Cris Collinsworth didn’t heap a lot of praise on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. In fact, the longtime analyst kept offering excuses for the Kansas City Chiefs, who were never really in the game.
And when Collinsworth wasn’t whitewashing the Chiefs’ performance, he was seemingly encouraging them to play dirty.
During last season’s AFC Championship Game, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was wrestled to the ground after the whistle had blown. The belated hit propelled Allen to flip the football off the helmet of Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor.
We almost had a repeat event on Sunday.
Faced with a 1st-and-10 at Kansas City’s 11-yard line in the second quarter, Allen rushed to his right in pursuit of open space. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton stopped him at the line, and held tightly onto his ankle long after he had been taken down. Then safety Daniel Sorenson came flying in to finish the play, connecting with Allen’s upper-body.
Despite the play being a dangerous and dirty act, Collinsworth appeared to excuse the hit.
“Watch Bolton come up, and when he grabs Josh Allen’s legs on the tackle, he’s gonna wrestle around with it, twist it a little bit,” he said. “Then, ‘You want to run your quarterback, yeah, go ahead. Take a shot all day.’”
It’s apparent Collinsworth doesn’t buy into the Bills, last season’s run not withstanding. He offered a multitude of explanations for the Bills’ route: The Chiefs were frustrated and off tempo; Chris Jones was inactive; Sorenson was having an off night.
Finally, towards the end of the contest, Collinsworth conceded the Bills were a good team, and also admitted Allen was “pretty good.” A four-touchdown performance apparently doesn’t buy as much praise as it used to.
Given Kansas City’s run of prolonged dominance, it’s easy to understand why Collinsworth is desperate to levy praise on the Chiefs. They are an excellent football team that should be a Super Bowl contender for years to come.
However, the Bills are at that level, too. Too bad Collinsworth didn’t acknowledge reality.