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The Buffalo Bills were a few plays away from defeating the Kansas City Chiefs to get back to the AFC Championship Game.

But a few bad bounces of the ball, a missed catch here and there, a couple of defensive failures and a missed game-tying field goal were the unfortunate mixture for the 27-24 loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday.

Overall, Bills stars like Josh Allen had a decent game. But former Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman said on OutKick’s “Hot Mic” on Monday that Buffalo needs to address at least one thing in the offseason.

“I think they do need to get younger on [the] defensive side of the ball,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that. And look, Von Miller, he had some really good plays not even against the passing. He had some really good TFLs (tackles for a loss). He was in the backfield a lot. He can still get it done. But in order to have a longevity of having an opportunity to get back there again, you got to get younger on defense. 

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Josh Allen breaks a run

“I’ve always said this: There’s a three- to four-year window of when your team is all together and you’re really good before contract negotiations start. People in the front office start to either get fired or move on to get a bigger job, better job somewhere else. Maybe an assistant GM is promoted to a GM at another organization. So, you got about a good three- to four-year window.”

Merriman pointed to when he was in his prime with the then-San Diego Chargers. He said there was a time between 2006 and 2010 where the team could have won a Super Bowl or two, but it didn’t come to fruition.

Isiah Pacheco celebrates

“I’m not going to say they’re going to have a rebuilding moment,” he said of this season’s Bills team. “That’s not going to happen. But in order for them to be back into contending again, they’re going to have to get younger on that defense ASAP.”

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