The loss to the Chiefs, doesn't define the season but it does examplify the issues with the team.
BUFFALO, NY, (1-26-2024) - Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen defended his teammate, kicker Tyler Bass, who's missed 44-yard field goal cemented the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 victory to advance to the AFC Championhip game in Baltimore.
"You know you win as a team, you lose as a team," said Allen. "One play doesn't define a game or a season."
Although Allen is right that one play doesn't define a season, it's another example of the many times Buffalo had a chance to take a win in 2023 and couldn't get it done. The team suffered six losses, all of them by one score, and they all appeared to be theirs to lose.
From Aaron Rodgers going down after three snaps in their season opener, to the fumble by Mecole Hardman that resulted in a touch back in the divisional round, the team had many opportunities to take control of games but ended up failing at the final turn.
Stefon Diggs had dropped a crucial 65-yard pass from Allen on that final drive. In week 18 against the Miami Dolphins, Allen overthrew what could've been an 82-yard touchdown. After averaging a catch rate of 80.2% through weeks 1-5, it decreased to 62.2 %. With him averaging 48.9 yards in the final 13 games of the season, this is the longest drought of his career without a 100-yard game.
Since the team took a chance on intern OC Joe Brady, it took steps at creating a scheme not completely reliant on Allen. Younger talent like Kahlil Shakir, James Cook and Dalton Kincaid gained bigger roles under Brady with Kincaid breaking the Bills receptions record by a Bills tight end in his season.
Allen still proved himself as one of the top QBs in the league, totaling 258 yards and four touchdowns against the Chiefs. Earlier this season, he became the first player to have four-consecutive 40+ touchdown seasons, despite having 25 turnovers.
The defense kept getting shot every week with CB Tre' White and LB Matt Milano each suffering season-ending injuries. Micah Hyde, Terrell Bernard and Rasul Douglas would also suffer minor injuries from time to time. Despite this, the team only allowed at least 30 points once all season and ranked 10th in average yards allowed.
But missing splash players like Milano and White can come back to haunt you, especially when facing guys like Travis Kelce who got out of his regular season slump. The offense also had no other guys making plays for Allen with Kincaid leading the team in receiving yards with only 45.
The Bills Super-Bowl window will always be open as long as Allen is behind center. However, with the team projected to be $45 million over the cap, there will be drastic changes made to the team.
This could include moving on from veteran safety duo like Hyde and Poyer, releasing Von Miller who only had five tackles all season or even moving on from Diggs. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane both need to address the lack of offensive talent who can compliement Allen and finally get this team over the hump.