Image Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
For those who've read these for a while, you'll know that I typically try to let some time pass after each game before writing these. My goal is to let the emotions, positive or negative, simmer down before attempting to put objective thoughts out there. However, as some of you may know, I couldn't relax heading into this game and had to put a few thoughts out there for a pre-game. While only week 5, as all the players reminded us after the game, I knew what was on the line for our confidence and one seed. I didn't know what to expect, but I know it wasn't the complete domination put on display. If ever there was a game that silenced every single doubt I had about our team, this was it. If you are here for negative thoughts at all, please keep scrolling. In fact, I have more notes for this game than anything I've ever written, so be prepared for some generic headers. Additionally, everything went so well that the no particular order will be in full effect for this game.
1 - Beane - When we made our first two picks in this year's draft, it was evident with the selection of Groot and Boogie that the Chiefs were on our mind. Some, including myself, were skeptical about drafting the same position twice, but Beane (in all his wizardry) proved why he gets paid the big bucks. Boogie surprised me with as much as he was on the field, but he absolutely made an impact. He didn't get a sack, but he disrupted the offensive line from almost every position and didn't let Mahomes get comfortable. On the other side, Groot justified his selection on the tip and pick. His size, athleticism, and overall awareness on the field are astounding, considering how little NCAA and NFL experience he has. Both guys were difference-makers, and you have to credit the plan all the way back in April by Beane.
2 - The Drive - There are so many plays to highlight in this game, but the last touchdown drive was by far the biggest standout to me that encompassed everything in this game. Up by 11 and coming off a Chiefs touchdown, the Bills needed to kill some clock and drive the dagger into the Chiefs soul. The Chiefs were prepared for the run and unleashed the blitzes. Daboll called a masterful set of plays to counter anything being thrown at him, almost as if he had their playbook. If they blitzed, we called a quick pass to the opposing side. If they stacked the box, we ran to the outside. The icing on the cake was on first down inside the 20 when everyone assumed run, but Josh threw an absolute dart into a tight window to Sanders for a touchdown. Not only was the play calling great, but the execution was perfect. The Chiefs stacked 10 in the box at times, and we were still able to run right through them. When's the last time we could say that? The drive was all about the Bills as an organization imposing their will against the reigning AFC champions on prime time to put everyone on notice.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
3 - Knox - Cheers to the first tight end since the early nineties to break one hundred yards and score a touchdown. Just a great game where Knox got open deep, made contested catches, and blocked like a champion all game. While I've liked Knox since his angry run days, his hands and overall performance made me consider Ertz and Hollister to take the job. Knox has been nothing short of spectacular this season as a tight end, and the relationship between him and Allen is immeasurable. His awareness on the touchdown pass to follow Allen across the field, make the catch, and score from 60 yards out is just another weapon teams now have to plan for. Knox on wood, but I'd say he's earned himself a drop or two without players calling for his job.
4 - I seem to recognize your face
Haunting familiar, yet I can't seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
All these changes taking place
I wish I'd seen the place
But no one's ever taken me
5 - Allen - As you know, I don't google or reference stats when writing these, so please save your corrections for the comments. I believe Allen broke 300 yards on only 15 passing plays and averaged over 15 yards per completion? At one point, he was 4 for 4 for 185 yards on passes over 15 yards. I was worried about sugar high or 2022 Josh showing up for this game, but instead got "go ***** yourself" Josh. He was accurate downfield with huge arm strength. The first touchdown pass to Sanders was jaw-dropping. No man should be able to make that pass with so little arc and fit it perfectly into a receivers hands from that far out. It's unfair. He ran with power and decisiveness. His first rushing touchdown probably hurt the defenders more than himself. On "The Drive," he slid after a decent rushing gain, and the Honeybadger was standing over him with his arms on his hips, clearly frustrated as if saying, "what else can we do?!" Josh was the best quarterback on the field, and it wasn't close to me. For those who want to complain about his intentional grounding call, Diggs was 10 yards away from his grounded ball and, even while laying out sideways, is a throw he can make. Allen earned every single penny of that 43 million in this game and even hurdled a defender to celebrate!
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
6 - Hyde's Pick 6 - While Hyde was all over the field and played great, the pick 6 was such a great play that it needs its own spot. The Chiefs ran this play before in the game, where Hill went in motion and Tre followed him. It's a drag route that almost utilizes a pick. The first time they ran it, Hill got roughly 15 yards. On this play, which even I saw coming, Hyde picked it up and broke on the pass quickly. Chris "Chiefs Homer" Collinsworth put the pick on Hill, but I argue that the play of Tre and Hyde created that turnover and put the lead at 18. Hyde can say it's only game 5, but he was balling tonight and was the main reason why Hill was overall ineffective in this game. Also, the crushing hit against Kelce by Poyer and removing of Hills helmet might indicate we were a little hyped up and sent a message 🤷🏻♂️
7 - Frazier - I've been very critical of the defensive game plans we ran against the Chiefs last year. However, we almost ran the same scheme against them this game and saw an entirely different result. What a difference talent and one year makes!. We didn't send a fifth blitzer during the entire game and gave up everything underneath. Last year, CEH torched us, or Hill/Kelce racked up insane YAC. This year, our heavy line of Star, Boogie, Groot, and Oliver were making arm tackles as the halfbacks tried to sneak through holes. Our defense was absolutely swarming to all plays within 10. We let them catch it, but that was all they got. I can't count how many gang tackles this team made. Edmunds was decisive again and shut down multiple runs or plays to the outside. With that, I formally apologize for my criticism of the game plan last year, as clearly, it was a solid one. There were countless plays where you could see Mahomes first, second, or even third reads be covered, and he had to make things happen on the fly. He was never comfortable, and it showed.
8 - The replacements, part 2 - Milano being out was a big concern heading into this game, as Kelce is such a threat (not tonight). Klein stepped up in a big way and was very active on the field. We didn't get to see him blitz, but he definitely wasn't a liability in coverage. I also liked to see him and Milano talking on the sideline (just another strong relationship that translates on the field). Additionally, Neal had a great game on defense and special teams. He laid the thunder to cause a turnover against the Chiefs during a kickoff. Additionally, he was assigned to cover Kelce and Tyreek a few times, doing a great job. In the next man up culture, it was on display, and both guys showed up solid.
9 - Receivers - Besides Sanders, the Chiefs effectively took Beasley and Diggs out of the game. We brought in Davis and Kumerow on running plays, which were a bit obvious at times (until the Sanders second TD). Diggs was concerning to me as it seemed like he was just locked up in single coverage against a relatively unknown defensive back. Beasley was seen frustrated on the sideline as his usage seemed very low. To score 38 points without most of our receivers contributing is even more amazing and shows everyone that we are genuinely multi-dimensional. I am not worried about any of our receivers bouncing back.
© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
10 - McD - McD thanked Reid for firing him as a defensive coordinator by frustrating him in front of his fans during Prime Time. I know they have a good relationship, and I don't have any issues with Reid. But anyone telling you this wasn't a chip on McD's shoulder is lying to themselves. This was a huge win, and McD had his team more prepared and executed at a higher level. The thing that kept this game close was my fear and the Chiefs reputation. If you watched this game with no knowledge of either team, you would probably pick the Bills to win nine times out of ten. Everything, from coaching to players to execution, worked in this game, and when that happens, you have to tip your cap to the head coach.
The sullied - I didn't want to disgrace the top 10 by mentioning either of these things, so here's my opportunity. Also, I apologize to anyone who doesn't know me as I write this as it may leave a bad taste in your mouth about me. With that, ***** the refs and ***** Chris Collinsworth. Some calls went against the Chiefs, but my god, were they inconsistent. The phantom hold against Morse should result in a fine. I understand that a physical game was played, but there was no excuse for the number of flags thrown. Secondly, if the Chiefs did well, it's because Mahomes and Reid are amazing. If the Chiefs did terribly, it's because the Chiefs made a mistake. According to Collinsworth, the Bills had zero to do with the outcome of this game and simply showed up. You could see the Chiefs thong CC was wearing at times, and I'm glad we don't have to hear from him again anytime soon.
The Bills control their destiny to the one seed and have a very forgiving schedule coming up. Let's not have a letdown against the Titans and continue to roll.
BillsFans - Virgil