The best things in football usually aren't planned.
Such was the case when Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen's acute instincts enabled him to make the play that defined Sunday night's 38-20 statement victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Allen was flushed from the pocked on third-and-4 and had to make a run for it. Kansas City's L'Jarius Sneed was in position to stop him at the line of scrimmage when Allen hurdled the player on his way to a 4-yard gain, keeping alive a 12-play, 85-yard touchdown series that set the final score with under 6 minutes remaining.
The score ostensibly ended the competitive portion of the game between the teams that met for the AFC Championship last January and gave the Bills (4-1) a commanding two-game lead plus the tiebreaker over the two-time defending conference champs when it comes to determining which of these game would host a playoff rematch next January.
And it might not have been possible had Allen not simply reacted.
"They gave us a man look," Allen said. "You know, first and second options really weren't there, so I just kind of felt the lane. And obviously knowing the situation, how the game was going, I just felt like we needed something to get a first down there, and again I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help our team win a football game. In my mind that was at the top of the list.
"You really never know until it happens. It's just one of those split-second decision things that sometimes you've got to get lucky for, and being a bigger guy, I understand that sometimes they're going to try to hit low, and in that situation it worked out."
Because this was a whatever-it-takes situation against a team they had to beat, Sean McDermott endorsed the risky maneuver that normally makes coaches swallow their toungues.
The Bills handed Allen a $258 million contract extension two months ago. So the plan has always been to protect him like a queen bee.
But they needed that play to be made right there after the Chiefs' offensive juggernaut scored a touchdown to creep to within 11 points early in the fourth quarter.
"I'll take it," McDermott said. "Yeah, I'll take that first down. He can jump over me if wants for that first down."