Bills-Chiefs a showcase for Giants’ head coaching candidates

A final decision wasn’t going to be made before the end of business Sunday night.

The Giants may have their minds swayed about whom they’ll hire as their next head coach, but nothing is official and likely won’t be for days as they continue to conduct interviews, casting a wide net as they did in their search for a general manager.

But you have to wonder what kind of influence the outcome of Sunday night’s AFC divisional playoff game between the Bills and Chiefs might have on the final decision.

Both Bills coordinators — Brian Daboll on offense and Leslie Frazier on defense — were interviewed during the week by Giants newly hired general manager Joe Schoen (the former Bills assistant GM) and co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch. 

Neither of those interviews was in person — at least with the Giants owners — and both men very possibly will be interviewed again in person.

You wonder if a big-time performance on either (or both) sides of the ball by the Bills against the Chiefs might further influence the Giants on who their next head coach will be.

Bills coaches audition for Giants job in playoff clash
AP, Getty Images

What if the Bills and quarterback Josh Allen, with whom Daboll has worked wonders during the past three seasons, were to have a prolific night against the Chiefs’ defense and advance to the Super Bowl?

What if the Buffalo defense were to shut down the potent Kansas City offense, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce and be the difference in Buffalo moving on to the Super Bowl?

What if both were to take place?

One thing’s for certain, a Bills victory Sunday night would prevent the Giants from interviewing Daboll and/or Frazier in person until the week after next Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

NFL rules prohibit assistant coaches from Super Bowl teams from being interviewed in person until the bye week between the conference championship games and Super Bowl week.

Both Daboll and Frazier entered Sunday night’s game coming off dominant performances from their respective sides of the ball in last week’s wild-card round dismantling of the Patriots, 47-17. The Bills scored on every possession in the game except on a kneel-down at the end.

Daboll’s offense ranked third in the NFL in points per game (28.4). Frazier’s defense ranked No. 1 in points allowed per game (17) and No. 1 in fewest yards yielded (272.8). 

And Frazier’s defense did this without his top cornerback, Tre’Davious White, out injured for the past seven games and done for the season. The Bills forced two Mac Jones turnovers in the wild-card win and suffocated the Patriots’ offense.

Josh Allen warms up for Sunday's playoff matchup.
Josh Allen warms up for Sunday’s playoff matchup.
Getty Images

Daboll showed outstanding vision as he adjusted his offense during the season, perhaps realizing he was relying on the pass too often and taking some pressure from Allen by committing to the running game more, and it’s worked.

In the win over New England, Bills running back Devin Singletary rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Allen ran six times for 66 yards and he used receiver Isaiah McKenzie Deebo Samuel-style, running him three times for 29 yards.

The Giants, of course, need help on both sides of the ball — though their offense has been the biggest problem the past couple seasons. They need better development of quarterback Daniel Jones, more commitment to the run and more creativity.

Daboll appears to check all of those boxes.

A big offensive performance Sunday night against a Chiefs team that’s been to the past two Super Bowls, winning one of them, might check yet another important box as Decision Day approaches.

“They do a good job here of allotting the time that you can speak to another club, but you quickly turn the page,” Daboll said this past week. “It’s been a few years that we’ve talked about this [interviewing with other teams], so it’s pretty easy to get your focus where you need your focus to be, which is strictly on the Kansas City Chiefs.”