Ex-Bills player has wild excuse for playoff loss to Bengals, says snow hurt Buffalo and a dome would’ve helped
Getting a home game in the playoffs is supposed to be a huge advantage for a cold-weathered team like Buffalo, but apparently, that wasn’t the case in January when the visiting Bengals destroyed the Bills in the divisional round.
At least one Bills player from that game thought the weather was a DISADVANTAGE. Just before the start of the contest, major snowfall hit Western New York, and that snow continued falling for the better part of all four quarters.
Although you’d think the snow would be an advantage for Buffalo, former Bills receiver Isaiah McKenzie said it actually hurt the team and that the Bills would have been better off if the game had been played indoors.
“If we were in a dome it would have been a totally different game,” McKenzie said on a recent episode of the “Go Long” podcast with Tyler Dunne.
If you think this sounds like a crazy excuse, so does Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals receiver, who finished the playoff game with 61 receiving yards and a touchdown, pointed out on Twitter that the Bills game was his FIRST time ever playing in the snow.
The Bengals jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before coasting to a 27-10 victory. According to McKenzie, the snow slowed down the Bills’ passing attack, which was a huge problem because Buffalo didn’t exactly have a ground game that could pick up the slack.
“I’ll tell you this: That snow had a lot to do with it,” McKenzie said of the loss. “Let’s be real, our run game wasn’t the best run game. … We didn’t have a run game, so the snow was a big deal because we pass the ball.”
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Although the snow slowed down the Bills, the Bengals didn’t have any issues moving the ball. Joe Burrow threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the win while Joe Mixon finished the game with 105 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. According to McKenzie, the Bengals were able to throw the ball in the snow because they kept things simple.
“The Bengals ran basic routes,” McKenzie said. “Maybe we should’ve done that, ran basic routes, like out routes, go balls, instead of running routes that you have to be going lateral or coming back to the football, or turning and running curls and things like that.”
McKenzie, who caught two passes for 10 yards against the Bengals, also said that Josh Allen struggled with his ball placement.
“Everybody says ‘Oh, the Bengals caught the ball, they ran, Joe Burrow threw the ball just fine, their receivers caught the ball just fine.’ But Joe Burrow and Josh are just two different type of guys,” McKenzie said. “Josh has a cannon and that’s how he throws a football. Josh has touch every now and then, but he wants to sling the football. And that was kind of tough for him, getting the balls in the right spots, receivers getting open because of the routes we ran.”
If there’s wind and snow in the weather forecast, you’d think that would favor the guy with the “cannon” for an arm, but apparently that wasn’t the case. McKenzie also said falling behind so quickly in the first quarter seemed to deflate the team even though there was still plenty of time left in the game.
“Once we got down 14, everyone was kind of like ‘ughhhh,'” the receiver said.
The good news for McKenzie is that he likely won’t have to play in the snow at all this year. The receiver, who was cut by the Bills in March, will get to spend the 2023 season playing in a dome after signing with the Colts. Over the final five weeks of the regular season, the Colts will only play one outdoor game, and in a twist, that game will be in Cincinnati, which means if McKenzie is forced to play in the snow in 2023, it will likely once again come against the Bengals.