“Vikings East” Happened

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Have you ever watched a promising Minnesota Vikings season undone by a missed field goal in the playoffs?

If so, you are probably entitled to compensation, and so are Buffalo Bills fans.

“Vikings East” Happened

The Bills reaffirmed their standing as “Vikings East” on Sunday night, knocked off by the Kansas City Chiefs after Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass missed a field goal that would’ve tied the game late in the 4th Quarter. Because of Super Bowl-lessness, in general, and some player crossover like Stefon Diggs, for example, Vikings fans have pointed out for years the parallels — not good ones — between Minnesota and Buffalo.

Vikings East
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

And then those similarities smacked the NFL community in the face during the game of the year.

Here was the kick:

It reminded Vikings fans of this:

And this:

Bills fans quickly referenced this awful memory that disqualified a Super Bowl win 33 years ago:

After Bass’ miss at home versus the Chiefs, Kansas City gained a first down and could wind down the clock to victory formation. The Chiefs will now advance to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship, conveniently aligned with the season Patrick Mahomes took over as QB1. If Mahomes is healthy, the Chiefs are seemingly guaranteed to reach at least the AFC title game.

Buffalo Bills placekicker Tyler Bass (2) walks off the field after missing what would have been a game-tying field goal in a 27-24 loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round. © Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

For the Bills, well, they will ponder this depressing stat for 7.5 months:

Bills Last Five Years:

2023: Lost Divisional Round
2022: Lost Divisional Round
2021: Lost Divisional Round
2020: Lost Championship Round
2020: Lost Wild Card Round

Three of the five losses occurred at the feet of Mahomes’ Chiefs. They have no elixir for him and can only hope an eventual playoff matchup, as the Super Bowl gateway, doesn’t involve Kansas City. Of course, the Cincinnati Bengals flogged the Bills in Buffalo last year, but the Chiefs are on Bills fans’ minds in the immediacy of the most recent defeat.

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Bills quarterback Josh Allen said after the game, “Sucks, losing sucks. Losing to them, losing to anybody, at home. Sucks. Here or there, it doesn’t matter. Losing sucks. I don’t know what else to say […] I don’t think it’s a big change (that’s needed to get over this hump). We gotta find a way to score one more point than they do.”

Allen’s salary cap number jumps from $18.6 million in 2023 to $47 million in 2024. This season was Buffalo’s last best chance to win a Super Bowl, with Allen’s annual cap number soaring through the roof. No cigar. Former Viking Stefon Diggs, who encountered an age-related decline in the last couple of months, has an escalating cap number, too. That jumps from $14.8 million this year to $27.8 million next.

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Since 2010, the Bills have a 119-107 (.527) win-loss record, and the Vikings posted a 116-109-2 (.515) mark. Buffalo and Minnesota rank 11th and 12th leaguewide per win percentage, respectively. Neither team has reached the Super Bowl. Vikings East and Bills West.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.