Throughout the entire week of practice leading up to the Chiefs game, the Bills players and coaches wouldn't let the game become bigger than it was. For them, it was just another week and they continued to show why they're one of the best teams in the entire NFL.
After losing to the Chiefs twice in 2020, the Bills could have made it public that they were out for revenge and fed into all the different storylines heading into the game. As the team does every week, they kept a calm composure and had a great week of practice to be ready to get over the hump and beat Kansas City, 38-20.
Sean McDermott said after the Bills victory that the team has learned from the past and did all the right things in preparing for this Sunday night matchup.
"It's the right approach, it's Week 5 and it's another step for us as a football team and as an organization," McDermott said. "Humility goes a long way. You can get humbled awfully quick in this league if you don't embrace that mindset, week to week. I'm really proud of the guys for that and that starts with the leadership in that locker room."
Many people outside the Bills organization doubted the Bills defense going up against the high-powered Chiefs offense because of their opponents through the first four weeks. This Bills defense continued to dominate throughout the game Sunday night. They held Mahomes and Co. to only 20 points which is the third-lowest regular-season total by the Chiefs since 2018. This Bills team wasn't worried about what the Chiefs were going to bring to the game, instead worried about making themselves better and continuing to go over the little details in order to be successful.
"Throughout the week of preparation, we believed in ourselves, we believed in our teammates, and we believe in the way we go about things," Poyer stated. "Obviously last year left a bad taste in my mouth so we wanted to come back and play well today. We had a great week of practice, and coach put us in position to make plays. Micah got a pick-six. Greg got a pick. Just some big plays in the game. Siran's fumble on the kickoff. There were some big plays that we had today to keep us in the lead."
Big plays were the key to winning this game, and the Bills had plenty of them on both sides of the ball. The 61-yard pass to Stefon Diggs in the second quarter which set up a Bills field goal was the second-longest completion of Josh Allen's career. Allen was also able to connect with Dawson Knox and Emmanuel Sanders for touchdowns of 53 and 35 yards respectively. Allen is glad to see his team play great complementary football and that the offense was able to execute as well as they did.
"We came into a hostile environment, played a really good team, ended up with a win and that's our goal each and every week," Allen said. "To come out here and to be resilient through the lightning delay and a couple plays here and there. But again, I'm proud of our team for how we handled the situation. Away games are never easy, no matter who you're playing, and each week it's a different situation, different matchup. You gotta go out there and execute a game plan that's what we did today and then we're gonna have to continue to do that."
This Bills team knows that four wins won't get you into the playoffs, which is a big reason why they weren't making this game more than it is. This win over Kansas City should help the Bills when it comes to playoff seeding and having the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs could help the team get the number one seed later in the season.
After having two home playoff games last season, the Bills know how important it is to host as many games as possible in the playoffs to better the chances of reaching the Super Bowl – which is this team's ultimate goal. This Bills defense has been playing like a championship-caliber defense to start the season and leads the league in many statistical categories. For Tremaine Edmunds, he isn't shocked by how the defense has started the 2021 campaign and knows there's always room to get better.
"Honestly, we know how good we can be," Edmunds said. "We're not surprised as far as the success we're having. I see it day in and day out, throughout the week. It doesn't just happen on game days; guys are putting in the work and throughout the week. It's just exciting to see that it's showing up on game day. I'm extremely happy for those guys."
With the amount of continuity that the Buffalo Bills have in terms of players and coaches, this group has been through a lot together since McDermott arrived in 2017. They are getting used to the big moments under the spotlight and have felt what it's like to win and lose in those situations. Dion Dawkins knew that the experiences they've had together as a team helped them for this exact moment.
"That just shows that we've been there before, this is not the Super Bowl, this is not the championship game, this is just another win, another game on our schedule," Dawkins said. "That just shows that we've been in a situation like this before, and that just honestly shows the maturity of our team. The Kansas City Chiefs are a great team and they have been a great team. It's just stacking days and stacking plays."
The Allen to Knox connection continues to get stronger
Dawson Knox continues to make big plays week after week to start off the 2021 season. Against the Chiefs, he caught three passes for a career-high 117 yards and a touchdown. Knox is the first Bill since Sammy Watkins (2015) with a receiving touchdown in four consecutive games and is the first Bills tight end ever with a touchdown in four straight games. Allen has always had trust in Knox, but Allen thinks there's one reason why Knox has been so electric to start the season.
"I don't know if he's doing anything different, he's just making plays," Allen said. "He's getting open, and I trust him. I trusted him ever since I've known him, but I think he's trusting himself now. Understanding that every play, there's a potential of him getting the ball. He runs the right route. I've mentioned before, He's one of our better blockers and I'd say he's one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. He just comes to work each and every day and just wants to help this team win football games."
Lots of smiles and celebrations following a big win on the national stage.
Micah Hyde explains the atmosphere in the Bills locker room for the extended halftime
During halftime, there was a weather delay for lighting which extended the break to over an hour. At that time, the Bills had a 24-13 lead and put up some nice scoring drives to end the half. The team had been in a similar situation last season in Miami, where they had an extended halftime due to a weather delay, so they knew how to handle the adversity. Micah Hyde said after the game that they were able to weather the storm and still keep the momentum going in the second half. According to Hyde, the Bills locker room at halftime had nothing but good vibes.
"We were in there just hanging out," Hyde said. "We were eating some peanut butter and jellies, having some oranges, listening to music, talking about what we got to do to get back out there and just kicking it man. We enjoy each other's company."