Sean McDermott wanted "element of surprise" on fake punt

Bills head coach Sean McDermott rolled the dice with his team facing a fourth-and-5 from their own 30-yard-line early in the fourth quarter on Sunday night.

The Bills tried a fake punt and it seemed like a great idea when the Chiefs lined up with just 10 players on their side of the field, but safety Damar Hamlin was stopped short of the first down after taking the snap as an up back. The Chiefs had scored on five of their six possessions — the only non-scoring drive was a kneeldown at the end of the first half — and McDermott said he wanted to be aggressive because of the run they were on.

McDermott also explained why he chose a fake punt rather than running a play that gave quarterback Josh Allen a chance to pick up the five yards they needed.

"I understand what you’re saying about keeping Josh out there,” McDermott said, via Ryan O'Halloran of the Buffalo News. “It’s just where we were on the field in relation to the element of surprise in that situation. Obviously, we didn’t execute.”

Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco ran for 29 yards on the next play and it looked like the Chiefs might break the game open with a touchdown, but wide receiver Mecole Hardman fumbled the ball out of the end zone on an end around to give the ball back to the Bills without any more damage on the scoreboard. Dodging that bullet kept them alive, but their hopes of advancing in the playoffs would die with Tyler Bass' missed field goal in the final minutes.