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Sean McDermott Says He'll Feel Bills' Playoff Loss to Chiefs in His 'Gut for Years'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills' dramatic playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs will live long in the memory of head coach Sean McDermott.

McDermott told reporters Tuesday he has replayed the defeat both on video and "in my head a million times, in my stomach a million more":

"It's my livelihood and I'm super competitive as well. I want the best for our football team and this organization and our fans, quite honestly. So I'll continue to watch it in my mind and in my gut for years ... but when we get to where we're trying to get to, I believe that'll make it that much more enjoyable in that moment."

Watching your team fail to protect a three-point lead with only 13 seconds on the clock is the kind of thing that will sear into the brain of any coach. Gabriel Davis' 19-yard touchdown reception appeared to be the decisive moment in the game.

NFL @NFL

JOSH ALLEN AND GABRIEL DAVIS' 4TH TD GIVES THE BILLS THE LEAD WITH 17 SECONDS.<br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BUFvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BUFvsKC</a> on CBS<br>πŸ“±: <a href="https://t.co/bCIjXIlFWh">https://t.co/bCIjXIlFWh</a> <a href="https://t.co/DgdL4Pwvnd">pic.twitter.com/DgdL4Pwvnd</a>

For McDermott, the outcome is probably especially painful because the Bills might have held on if they had opted for a squib kick to drain more time off the clock on the ensuing kickoff.

Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt

We'll hear a lot about the unfairness of overtime rules. But the Bills kicked it in the end zone with 13 seconds left rather than using 4-6 seconds with a squib kick. And then let KC get in FG position. <br>But what a game..

Michael Lombardi @mlombardiNFL

13 seconds means three plays--at the most, and one would have to be the field goal attempt, so if you squib the kick and make them field the ball in play, you boil the game down to one throw. Yet no one does this and it baffles me. The Bucs didn't either.

Hindsight is always 20/20. 

As long as the Chiefs had enough time to run one play before lining up for a game-tying field goal, giving them possession on their own 35- or 40-yard line instead of the 25 may not have made a big difference.

After the game, McDermott declined to break the play down in detail, telling reporters instead that the Bills "can just execute better and that starts with me and goes all the way down."

Based on his comments, it's possible kicker Tyler Bass was supposed to avoid a touchback and misread the situation.

No matter what transpired on the sideline, the 2022 AFC Divisional Round will be another entry into the Bills' history of postseason heartbreaks.