As the dust settled around Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night, one prevailing narrative began to swell around social media and national news media following the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory in the Divisional Round: “The Bills deserved another chance to win that game.”
But why? Is it because the game didn’t feel over? Is it because we just want to see someone actually knock the Chiefs off the AFC mountain? Why would anyone watch that game and insist that, because of the way it ended, the NFL needs to change its rules?
Emmanuel Acho’s tweet is just one of many from Sunday night expressing the opinion that the NFL needs to alter its overtime rules.
Look, if there is a fan base in the NFL who can understand this, it’s Chiefs Kingdom. We don’t need to go back and rehash the events of the AFC Championship Game in January 2019, so let’s just fast forward to the truth.
Buffalo tried very hard to end Sunday night’s Divisional Round game prematurely.
Most sports talk shows will begin their recaps of the frenetic finish by showing you Josh Allen‘s 27-yard TD pass with just under 2:00 on the clock. But they forget that that scoring drive featured nine running plays and six short passing plays before the Bills were forced to finally look downfield on a 4th-and-13 play.
The Chiefs’ Harrison Butker kicked a field goal with 8:55 remaining in the ball game. With the Bills down by five points, Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll put their heads together and decided they wanted to empty the clip on one final game-winning touchdown drive. Seventeen plays later, the Bills capitalized on the Chiefs’ banged-up secondary with Allen’s touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis (who was magnificent in the game).
The Bills got their go-ahead touchdown. The problem was, they only managed to run 7:01 off the clock when they needed to milk the entire 8:55.
Obviously, a lot of things happened after this point in the game, and they will be discussed ad nauseam. But it’s not really fair to say the Bills deserved “something more” when they made the decision to try to drain all the game clock.
The thing about the playoffs is that good teams play good teams, and when two good teams play, someone has to lose. This was a game for the ages, not marred by a questionable flag or egregious penalty. It featured two of the game’s best playmakers who each truly played his own A-game. It was a colossal 12-round blow-for-blow heavyweight bout and ended with the play that every elementary-school kid pretends to make on the school playground. So it would seem to make sense that, at the moment, no one wanted the moment to end.
As it was, the Chiefs earned the victory, and no one can dispute that.