(Editor’s note: This story was originally published on January 24 and has been updated.)
KANSAS CITY, Missouri. The last time the Buffalo Bills faced the Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium scored 25 points in two minutes as the Chiefs won a playoff thriller in two rounds of the division in overtime.
“It was just going through adversity, finding a way to win, no matter what the cost,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said this week after defeating the Bills in the playoffs in January. “It was a great football team – and still a great football team – and we know that every time we lose them it comes down to wires. And so to see how the guys react, even when it seemed that everything was already behind, is something that you will always have.
Mahomes and Bills quarterback Josh Allen made NFL history that day as it was the first game in which both quarterbacks threw for at least 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and had at least 50 yards.
They will meet again at Arrowhead on Sunday in a 4-1 match between the two teams (4:25 pm ET, CBS).
Here’s a look at the final minutes of arguably one of the greatest games in NFL history, as told by the attendees.
1:54 left: Billy lead from first quarter
What happened: Scores end at 17 games, 7:01 drive with 27-yard touchdown from Allen to wide receiver Gabriel Davis at 4th and 13th.
Check: Billy 29, Chiefs 26
Coach Sean McDermott: “I looked at [Davis] on the touchline and I said, “Hey, you’re going to make a game.” And he’s pretty damn sure he made two big games for us there on the lot.”
Davis:”[Allen] will always play with the ball in his hand, we have a lot of confidence and trust in him. He’s the best quarterback in the NFL and I support that and I know that when it’s time to play I know he’ll be there to make it happen.”
McDermott: “Huge [drive]. We knew we would have to be very resilient here with the environment for what it is and how good they are as a team.”
Mitch Morse Center: “I wish you guys were on that fourth down, I think it was the first conversion of the fourth down with a minute and a change. It was just great love. The guys said they loved each other: “Let’s execute, let’s do it for each other.”
1:02 left: Chiefs regain lead in less than a minute
What happened: Mahomes connects with wide receiver Tyreke Hill for a 64-yard touchdown to complete a five-game 75-yard rush in 52 seconds.
Check: Chiefs 33, Bills 29
Hill: “I always believe that every time I enter the field, I will score. Sometimes it may not happen, but at that time it was a two-man cover, the security was very deep, the corner was with effort. It’s just Pat, you know, knew exactly when I was about to break. Perfect timing, perfect execution, perfect playcall, and the rest is history. I was able to use my speed to get into the end zone.”
McDermott: “They have great speed. A 5-yard catch can turn into a 50-yard catch run. You saw one. we made some progress there and Tyrek made his move and then brought him home. So they challenge you defensively because of the speed they have offensively.”
Hill on whether he should kneel at the end zone, or “church” as the Chiefs call it, to give the Bills less time to rally: “No one talked about the church regime. Trainer [Andy Reid] did not say the church regime. [Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy] did not say the church regime. Patrick Mahomes didn’t talk about the church regime. So I’m going to get a touchdown. Why not? Plus, I had a crazy landing party planned, but Pat stopped me.
Raid on whether Hill should go church: “We wanted him to score. Perhaps we would like to have less time on the clock. But he fought it. It didn’t have to be slowed down.
0:13 left: Allen connects with Davis for fourth TD gear
What happened: The Bills went 75 yards in six plays, scoring seconds before advancing to the AFC title game.
Check: Billy 36, Chiefs 33
Davis: “I talk about it all the time, but when your number is called, you have to play. I knew it was going to be such a night, especially knowing that we have guys like Stephon Diggs and Cole Beasley who would double me more than me. So, I was just ready for whatever was in store for me and once again I was able to make the most of the draws that were announced.”
0:13 to 0:00: Chiefs drives 44 yards to tie with FG.
What happened: Kicker Harrison Butker equalized with a 49-yard field goal, scoring 19 yards at Hill and 25 yards at Kelch.
Check: Billy 36, Chiefs 36
Kielce: “It’s a pretty common defense in a situation like this. The defense will try to take away side shots to give you more seams and open up the middle of the field. This and they are soft, so you can get a head start. . … I said [Mahomes] I probably will not run on the route that is called. I’ll just run out into the open. In the middle of his cadence, he yelled at me at the line of scrimmage, “Do it. Do this. Do this.’ I just thought, “Okay, let’s get started, boys.” It was just a small football game in the backyard with a couple of seconds left, which gave us the opportunity to go into overtime.”
Mahomes: “In the first play we hit Tyrek and he got as much as he could go down and then in the game with Travis it was kind of like he didn’t have to do it but after the timeout we looked at what he was doing protection, and he actually told me this, he said, “If we do it again, I’m going to take him in the middle between both guys guarding me.” And he came out on the field, I gave him the ball, and he hit the field goal area.
morse: “When the quarterback is at the helm on this offense, it’s not game over. They fulfilled, and therefore they continue, and we do not.
Hill: “No one panicked. No one said, “Oh, game over” with 13 seconds left. We just went out and played and the rest is history. quarterback. We also have playmakers who agree with that.”
McDermott on the Chiefs final race: “I don’t want to go into details. It’s just that in general, there are things that we’ve talked about and we can just work better, and that starts with me and goes all the way. I don’t want to go into details right now. . I’m really proud of the guys and their efforts. Obviously they made a couple of games in the future. So I’ll just leave it right now.”
Allen: “I think it’s Pat Mahomes on the other side. They made some good moves there at the end and unfortunately the coin toss went the way it did. incredible game.”
Bootker who missed a 50-yard ball to the right at the end of the first half: “I changed the aiming point too much [on the missed kick]. … After that missed shot, I kind of kicked my ass and said I just had to stick to the game plan I had in the warm-up, and that’s what I did for the 49-yarder. It’s almost like I had a practice hit with a miss and I was able to bounce back and take everything I could from the miss to help with the 49-yard.”
10:45 to go to OT: Executives don’t give Bills another chance
What happened: Allen didn’t stand a chance as Mahomes & Co. drove 75 yards in eight plays. Mahomes throws Kelche 8 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Final score: Chiefs 42, Bills 36
The TD catch raid that the officials had to check: “The overtime play was just a double move from one of Kelsey’s favorite routes that he has and that we call quite often. In fact, he had a big catch early in the game. double move in this game and he made a great catch. It was a hell of a catch. It was such a hell of a catch that the referee stopped me right there and said, “Game ain’t over yet” because it seemed like five minutes. Everyone was celebrating, and I say: “Good luck to everyone to return.”
Kielce: “I immediately knew it was a touchdown. I was in complete control of the situation and planted both feet on the ground.”
Security Mika Hyde: “For most of the game, we limited them to these big, explosive plays. And then it just went out the gate. Like I said, we are proud that we don’t. And that’s why it hurts even more because we were able to let them do it.”
Security Jordan Poyer: “Obviously not the way we wanted to end our season. Freak, man, the attack did everything it was supposed to do. Protection, we had to get out and make a stop, we couldn’t do it. feeling, dude.
Allen on not getting the ball back: “The rules are what they are. I can’t complain about that, because if it were the other way around, we’d be celebrating too. This is what is at the moment. We just didn’t play enough tonight. .”
Mahomes on the overtime rule: “This time we did well. Whenever two teams go back and forth like you, it stinks a little that you don’t see the other guy leave, but I’ll take it upon myself to win this time Obviously I got hurt last time [in the January 2019 AFC Championship Game against the Patriots]. All you can do is play the way the rules are explained and that’s what we did today.”
Attack tackle by Dion Dawkins under the OT rule: “We should never let a football match be defined by a coin – I think that’s the craziest rule in sports. coin toss? Like, this is not Vegas. We’re not at the casino table.”
Allen: “Pat was amazing. I have a lot of respect for him and the Chiefs in general. They played one game more than us. That’s what it led to.”