COLUMN: Buffalo hope is stronger than Buffalo fear


The Buffalo Bills captured a 38-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Leah Harrigan, The Carroll News

Revenge really is so sweet. But, for the Buffalo Bills, vengeance almost always comes with a nail-biting, yelling at the TV, holding your breath type of game. However, that was not the case on Sunday night, as Buffalo held a blue-collar, hardworking grip throughout the game. 


On Sunday, Oct. 10, the Bills took the spotlight in an American Football Conference Championship rematch against the Patrick Mahomes’ led Kansas City Chiefs. The stage for America’s greatest game was Arrowhead Stadium, a great distance from the comfort of Bills Mafia-backed crowd in Orchard Park, New York. But that didn’t matter. This Sunday-night showdown ended in a 38-20 victory for Buffalo, proving that the AFC title could be in the hands of any franchise this season. 


The game started with an extended drive for the Chiefs, where MVP quarterback Mahomes showcased his on-the-fly abilities. But, Bill’s Captain Josh Allen and company answered. Allen used his six feet, five inch frame to slice through the Kansas City defense, a risky but effective offensive strategy that helped the Buffalo Bills fight their way down the field.

The initial quarter of play ended in a score of 7-3, with Buffalo squeaking out a lead going into the second quarter of the game.


This is where the competition really began. The second quarter was marked by penalties against Buffalo, which kept the Chiefs standing after missed first-down opportunities due to a ranked Bills defense. Mahomes was able to thread a pass to dual threat receiver and kick returner, Byron Pringle, for a Kansas City touchdown relatively early in the second quarter. A close trade of possessions kept a national audience on the edge of their seats, myself included.


A tenacious Buffalo team began to pull away from the clasp of the Chiefs’ offense, with their own offensive unit initiating more opportunities for success. Allen was able to locate a new acquisition to Bills, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, for an in-stride touchdown pass to put the Bills up 14-7. Another string of bombs down the field by Allen to wide receiver, Steffon Diggs, in addition to more tosses to Sanders kept the Chiefs secondary unit on their toes.  


“We love Josh Allen because he puts it all on the line for his city,” said Olivia Hughes ‘24, a Buffalo resident now in Cleveland for her studies at John Carroll University.


“We are excited to see him lead the Bills for the next seven years,” said Sara Holowka ‘24.


But, a true Buffalo fan can’t forget about a standout performance from Bills’ tight end, Dawson Knox. He was another target on Allen’s radar, as Knox stood tall in the endzone to receive yet another touchdown pass from his visionary quarterback. 


At halftime, the game stood at 24-13, with a trickle of field goals from both teams steadily increasing the score.


A one-hour lightning delay pushed the second half to 11 p.m. start, but similar to their automatic offense before, that didn’t shake the Bill’s defense. Buffalo safety Micah Hyde secured a pass that bounced off the hands of Chief’s receiver Tyreek Hill. Hyde ran it 26 yards to the endzone for a pick-six to give Buffalo the momentum in the second half. Soon after, rookie Gregory Rousseau obstructed Mahomes’ pass and hopped on top of the ball for another interception to give the Bills the ball back. 


Still, Kansas City plugged away, recording another touchdown as Mahomes dished it to Cleveland Heights native, Travis Kelce, in the endzone for a statement score to give the Chiefs 20 while the Bills stood at 31.


Although Buffalo looked like they had a win secured, Buffalo fans knew they certainly could not speak too soon. Late game losses, despite significant leads, have been a characteristic of Buffalo football for several years. It was too soon to call it a Bills victory because, as a Bills fan myself, we’ve been there and we have definitely done that.


But, Buffalo hope is stronger than Buffalo fear. The last quarter of play showcased an “Air Allen” segment when the talented quarterback hurdled over a Chief’s defender to gain a first down. Not long after, Allen fired another pass to Sanders for a touchdown, which would mark the final set of points in the game.  


It was a victory for the team, but it was a win for the entire city itself.  To be a Buffalo fan is to stay loyal, committed and proud of your team, even in the face of adversity and lack of hope. To be a Buffalo fan is to “trust the process”, as Head Coach Sean McDermott says, and realize that the journey itself is what makes a team successful in the long run.  


“Buffalo is family,” exclaimed Ellie Robertson ‘24. 


The Buffalo Bills (4-1) travel to Nashville, Tennessee to face the Titans (3-2) in a quest to show which team is dominant in the AFC on Monday, Oct. 18, at 8:15 p.m.