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Buffalo Bills: What If They Never Played Prevent Defense Those 13 Seconds?

What if the Buffalo Bills never played prevent defense during those last 13 seconds? What if the call had been relayed to Tyler Bass that he was supposed to squib kick it and not kick it through the end zone for a touchback? Is it too soon for this? It might be, but I don’t care. We were 13 seconds away from hosting an AFC Championship game at Highmark Stadium in front of 70,000 screaming fans. 

13 seconds is my version of “wide right”; however, I know it’s not even really remotely the same considering 13 seconds was in the divisional round and “wide right” was to win the Super Bowl. The question has ultimately been raised, and one that we can’t help but keep asking. What would’ve happened if those 13 seconds had gone a little differently?

What would’ve happened if we had played defense straight up instead of letting Hill gash us for 25 yards the first play and getting into field goal range with only 10 measly seconds coming off the clock. This was one of the worst and most poorly executed plans the Bills and this coaching staff have had in the McDermott era. And while I’m sure many of us are tired of hearing about it, I can only imagine how many times we’re going to hear about it on air this upcoming season. 

If the Bills had squibbed it, at least three to four seconds would’ve come off the clock, giving the Chiefs most likely only time for one designed play. If the Bills had played straight up, we can assume they would give a little cushion to catch and run underneath and make the tackle. Assuming six or seven seconds run off the clock and they’re not yet in field goal range. The chiefs would’ve had about 50-60 yards to go for a Hail Mary or maybe a catch and lateral, either way, Buffalo likely would’ve stopped them and headed back to Buffalo. 

While the Bengals had a terrific run last season, I could not see Joe Burrow and the Bengals coming into Buffalo, beating Josh Allen, this team, in front of these fans, and with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Bills’ offense was clicking on all cylinders, and I think Buffalo would’ve handled business fairly easily at home to earn a trip to LA to meet the Rams in Sofi Stadium. 

While the Super Bowl could’ve gone either way, I’m sure the Rams would’ve been the favorite given that they were the home team, and Buffalo would’ve been in the dance with a chance at a Lombardi Trophy. Watching that Super Bowl, I’m sure many of us can agree that Buffalo would’ve beaten both those teams that played. It was a pretty sloppy second half and most of the fourth quarter as well.

The Rams defensive line dominated that second half and Burrow doesn’t have near the same mobility and escapability that Josh Allen does which I think would’ve had a huge factor in the outcome of the game. Bias aside, I do think the Buffalo Bills would’ve won the Super Bowl if they were to hang on for those final 13 seconds against Kansas City. While it’s very easy to assume that the Bills would’ve won the Super Bowl, nothing is ever that easy. So many different things could’ve happened and both of their last two games could’ve gone any which way; however, if everything went as expected then I think the Bills would’ve hoisted that trophy. 

Last season is over and we’re onto this year now. As previously mentioned, we’re not going to be able to escape those infamous “13 seconds” for years to come. It’s the new “wide right.” The NFL media and broadcasters are going to find ways to work it into their commentary and fans from opposing teams are going to use it in attempts to bring us Bills fans down. We can’t let that happen. We need to wear it like armor and then it can never be used against us.

While it’s always fun, and sometimes sad to reminisce about that game and the events that unfolded, we can’t help but wonder “what if…” things had gone a little differently and gone the Bills’ way for once. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of these “what if“ games and moments this upcoming season. We can count on the fact that the Bills will be back even better and more ready than ever to bring home that Lombardi Trophy. 

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