1. 5 numbers to know from the AFC Championship game
The Bills might have come short against the Chiefs, but the team has accomplished a lot this season and in the playoffs. Here are five numbers to know from yesterday's game and the entire postseason.
- 311 >> In his first postseason with Buffalo, Stefon Diggs racked up 311 receiving yards. That ranks fifth in Bills postseason history, behind Don Beebe (435), James Lofton (598), Thurman Thomas (672), and Andre Reed (1,229).
- 51 >> Tyler Bass kicked two 51-yard field goals and became the sixth player in NFL history with multiple 50+ yard field goals in a playoff game. He is also the first kicker in NFL history to have three field goals of 50+ yards in a single postseason.
- 3.0 >> Jerry Hughes had three total sacks this postseason with two against the Ravens and one against the Chiefs. Hughes has a sack in back-to-back playoff games for first time in career. He is the first Bill with a playoff sack streak since Jeff Wright on 1/23/94 vs. K.C. (1.0) and 1/30/94 vs. Dal. (2.0)
- 88 >> With a game-high 88 rushing yards, Josh Allen now has 237 career rushing yards in playoffs, ranking third on the Bills all-time postseason list. He now has the most rushing yards in the playoffs by a Bills quarterback and now trails only #2 Kenneth Davis (549) and #1 Thurman Thomas (1,442) for most postseason rushing yards in franchise history.
- 43 >> The two teams combined for 43 rushing attempts (Chiefs 25, Bills 18). That marks the fewest ever in a Buffalo playoff game (old record was 45 on 12/27/81 at N.Y.J. – Bills 23, Jets 22).
2. Raw emotion filled the locker room after championship game loss
It says a lot about the success of a team's season if they are playing in the AFC Championship game, but it also makes the loss even harder to swallow. This Bills team accomplished so many great things over the course of the 2020 season. But for the players after the game, it's hard to wrap their head around a full season as they try to digest the game that was just played. Mitch Morse touched on the players' emotions in the locker room after the game and noted that the team will come out better from this loss.
"The emotions are so raw right now," Morse stated. "That locker room is really bummed out and guys are really feeling it. It is a blessing to have this backdrop that says AFC Championship and it's a special environment and it's what you play football for. I'm sure when we reflect back on what we were able to do and the stuff we were able to get done, we'll eventually be able to see the steps we did take forward. But also, I think there's that step we understand that we need to take to close out a game like this against a very competitive team in a hostile environment. So, like you said the emotions are raw right now. We will all eventually have time to reflect individually, and I'm sure we'll find ways to better ourselves. Whether it be with our communication or techniques, all that stuff, we'll all come out better."
3. Staying disciplined while playing through a pandemic
All 32 teams had to adapt and be comfortable with change this season because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some teams had more harsh situations than others, but every organization was affected by the pandemic in one way or another. One of the biggest changes for this season was fans in the stands, and as stadiums looked different around the NFL, Bills fans couldn't attend any games before the playoffs. Tremaine Edmunds explained the difficulties of this unprecedented season, but also commended his teammates for staying disciplined throughout it.
"Yeah, definitely it's difficult, I mean not having a family here at the games for support and things like that," Edmunds said. "I mean it's definitely been difficult, but I tip my hat off to the guys in the locker room because everybody stayed disciplined. We didn't have an outbreak going on at our facility, so it's just a testament to the guys and their dedication to that this year. Nothing to put our heads down, we prepared well, and we gave it all we had. In a year like this, guys were really locked in and we were all on a mission."