It was certainly not the end to the 2020 season the Buffalo Bills would have liked on Sunday night in their 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
The team came one win away from returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1993 season, but the Chiefs came away with a pretty decisive win to strike down Buffalo's hopes. The Kansas City offense, led by 2018 Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes, was able to move the ball up and down the field on the Buffalo defense, while the Bills were not able to keep up with their offense from the second quarter on.
After a 13-3 finish to the 2020 regular season, an AFC East title for the first time since the 1995 season, and a pair of playoff wins at the friendly confines of Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, there were still plenty of positives to take away from this year's campaign.
However, the time for reflecting on the season that was has come and gone, very similar to how a team reflects on the outcome of a game each week.
The focus now shifts to the 2021 season for the Bills, and how the team can improve their roster from top-to-bottom to accomplish all they did in the 2020 campaign. Win the AFC East, earn home playoff games, and get back to the AFC Championship Game for the chance to punch their ticket back to the Super Bowl.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane is not taking too much time looking back on Sunday's loss, which ended his 2020 season. The PFWA and Sporting News Executive of the Year in 2020 is already setting his sights on the offseason, which is set to be a busy one for him and his staff in Orchard Park.
Beane took some time on Thursday to join Howard Simon and Jeremy White on WGR. He took some time to look back on Sunday's AFC Championship Game, while also giving the listeners some insight on the landscape of the upcoming spring and summer for the team.
Here is some of what he had to say:
Beane on falling just short of clinching a berth in Super Bowl LV:
"It's painful to lose, and the further you go, the more painful it is when you're out. We lose that game Sunday night, you're in a fog Monday as you're exiting with the players and a fog Tuesday, and so trying to come out of it yesterday. It still hurts. It'll be hard to watch the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is what you always look forward to watching, but if you're this close, it's not as much fun. I'll try and peek at it a little bit, but I'm glad to hit the reset button here soon and start for ."
Beane on the team heading into the NFL Playoffs:
"I thought we were going into the playoffs; I said, 'We're hot. There's nobody I don't think we can hang with, but we'll have to give our best game each week to do it.' We ran into a Kansas City team that, I thought, played one of their best games I had seen from the games on film that I watched. We got their best, that's what you have to expect in the AFC Championship Game, and if we get another opportunity in the near future, we'll have to play better."
Beane on keeping Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier in the fold for the 2021 season:
"Man, I thought Daboll had a really good shot at that [Los Angeles] Chargers job and that fell through. Leslie Frazier got pass over; that's a shame. I know a lot of people talk about [Chiefs offensive coordinator] Eric Bieniemy, and I'm sure he's going to be a really good coach. I'd put Leslie Frazier up against most any of them. I'm really shocked that he didn't get that Houston job when he went back for that second interview. I'm not sure what they were looking for, but we're excited to get Leslie back. It's a win for the Buffalo Bills to get him back, but at the same time, I feel bad for him. I think he's earned that right."
Beane on the offseason plans for improving the roster:
"We'll have to be very sharp on each move. Every dime we spend we have to make sure we spend it wisely. And then the onus is on us to have a really strong draft. Our personnel department knows that, I know that, and we can't fail there."
Beane on adding good football players to be a better team in the league:
"We can't sit here and just try and get better for one team, because that might not be the team that advances next year. At the end of the day, we've got to make sure we're strong in various areas of the game so we can be a balanced team. We don't want to be really good on defense and not very good on offense or vise versa, and obviously we care a lot about special teams here."
Beane on being a better team in the run game:
"In certain games, certain situations; whether it's weather, the opponent, they're really good at pass rushing, they have an outstanding defensive backfield, whenever it's going to be harder to throw, those games we want to be able to run it. We want to be team-specific. If this team we're [playing] coming up is not a good run defense, then we should try and exploit them a little bit if they're strong in the pass. ... Balance doesn't mean running it 50 times, throwing it 50 times. Whether it's 2-to-1, whatever, just being able to do it when you need to do it to affect the game."
Beane on what to look forward to with Josh Allen heading into 2021:
"It's another year in our system. Brian Daboll looks to be back, which is exciting for him and for us. Hopefully Ken Dorsey [is back]; he's had an interview or two, so we'll see where that goes. Continuity at the quarterback position has been very important for us, and we've been fortunate to have, pretty much, the same people around Josh in his first three years. It looks to be that heading into Year 4."
Beane on a possible contract extension for Allen despite potential salary cap constrictions:
"I think we can make something fit. I do. Without getting into how we would do it, I think there's ways we can make it fit. I'm looking forward here real soon, hopefully within the next few weeks, to finding out what this cap is going to be, or at least close to what it's going to be so that we can start looking at some of our pending free agents. There's ways that we can do it. We'll have to be creative with it, for sure, based on our current cap situation, but I definitely think it can be done."
You can listen to the entire interview below: