Last year, the Buffalo Bills were leaving Kansas City with a heartbreaking loss and saw their season end with a 42-36 loss in the AFC Divisional Round. While the Bills were one of the best teams in the league, they were lacking in a few key areas that would cost them their second straight trip to the AFC Championship Game and potentially a spot in the Super Bowl.
General manager Brandon Beane and the front office got to work with a plan in mind on what they needed to do to improve the roster. The focus for the Bills when building the roster was clear on how to improve enough to beat the Chiefs with an improved pass rush and more depth at cornerback.
The game on Sunday showed the moves general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills made were the right moves as they came away with a 24-20 win over Kansas City that now makes them the favorite for the top spot in the AFC.
Offseason additions come up big for the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs
The biggest move was obviously the addition of Von Miller and the former All-Pro had a huge game with four tackles and two sacks while playing almost 80% of the defensive snaps. The veteran certainly set the tone for this defense and the Bills were able to effectively pressure Patrick Mahomes, something they hadn’t been able to do in the past.
However, Miller wasn’t the only offseason addition on the defensive line that had a big game. The Bills had three total sacks with Shaq Lawson, who returned to Buffalo as a free agent, registering the other sack.
In addition to Lawson, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who also returned to Buffalo this offseason as a free agent, was a difference maker in the middle of the line that collapsed the pocket and would force Mahomes to scramble.
The Bills used two of their draft picks on cornerback with the selection of Kaiir Elam in the first round and Christian Benford in the sixth round. Kaiir Elam make the first big play of the game with an interception in the end zone that kept the score tied at zero. The Buffalo Bills have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries at cornerback but Elam, along with Christian Benford, has played at a high level.
On the offensive side of the ball, the team lost Spencer Brown in the first half to an ankle injury. However, the production didn’t suffer as David Quessenberry, who was signed as a free agent, stepped in and helped solidify that side of the offensive line.
The Buffalo Bills have had a strong core group of players that helped elevate the franchise the past few years including Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Jordan Poyer but needed a little extra help to get past Kansas City. The moves Brandon Beane made in the offseason did exactly that and paid off in Week 6.