BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills quarterback Josh Allen said it best on Monday afternoon during his locker cleanout Zoom interview: “If you don’t win the whole thing, you’re going to have these feelings and these emotions.”
Buffalo fell one game short of the Super Bowl on Sunday to the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game, and even though that 38-24 loss is going to sting for a while, it’s not going to be the only thing the Bills take away from the 2020 season.
“We have a lot to be proud of. To come in, do the things we were able to accomplish, to do it without an offseason, to do it with a lot of new guys, a lot of new pieces, not having those OTA’s to be able to gel and get the reps and continuity going,” Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White said. “What we did is an amazing thing. It’s something to be proud of.
“It’s a building block, we’re still getting better. We’re a young team, a ceiling team, so the future is bright for us as we continue to work hard, believe in ourselves, and believe in that growth mindset Coach McDermott always preaches. With the guys we have, and the culture we have here, we’ll be fine for some time.”
The Bills finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, marking the best regular season record for the franchise since 1991, when the Bills season ended in a Super Bowl loss.
On top of becoming AFC East champions for the first time since 1995, the Bills also snapped a 25-year playoff win drought when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 in the Wild Card game. Buffalo would tack on a Division Round win, holding the Baltimore Ravens to just a field goal in the 17-3 win that would advance the Bills to the AFC Championship for the first time in 27 years.
It was a season that was a long time coming for this franchise that spent 17 years without a playoff appearance. And in a year unlike any other, it was a season that brought a lot of reasons to cheer for the city of Buffalo.
“As a whole and as an organization, I feel like we brought this city this much more hope,” Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins said. “In a pandemic when everything was going left, nobody really knew what to expect about what was going on. For a football team to come in and take the attention away from all the chaos and put it on us, it just gave the city hope and a little more juice and a little more swagger. If we stick together, days will be brighter than shadier.”
Now, after making it to the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, just getting to the AFC Championship game is not enough for this team.
“You just kind of realize how close we are. We’re not far. I talked about extra motivation and not really needing it, it’s more-so excitement that you’re right there. We felt it before the game, you still have to go through certain things that show you what you need to be what you want to be,” Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley said. “I would expect everybody to take that feeling into the offseason and do what they need to to get us where we need to be. Everybody has to do their part and do their job, that’s where we’ve been all year. This team is really good at that, that’s why we’ve made it this far, and I expect that to carry over into the offseason as well.”
“I’m proud of how our guys fought to the very end. Every experience and every game we can be in, it allows us to learn and grow from it. To have those three extra games in the postseason is going to help us out. We’re by no means done,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “Next year, I’m super excited about already, super excited about this whole process of feeling this hurt and this pain and letting it fuel me the right way to try to become better, try to be the best version of myself and help us win football games. I get the feeling that’s how a lot of guys feel right now.
“We’re not satisfied right now obviously. I’m learning this lesson now but unless you win the whole thing you’re not satisfied with how it ended. We’ll learn from it, we’ll grow from it, and we’ll be better from it.”