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Five observations from Buffalo Bills’ loss to Miami Dolphins

The defense and Josh Allen played well.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills nearly pulled it out in the end, but lost a game to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Buffalo largely outplayed Miami but couldn’t get into the win column.

Here are my five observations from the game:

Josh Allen continuing to flash

He’s not perfect. Don’t misunderstand the excitement, Bills fans, but Josh Allen is showing everything that made him a top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He had a few amazing throws on Sunday. He had a couple missed throws, too. But he’s making better reads. He’s using his legs when it’s called for. He set the team record for rushing yards by a QB for the second straight week. He had two very good touchdown passes. It’s a start, and I’m not sure how much you could ask for out of a rookie QB that was expected to need some seasoning.

Special teams a problem

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Buffalo Bills special teams are bad. The Bills had a partially-blocked punt that netted 32 yards. They had a muffed punt from Isaiah McKenzie that turned into a Dolphins touchdown drive and then McKenzie tripped over his own feet and a holding call backed up Buffalo inside their own ten in the second half. And after all that, the reliable Stephen Hauschka and his new holder, missed an extra points and field goal. Come on, Danny Crossman.

You can complain about the refs

There were a lot of penalties in this game, and it seemed like Buffalo got dinged on a lot of them. Matt Milano’s pass interference call wasn’t great. Ryan Tannehill was able to draw a roughing the passer penalty but Josh Allen’s helmet was grabbed and they didn’t call it and he was hit in the head on a different play. It didn’t cost Buffalo the game, but the penalties were certainly a talking point.

Former Dolphins cost Buffalo

Charles Clay. Charles Clay. Charles Clay. The former Dolphins tight end dropped a pass near the goal line on 4th and 11 which ended the game for Buffalo. He was wide open. Jordan Phillips was flagged for a 15-yard taunting penalty. Not great.

Do not blame the defense (again)

The Bills outgained the Dolphins by 240 yards and lost. Miami finished with just 175 yards of offense but scored three touchdowns thanks to a muffed punt and a few other Buffalo miscues. Miami only had to travel 140 yards on their three touchdown drives.