What we learned from the Bills’ playoff loss to the Chiefs

The Bills’ six-game winning streak and playoff run came to a windy and chilly end Sunday night at home in Highmark Stadium.

It didn’t help that it was against their AFC rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, who knocked Buffalo out of the playoffs for the third time in four years with a 27-24 victory.

That’s not to say the game wasn’t revealing in terms of insights and both pros and cons worth weighing going into the offseason.

With that, here are three things we learned from Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs:

Buffalo's Defense Bears Responsibilty

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Yes, on a windy Sunday night in late January cold conditions, Bills K Tyler Bass kicked a 44-yard field goal to tie the game and it ended up hooking right and missing.

In that way, it would be easy to place blame for not extending the game squarely on Bass’s shoulders.

Yes, it was Buffalo’s defense and special teams who, once again, cost them a chance to beat the Chiefs in the playoffs.

But it was Buffalo’s defense that allowed the Chiefs to score 27 points and, ultimately, to win the game by not getting stops.

They were shorthanded, missing key players in the linebacker and secondary groups due to injuries. Still, during Sean McDermott’s tenure as the Bills head coach, their defense has struggled to stop the run. And also the Chiefs.

2024 could see an overhaul of parts of the defense similar to the upgrades GM Brandon Beane and the Buffalo front office made to the offense last offseason.

Offense Kept Them In The Game

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Stefon Diggs’s missed tough on a 60-yard pass attempt by Josh Allen in the quarter that would have put them around the Chiefs’ 25-yard territory, the Bills’ offense went toe to toe with Kansas City.

The Bills kept answering back in response to the Chiefs scoring in most of the contest with points of their own.

Diggs had only three catches for 21 yards, highlighting the need for support of a viable WR2 threat, but the passing game was spread out and Allen led the way both in the air as well as on the ground.

While they still appear to need receiver help to open up the passing game more for Diggs and their receivers, OC Joe Brady and Allen continued to find open men and keep drives alive and going to help put points on the board.

High Draft Pick Impact

Offseason Moves Forecast

Costly Weak Spot Got Corrected

Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

A late development during the playoffs to keep an eye on going into next season was the improvement in the passing game by QB Josh Allen.

Specifically in not throwing interceptions.

The big QB had a big year statistically, leading the NFL in total touchdowns and total yards, setting league records along the way.

Unfortunately, another statistic he was big in was turning the ball over, which was a blemish on what otherwise was an MVP-caliber campaign.

At halftime during the season finale against the Miami Dolphins that saw two picks in the endzone on touchdown pass attempts, Allen appeared to turn a corner, as he threw no interceptions from that point forward.

He had altered his throwing motion last season to play through injury, and in his first full season back struggled in that area until that point in the Miami game.

It appears he corrected that, and should he be able to carry it into next season and moving forward, it could mean bigger things for Allen and the Bills offense.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire