By Chris Siers ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
What a weekend of playoff football.
In a season without one true dominant team, the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs treated fans to some of the most exciting football in years.
The first three games of the weekend all came down to walk-off field goal kicks.
That set the stage for perhaps one of the greatest NFL games in history in Sunday night’s weekend finale between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s no secret there’s a bit of a rivalry brewing between the Chiefs and the Bills and that’s centered around quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
These two teams are likely poised to run the AFC East and West for years to come.
Allen got started in the postseason by embarrassing the New England Patriots with just about as perfect as an effort as one can give at quarterback.
The Bills scored on every drive in the Wild Card round and Allen completed 21-of-25 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns.
As crazy of a stat as it is, he had more touchdown passes than incompletions.
Mahomes, like Allen, got off to a white-hot postseason start with a 30-of-39 effort for 404 yards and five touchdowns.
These two are playing on another level.
So it seemed only logical that the weekend playoff nightcap would be a dandy.
Boy was it.
With both of these gunslingers playing at such a high level, it quickly became evident this game would go down to the wire.
After a back-and-fourth three quarters, and a 26-21 Kansas City lead, it was Allen who hit Gabriel Davis on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter to ignite a firestorm of offense.
The Chiefs answered 52 seconds later when Tyreek Hill caught a pass from Mahomes on a short drag and streaked 64 yards, burning the Bills’ defense to put Kansas City up 33-29.
Not a chance.
Allen answered just 49 seconds later on a 19-yard pass to Davis to once again put the Bills up by three with just 13 seconds left.
Game over, right?
No way with Mahomes.
A pair of quick passes moved the Chiefs well into field goal territory and Harris Butker connected on a 49-yard field goal to split the uprights to force overtime.
In the final two minutes, the two teams combined for a ridiculous 28 points.
Even more ridiculous, from the final two minutes and into overtime, Mahomes threw for 177 yards.
Here’s where the NFL’s glaring overtime problem was given a primetime display for the world to see—the game ended up being decided on a coin flip.
The overtime rules state that if the team who wins a coin toss scores a touchdown, the game is over.
After such a tremendous display of gamesmanship, the Buffalo Bills deserved more than their season ending due to pure chance.
Allen couldn’t have played a more perfect game.
And this isn’t to say the Chiefs weren’t deserving of the win, because they absolutely earned it.
But the NFL has to address the overtime rules because there’s absolutely no reason for a team as good as the Bills to have played as well as they did in a game for what arguably could have been for the Super Bowl.
Whether it’s changing the rules for the playoffs to allow both teams a chance to posses the ball, or modifying the structure altogether to resemble something closer to the NCAA’s overtime rules, something needs to be addressed.
With the overwhelming response on social media and various headlines that will undoubtedly dominate the week’s talking points, it’s surely going to be addressed.
It’s just a shame Allen and the Bills didn’t even get a chance in overtime.
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Tribune. Email him at email@example.com.
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