Bills’ Sean McDermott on why team didn’t squib kick late in loss vs. Chiefs: ‘That starts with me’

The Bills scored a go-ahead touchdown against the Chiefs to take a 36-33 lead and almost seal a win in Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game. They only had to control the Chiefs’ offense for 13 seconds to secure a second straight trip to the AFC Championship Game.

They couldn’t do it. The Chiefs collected 44 yards in 10 seconds to set up a game-tying field goal attempt by Harrison Butker. He did it and Kansas City won in overtime, 42-36.

After the game, there were a lot of questions about the Bills’ defensive strategy on the final regulation possession. One stood out to fans, though: Why didn’t the Bills call for a squib kick to waste the Chiefs’ time on a possible comeback?

Hypothetically, that approach would have caused the Chiefs to run at least a few seconds off the clock and put them in a much bigger time crunch.

Instead, Buffalo’s Tyler Bass kicked off from the end zone and allowed the Chiefs to take the ball at the 25-yard line with no extra time on the clock. That left enough time for Mahomes, armed with three timeouts, to run two complete plays and get into field goal range.

So why did the Bills choose to kick it deep? Coach Sean McDermott refused to explain his logic during his postgame news conference.

“I really don’t want to go into details,” McDermott said, by CBS Sports. “In general, there were things that we talked about and we can execute them better. That starts with me and continues,” McDermott said. “I don’t want to go into details right now. I’m very proud of the guys and their effort. They obviously made a couple of plays down the stretch, so I’ll leave it at that.”

McDermott also repeatedly singled out himself for poor defensive execution by the Bills down the stretch and lamented that the game went down to 13 seconds during which the Bills were unable to stop the Chiefs.

“Again, I’m going to put it on the run at this point and on myself. I’m going to leave it at that,” McDermott said. “I’m proud of all of them. These guys overcame a lot. They really did and to come here and the game was cut down to almost 13 seconds, I think they all feel the same way I do.”

“We’re all sick to our stomachs and it hurts. We worked so hard to get here, number one. I know the fans are disappointed and I wish I could take that away from them. I wish I could take it away from them.” team, but we can’t. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, and this will make us stronger. It will take some time, but it should make us stronger.”