Skip to main content

Sean McDermott on Bills' latest postseason loss to Chiefs: 'We were within a whisker of tying that game'

Sunday's AFC Divisional Round loss is one Buffalo Bills fans know all too well.

The Bills fell, 27-24, to the Kansas City Chiefs, the third time in four seasons they've been ousted from the postseason by Patrick Mahomes and the third consecutive campaign Sean McDermott's club exited in the Divisional Round.

Tyler Bass pushing a 44-yard field goal wide right sealed the Bills' fate after they were outplayed at home by the third-seeded Chiefs.

"We were within a whisker of tying that game and maybe even taking the lead there against the defending world champs," McDermott said, via the team's official website. "Again, we just didn't do enough -- starting with me -- to win this game."

Coming close provides no solace in playoff football.

The Bills' injury-riddled defense couldn't slow a Mahomes-led offense that looked the best it had all season on Sunday. Kansas City gobbled up 7.7 yards per play and scored on its first five non-kneel possessions. Josh Allen played sensationally, using his arm and legs to account for three touchdowns with zero turnovers, but he couldn't connect on big plays (zero plays of 20-plus yards). Allen's missed deep shots to close the game when first downs would have done the trick also came back to bite the Bills. And the special teams not only botched the field goal, but were stuffed on a panic fake punt call by McDermott early in the fourth quarter.

Under McDermott, the Bills burst their string of playoff futility, making the postseason in six of seven seasons while winning the AFC East each of the past four campaigns. But Buffalo can't get over the playoff hump with the McDermott-Allen partnership.

McDermott took "100 percent" of the responsibility for the latest loss.

"It starts with me," he said. "I take full responsibility. ... We didn't do enough to win the game."

Limping out of the playoffs for the fifth straight season comes with looming questions for a club that was all-in on building a Super Bowl contender. The Bills enter the 2024 offseason well over the projected salary cap with few easy moves for resolving that matter while adding and retaining pieces to a roster that continues to fall short.

"We've got to continue to work at it," McDermott said. "That's where it starts. We'll turn over every leaf this offseason and I'm fully confident in this football team [and] fully confident in our staff."

The repeated postseason shortcomings won't make McDermott's life any easier after he and the Bills avoided disaster this season by making a furious end-of-season run to swipe the division title from Miami. The 49-year-old head coach will be under massive amounts of pressure in 2024.

"It's extremely disappointing and frustrating," he said. "It's a type of situation in our business where you've got to spend the whole offseason thinking about it. But it drives you harder -- if that's even possible to drive someone harder -- drives you harder to come back next season and continue to work at it.

"Listen: There's only one team at the end of all this that's happy."

Related Content