never has been seen in a playoff game.  Mahomes and Allen performed superbly from the very beginning of the game, passing and running, confounding the opposing defenses.  But their excellence through three quarters was simply prelude. 


MozJPEG USATSI_17555223.jpg



When Harrison Butker kicked a field goal to give the Chiefs a five-point lead with less than nine minutes remaining in the game, there seemed to be only one question:  could Josh Allen and the Bills mount one more drive for one more touchdown and win the game?  That, as it turned out, was merely the first question.  Allen and the Bills went on an excruciating 17-play, seven-minute drive for the touchdown and, with the two-point conversion, a three-point lead.  Mahomes answered with a touchdown in five plays, dashing the Bills’ hopes for a victory.  Incredibly, truly incredibly, Allen returned the favor in six plays to retake the lead.  And yet, in the 13 seconds remaining, Mahomes managed to get the Chiefs in position for the tying field goal.  The Chiefs won the coin toss at the beginning of overtime, and Mahomes continued the scoring onslaught, hitting Travis Kelce with another touchdown pass.  The overtime rules didn’t afford Allen and the Bills the opportunity to respond, and the Chiefs won.


Undoubtedly, this morning thousands of Chiefs fans are talking about how great their team is and how this decision or that play won the game.  Thousands of Bills fans are talking about how that decision or this play lost the game.  I can’t do that, not now.


My only consolation after Super Bowl XXV was that for fifteen or twenty years, sportswriters and fans everywhere said it was the greatest Super Bowl ever.  I could be proud that my team was part of it, but it hurt to think about it.  Eventually, memories dimmed and other games awed the fans.  Eventually, I didn’t have to respond politely to people who thought they were making me feel good when they said, “You’re a Bills fan?  That was the greatest Super Bowl of all time!”


“You’re a Bills fan?  Bills-Chiefs was the best playoff game I’ve ever seen!”


Yeah, right.  Thanks.




Billsfans.com - Shaw66



Bills Season Ends in Historic Divisional Playoff Loss

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Divisional Round preview

Playoffs Edition - Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots - A Few Thoughts about the game, in no particular order

Bills Make Statement with 47-17 Win Over New England in Wild Card Round

Leaving the Past Behind

The Bills Move On

THE ROCKPILE REVIEW - Bills Take Care of Falcons

User Feedback


John Lombardi

· Edited by John Lombardi

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

This article dealt fairly with the emotions older Bills fans just relived.  Wide right should have been the most crushing phrase we ever had to deal with…and yet it now ranks behind kicking the extra point in this game.  I literally fell to my knees when I saw them lining up for the useless point after.  Thought it was a hallucination because why wouldn’t you seize the opportunity to kill 10 seconds and perhaps put up 2 useful points?   I would have sent a few men wide, one of whom would be an ex QB whom I would have told to drop back 20+ yards on the snap.  No one open? No lane to the end zone?  Throw it back to him, let him dance for a few seconds and then heave the ting as high and far out of the end zone as he could.  The game would have been over before the ball ever hit the stands.        
But no…..we kicked the extra point and gave KC the opportunity to play.   Wide right for whomever didn’t think this through.  The winning move was clearly in front of the Bills and it wasn’t used/recognized/ thought of?    It stings and sucks and it’s difficult to accept such a mental breakdown in the face of the effort put forth by the players.   Shame on whoever said “ kick it…..it’ll be fine”.     Been told the game clock isn’t running….just play clock so this won’t work.  Still want the 2 points and then kick it on the ground….but feel a bit better

  • FANtastic 1

Share this review

Link to review


@John Lombardi


That was a pretty good write up. We do have a thread regarding the last '13 Seconds, here: https://www.billsfans.com/forums/topic/1850-13-seconds/

 Maybe you might put these thoughts in that thread as well?


Glad to have you! We like to have thought out responses.

Share this review

Link to review

  • Ring in the New Year Tailgating Recipes

    This Sunday, Buffalo's last regular season home game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park is against the New England Patriots.   Taking into consideration this season as a whole and that we are about to ring in a New Year, I decided a nice stiff drink was in order. These ciders, mulled wines, spiked hot chocolate, and coffee recipes are just what this fanbase needs to close out the season at home. (Over 21 crowd, of course) So make up a thermos to take along to tailgate or make up a slow cook

    Home Tailgating Menus

    A Few Thoughts About the Cowboys Game, in no particular order

    © Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports   I can honestly say I didn't know if was going to write another one of these this season.  Not because of the prior wins or losses, but because I don't see a point in writing the same content over and over again.  The Bills team and individual players rarely did enough from week to week that constituted 9 things and lyrics to talk about.  I mean, I can sum it all up with Kincaid, Kindcaid, McD's defense collapses, and Floyd/Oliver.  However, this Dallas

    A Few Thoughts...

    World Famous Bills Tailgating Stromboli Recipe

    This Sunday, the Buffalo Bills are playing the Dallas Cowboys at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. And what better tailgate recipe than @mead107's  Stromboli, which has been a Bills tailgating staple for many years!?   Before watching the Buffalo Bills take on the Dallas Cowboys, why not make some Stromboli to enjoy during the game? If you are tailgating at Highmark, bring this great recipe to share.   Click here for all the information you need to attend a game at the Bills' st

    Home Tailgating Menus

    Taco Tailgating Recipes!

    This Sunday, Buffalo's late game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, is perfect timing for a delicious tailgate.   Before watching the Buffalo Bills take on the New York Jets, why not make it Tacos Sunday to enjoy during the game? If you are tailgating at Highmark, some great recipes are on this list!   Click here for all the information you need to attend a game at the Bills' stadium and have a fabulous time!   Whether you are meeting friends at the stadium or an outside l

    Home Tailgating Menus

    Stick to Ribs Tailgating Recipes

    The Bills return home to Buffalo and are playing at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, this Monday night!   Before watching the Buffalo Bills take on the Denver Broncos, why not make a rack of ribs to enjoy during the game? If you are tailgating at Highmark, there are some great recipes on this list!   Click here for all the information you need to attend a game at the Bills' stadium and have a fabulous time!   Whether you are meeting friends at the stadium or an outside

    Home Tailgating Menus
  • O'Cyrus Torrence blocks for Ty Johnson against the Cowboys

    Dec 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Ty Johnson (26) runs the ball in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at Highmark Stadium.

    2023 Buffalo Bills

    Josh takes off as Reggie Gilliam blocks

    Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium.

    2023 Buffalo Bills

    Darrynton Evans is not going to be denied a TD on this run

    Aug 26, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Darrynton Evans (37) runs for a touchdown against Chicago Bears linebacker Micah Baskerville (47) during the second half at Soldier Field. 

    2023 Buffalo Bills

    Highmark Stadium for the WC game against the Steelers

    Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of the stadium during the game between Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium.

    2023 Buffalo Bills

    Stef leaves the field after the '24 AFC Divisional

    Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts after the game against the Kansas City Chiefs 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium.

    2023 Buffalo Bills

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Guidelines