On a similarly frigid evening against a similarly blistering opposing quarterback who'd likewise spent the previous four months terrorizing the AFC East, the Chiefs had the entirety of Doug Kotar Jersey
their season placed at the mercy of a coin flip. And they lost. They lost the to s. They lost the game.
Not talking to you, Chiefs fans. Of course you remember. That kind of agony does not subside merely because one's team wins a Super Bowl, plays in another and now stands 60 minutes from a third in a row, Kevin Zeitler Jersey
something only two other teams in the six-decade history of the "Big Game have achieved.
Not talking to you, Patrick Mahomes. You watched helple sly hoping as Tom Brady raced the Patriots downfield in the AFC championship game in January 2019, and now, three years later, you a sured Josh Allen would experience that same sideline suffering.
I'm talking to those of you who are wondering if it's fair the AFC divisional round playoff game between the Chiefs and Bills, the greatest gamein the history of this weekend, was e sentially decided by which side of a coin faced skyward after landing on the muddy gra s at Arrowhead Stadium.
The answer: Its not. It wasnt in 2019 when the Chiefs lost that to s and couldnt Oshane Ximines Jersey
cease the Patriots' March toward another Super Bowl. And it isn't now that KC zipped down the field after the flip came up heads and generated a winning touchdown and 42-36triumph on a brilliant throw from Mahomes and a more brilliant catch by tight end Travis Kelce.
It is interesting, at least, how those 50/50 propositions have a way of evening out. Kareem Martin Jersey
"Listen, it was a great game,"Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters. "I'm just kind of sorting it all out right now."
We dont know what the true consequences of this game will be until the Chiefs face the Bengals a week from now in the AFC championship game. If Cincinnati can go into Arrowhead and win, then this will have been not much more than four hours of brilliant entertainment for all of us who love NFL football. If KC finds its way to another Super Bowl, however, this can be one of those legendary division games that propels its winner to history, like the Ravens overtime victory over Denver in 2013or the Steelers harrowing escape at Indianapolis in 2006or the Giants 2008conquest of the Cowboys that ended, functionally, on a Tony Romo interception.
We Aldrick Rosas Jersey
do know, however, Mahomes e sentially executed two game-winning drives, one impo sible and the other inevitable.
After the Bills scored what looked to be the game-winning touchdown with 13 Kyle Lauletta Jersey
seconds left on a throw from Allen to wideout Gabriel Davis who set a playoff record with four TD receptions the Bills clearly did not think anyone could move a team into field goal range in the time remaining.
The Chiefs insisted they believed.
"We've got tremendous leaders on both sides of the ball, whether its offense, defense or special Daniel Jones Jersey
. teams,"receiver Tyreek Hill said. "So nobody panicked, nobody was really like, 'Ah, the game is over, 13 seconds left.' So we just went out, made plays. Like I said, the rest is history."
Maybe they knew what they were up against. The Buffalo coaching staff goofed by not sending the post-TD kickoff into the field of play, on a pooch kick or squib kick or something short of the goal line any of which would have consumed several of those remaining seconds, only the last of which offered a significant risk of KC making a big special teams play.
The Bills defensive strategy on the plays Michael Strahan Jersey
that advanced the Chiefs 44 yards in 10 seconds was bewildering. Buffalo rushed four players each time, which left more room in the secondary thanwas optimal. On the first, the DBs played so far back that Hill was able to make an unchallenged catch just 5 yards beyond the line and generate speed for 14 yards before encountering a single Bills defender. On the second, Kelce was able to streak uncovered for 15 yards down the left seam without anyone moving in time to disrupt him. His reception was good for 25 yards. It was among the greatest failures of defensive football youll see in your lifetime.
"Those guys are hurt. Were disappointed. Were all Dalvin Tomlinson Jersey
disappointed,"Bills coach Sean McDermott said. "Were all hurt, sick to our stomach. So, yeah, you move on and you try to get yourself to learn from it. It stings."
Had the coin come up differently, the Bills might have been redeemed, but this is how the NFL chooses to decide its biggest games. The league wants the spectacle inherent in that toe-tapping TD by Kelce to stand as the lasting memory of a playoff elimination game, not the anticlimax of a team trying and failing to match it on a fourth-and-14 fling.
It seems a better-than-even Mark Bavaro Jersey
bet that would not have been the scenario in this game.