By most statistical comparisons, the Buffalo Bills should have walked out of Hard Rock Stadium with a win over their division rival Miami Dolphins. The Bills out-gained the Dolphins on the ground 198 to 60 and through the air 231 to 137, bringing the overall margin to 415 yards to just 175 yards. The Bills also managed to perform better on third down and to get nine more first downs that the Dolphins. They also held the ball for nearly six more minutes.
There were two big areas where the Dolphins beat the Bills on the stats and, unfortunately for the Bills, that’s what made the difference. Those two areas are turnovers and penalties. Examining who won the turnover margin can usually point you to the winner, and Sunday that was true, but if you look closer at the turnovers there was just one that hurt the Bills.
Josh Allen threw two interceptions on Sunday but, thanks to timing and the defense, neither of them ended up hurting the Bills much. His first interception came on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. A Hail Mary that the Bills were only attempting due to poor clock management on the behalf of Sean McDermott. That interception had negligible impact as the throw was unlikely to be completed. Allen’s second interception would have been a killer if not for Micah Hyde bailing him out. The Dolphins took a deep shot on their first play after the turnover and Micah Hyde made them pay.
The one turnover that really made a difference was Isaiah McKenzie’s muffed punt in the second quarter. The defense had the Dolphins stopped and would have had the ball at the 32; decent starting position for a drive. Unfortunately, McKenzie tried to make a fair catch in a crowded area. The ball bounced off him and the Dolphins eventually recovered it. Miami took advantage of the great field position and scored a few plays later. That touchdown ended up being the difference in the final result.