Bills coach Sean McDermott will replay fateful 13 seconds in his 'gut ... for years'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

For the Buffalo Bills, the misery and anguish of 13 seconds on Sunday night could last a lifetime.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott had his season-ending media conference Tuesday after Buffalo's heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's AFC divisional-round matchup, and he didn't mince words on how much the result still stung.

Namely what unfolded in the final 13 seconds of regulation. A touchback on the kickoff. A 19-yard catch by Tyreek Hill. A 25-yard grab by Travis Kelce. A 48-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.

Tied game. Overtime. Followed by Kelce's game-winning TD and swaths of Bills fans questioning everything that happened after their team had taken a 36-33 lead.

McDermott said Tuesday he has since watched those fateful 13 seconds “a million times,” both on film and in his head. And, he said, "I’ll continue to watch it in my mind — and in my gut — for years."

He likely won't be the only one. Those 13 seconds might not vanish for most of Bills Nation until the team can reach the mountaintop and win a Super Bowl.

Asked again whether the kickoff should have been hit into the field of play, just as McDermott was asked after the game, he remained mostly mum on the subject.

"I’m still not going to get into the specifics on it," he said. "It comes down to execution, and we didn’t execute. That’s where I was after the game, and that’s where I am now."

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott has that thousand-yard stare after watching the Kansas City Chiefs beat his team in the playoffs again. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott has that thousand-yard stare after watching the Kansas City Chiefs beat his team in the playoffs again. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Bills players not 'fine' with the loss

McDermott couldn't hold back when he spoke about the feeling that existed on the Bills' plane ride home.

“If you saw that plane ride on the way home, you would not come away with the impression that we’re fine," he said. "Everyone has single-minded focus to improve and committed to accomplishing one goal. We’re going to be human here and try to get a little bit of rest and get back on it. ... We will work tirelessly to do that and go about it the right way.”

Still, McDermott's overall takeaway remained the same: The loss can and, he believes, will motivate the Bills when they get back at it in the 2022 season.

“We’re disappointed, and it’s going to hurt for some time," he said. "If we all face it the right way and carry it with it and learn from it, we’ll eventually get to our ultimate goal as an organization. I want that for our fans.

"We work tirelessly and we’re super proud to be in a game like that. We went toe to toe with the two-time defending AFC champions. They have good coaches. They have good players. We’re right there. Look where we were a year ago against Kansas City and where we were this year; it’s a bit of measuring stick. We want to be in those games. We want to win those games.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting