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Wide right again: Bills' playoff hopes extinguished after Tyler Bass misses game-tying kick

Wide right ruined Buffalo's Super Bowl dreams once again.

Bills kicker Tyler Bass pushed a potential 44-yard game-tying field goal wide right, and Buffalo fell, 27-24, to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in the Divisional Round in Orchard Park.

"It sucks. Losing sucks," Bills quarterback Josh Allen said after the game. "Losing to them, losing to anybody. At home. It sucks."

Trailing by three points, the Bills mounted a more than a six-minute drive, keeping Patrick Mahomes saddled to the bench. Coming out of the two-minute warning, Allen misfired twice, setting up Bass for a makeable boot to even the score.

Shades of Scott Norwood's 47-yard miss in Super Bowl XXV echoed through Western New York as Bass' kick sailed well wide, leaving the gut-punched Bills Mafia again on the wrong side of an epic playoff tussle with the Chiefs.

"Ultimately, it's completely on me," a dejected Bass said in the locker room following the loss. "Got to do a better job of getting through to my target. Got to do a better job of playing it a little bit more left when you have a left-to-right. I've been here long enough to know that you have to do that. I was trusting my line that I had in warmups. Hit a good ball, it didn't work out. I feel terrible. I love this team, and it hurts. This one hurts bad. I've got to do a better job."

Allen rejected the notion that the Bills lost because of Bass' missed kick.

"I wish it wouldn't have been put in that situation," Allen said. "You win as a team, you lose as a team. One play doesn't define a game. It doesn't define a season. I know people are gonna be out there saying that. We've got to be there for him because, again, we execute a couple plays prior, probably singing a different tune right now."

Even if Bass made the kick, Mahomes would have a ton of time for a potential game-winning drive.

The heavyweights traded blows early, including four lead changes in the second and third quarters. Allen played magnificently with his arm and legs. The QB generated 186 passing yards with a TD and bulldozed his way for 72 rushing yards and two ground scores.

However, Buffalo's big-play offense was slowed, with zero plays of 20-plus yards. The Bills moved the chains, generating 27 first downs to the Chiefs 21. Buffalo out-gained K.C. 368-361 but averaged just 4.7 yards per play on 78 snaps compared to the Chiefs 7.7 on 47 plays.

The Bills' plan to play bully ball, using six-plus offensive linemen on 21 plays and retaining possession to keep Mahomes on the sideline, nearly worked -- until it didn't.

The Bills' injury-riddled defense couldn't slow Mahomes early, allowing scores on Kansas City's first five non-kneel possessions. The Chiefs punted once in the game. It took Buffalo forcing a Mecole Hardman fumble through the end zone to give the Bills a chance late.

"I'm confident in this team," head coach Sean McDermott said. "I'm confident in Josh. We have to continue to grow. I think a piece of -- you want to get to a game like this as healthy as you possibly can. That's not the reason why we lost, however. We just didn't do enough defensively or special teams-wise enough to affect the game."

Despite the defensive struggles, Buffalo still had a shot, with Allen and Co. rolling down the field late.

Following the two-minute warning, Allen had Khalil Shakir deep for a potential TD, but pressure from Chiefs star defensive lineman Chris Jones forced a short throw. Allen was flushed on the next play and forced to throw it away. The two missed plays set up Bass' botch.

"I wanted to go there. I didn't have great pocket movement," Allen said of the miss to Shakir. "Just couldn't get it to him on the throw."

The loss is the Bills' third consecutive defeat in the Divisional Round and the third time in four seasons Buffalo was knocked out of the playoffs by Kansas City.

"I don't think it's a big change," Allen said of moving forward after the latest playoff march coming up short. "I think it's, again, we've got to find a way to score one more point than they do. Every season, if you don't win, it's a failed season. That's the nature of the business. There's one happy team at the end of the season, really. When it's not you and you're so close, it sucks."

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