The Buffalo Bills saw their early 17-point lead fade away in the last minute of the first half. However, Josh Allen and the Bills rallied to win a narrow 34-31 contest. Cole Beasley gave the Bills the lead with a six-yard score towards the end of the third quarter. Buffalo would not trail after that. It was a closer game than people imagined.
Miami was starting Skylar Thompson, their third string quarterback, against a Buffalo team that has been playing emotionally charged over the past couple weeks. Thompson looked uncomfortable early, as he threw an interception just five offensive plays into the game.
Bills came out hot and on point, scoring in three of their first four possessions. They drew first blood with an Allen six-yard pass to tight end Dawson Knox. Rookie James Cook found the endzone for Buffalo a couple minutes later with a 12-yard rushing TD.
Allen did not have a clean game himself, but did enough to win. He threw two first-half interceptions, followed by losing a sack fumble on Buffalo’s first possession of the second half. Allen finished the game 23 of 39 for 352 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to those three turnovers.
Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis both eclipsed 100 receiving yards in the game. They combined for 13 receptions for 227 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson finished 18 of 45 for 220 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions. Despite the close score, the Dolphins did not look sharp. They mismanaged the clock often, forcing them to burn timeouts or take delay of game penalties. Miami also had a fair share of costly drops that killed their drives. Sophomore WR Jaylen Waddle also exited the game early with a shoulder injury. He later returned, but only caught three balls for 44 yards.
The Bills will say they could have done a better job. They will need to clean up some things if they want to keep their Super Bowl hopes alive. Buffalo’s offensive line allowed seven sacks on Allen, perhaps the most jarring stat from the game.
AFC Divisional Round
The (2) Buffalo Bills will host either the (4) Jacksonville Jaguars or the (3) Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round next weekend. Depending on how the rest of the Wild Card games play out.
For the Dolphins, a long hard look in the mirror. What looked like a very promising season to start ended in turmoil and disappointment. They ended the season with potentially more questions than answers.
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