Many Buffalo Bills fans looked at Sunday's game as a playoff game of sorts. Unsurprisingly, the Bills couldn't finish the job. Take nothing away from the Kansas City Chiefs but the Bills played a large role in defeating themselves on Sunday.
Bills forget about Sammy
In the first half of the game, Sammy Watkins made the Chiefs secondary look like a high school squad. He caught six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns during the first half. Single coverage or double coverage, it didn't matter. Watkins was making plays left and right. While it was obvious that the Chiefs would make some adjustments in the second half, you'd think that the receiver would still be targeted throughout the second half. Unfortunately, Tyrod Taylor and the Bills didn't agree with that thought process. Watkins received one target in the second half. Buffalo outsmarted themselves in the second half and only scored six points by taking Watkins out of their gameplan.
Rex drops eight and drops game
Didn't Rex Ryan learn from his disastrous Week 2 game plan? Days after promising that the aggressive defense the Bills featured on Monday Night Football would be the type of defense they'd feature on a weekly basis, the Bills backtracked. Instead of getting after Alex Smith, Buffalo dropped players into coverage throughout the game. With all day to throw, Smith picked the Bills apart on Sunday and ran when the coverage was strong. This led to some touchdown passes to Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce, as well as 35 additional yards on the ground for Smith.
Buffalo's poor defensive gameplan proved to be costly on Sunday.
Bills have no idea when to challenge
Robert Woods claimed he made a catch and that was enough for Rex Ryan and the Bills. Replays showed that Woods didn't catch the ball cleanly and a challenge was wasted by the Bills. Rule No. 1: Don't listen to receivers when it comes to challenges. They believe they catch everything.
That wasted challenge on Robert Woods could have been used on the play before Spencer Ware's touchdown put the Chiefs on the board. Jeremy Maclin had to come back on a poorly thrown deep ball and it appeared he used the turf to aid his catch. Replays confirmed this but Ryan didn't throw the challenge flag. The head coach claimed the replays weren't shown in-stadium but the fact that no one notified Ryan to challenge that play was inexcusable. The catch by Maclin gave the Chiefs and their fans life.
Unfortunately, Ryan made the same mistake later in the game. Chris Hogan caught a ball on Buffalo's final drive that would have converted a first down but the referees called it incomplete late. The referees made a poor call, there is no arguing that, but the once again, the Bills failed to throw the challenge flag. Replays showed it would have been ruled a catch and first down for the Bills. Instead, the Bills turned the ball over on downs a few plays later.
Someone is responsible to tell Rex Ryan when to challenge and that person failed miserably on Sunday.
-Robert Woods' lack of concentration on a few balls thrown his way is discouraging. Woods has done nothing to prove that he can be a No. 2 receiver for the Bills. Whether it's in free agency or the draft, the wide receiver position needs to be addressed.
-Injuries are piling up for the Bills. The team entered the game without Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and John Miller. During Sunday's game, they lost Karlos Williams, Alex Carrington, and Nigel Bradham.
-Ronald Darby gave up two touchdowns on Sunday. These were his first two touchdowns allowed this season. Darby gave up both touchdowns after leaving the game to be checked for a concussion. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Darby didn't look like himself on either play.
-Darby, Bacarri Rambo and Nickell Robey all had chances for pick-six interceptions but none of them were able to pull in the ball. They shouldn't be blamed for the loss, but these types of missed opportunities hurt Buffalo on Sunday.
-Jerry Hughes made some plays early but was then double and sometimes triple teamed. By the end of the game, Hughes lost his cool and took a costly roughing the passer penalty. Hughes has done this all too often this season and he needs to get his emotions in check.
-Dan Carpenter can finish the season as Buffalo's kicker but the team needs to bring in competition in the offseason. He missed this third extra point of the season on Sunday.
-Not only did the Bills lose on Sunday, but they received little help around the league. In addition to the Chiefs solidifying their Wild Card spot, the Houston Texans, New York Jets, and Oakland Raiders all won on Sunday. The Bills can still make the playoffs but they essentially have to run the table and get plenty of help the rest of the way. This isn't ideal by any means and it's very likely that Buffalo's playoff drought continues for another year.