When it doubt, kick it out?
The Bills, down 12 points in the closing seconds of the first half of Sunday’s AFC championship game, were faced with a decision: Try to score a touchdown on fourth down to tighten the gap, or kick a field goal to make a two-possession game a . . . two-possession game.
Well, as has been the theme of the 2020 NFL playoffs, McDermott and the Bills decided to kick the field goal to make the score 21-12, Chiefs. Keep in mind, the field goal was from the Chiefs’ 2, or a 20-yarder. That’s 13 fewer yards than an extra point.
A touchdown in that situation, at minimum, brings the score to 21-15, with the extra point pending. That, obviously, would have put the Bills into one-possession territory. Instead, the field goal kept the game at two possessions with some dude named Patrick Mahomes on the other sideline going nuclear in his return from concussion protocol.
Plenty of people had thoughts on McDermott’s “cowardly” decision to kick:
Sean McDermott Matt LaFleur
Making weird field-goal decisions
— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) January 25, 2021
FG to make it a two-possession game when it’s already a two-possession game? Sean McDermott playing Connect Four when Andy Reid’s playing chess.
— Eli Hershkovich (@EliHershkovich) January 25, 2021
Matt LeFleur and Sean McDermott have top five quarterbacks and are kicking 25-yard field goals in the playoffs. I don’t understand.
— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeegNFP) January 25, 2021
Sean McDermott kicks a FG on a 4th& 3 from KC 33 on their first possession, now kicks a FG from the Chiefs 2 at the end of the half. Two gutless, cowardly decisions which will cost him the game. Chiefs offense rolling & FG’s aren’t going to get it done.
— dave smith (@davesportsgod) January 25, 2021
Coaches’ decisions to kick in high-stakes situations have been at the forefront of this year’s tournament, with the Packers-Buccaneers NFC championship game earlier in the day featuring its own questionable field goal attempt. The Packers opted to kick rather than go for it on fourth-and-goal from the Bucs’ 8 in the closing minutes of the game while trailing by eight.
Winning coaches make winning calls, so we’ll see if this one comes back to bite the Bills in the Buffalo butt.