The Buffalo Bills are 5-1 and that’s what is most important. How they got there, however, is a much more interesting story. The Bills have been consistently inconsistent in the first half this season and Sunday against the Miami Dolphins was no different.
After a slow start for the defense and two early touchdowns by Miami, it seemed like it would be more of the same for the Bills. Coming out in the second half the Bills picked up their offensive tempo and the defense looked like their old selves. With all these factors in the game we have perhaps the most erratic win probability chart of the season. So let’s dive in and look at the swing plays of the game.
The first drive of the game Buffalo executed a ten-play, 54-yard drive capped off by a Stephen Hauschka field goal giving buffalo a +56.88% swing.
Although they scored, drives like this would be the theme of the first half. Inconsistencies on both sides of the ball would see the Bills leave touchdowns on the field and allow Miami to capitalize early.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's second touchdown pass of the day would see a massive swing in the Dolphins favor at 50.50%. This play would drop the Bills to a 17.87% win probability, and it was around this time the boos began to be heard in waves around New Era Field. The Dolphins would hold on to the lead going into the half with an 84.69% win probability.
The Bills would continue their shoddy third-quarter play against the Dolphins. However, the defense would come out of the second half reinvigorated and hold off Miami’s offense the entire quarter. Fast forward to the fourth quarter and Josh Allen would throw arguably his best pass of the season to John Brown for a 20-yard touchdown. That throw would swing the Bills up 36.48% and back into a favorable win probability at 69.92%. From here Buffalo would begin to take full control of the game.
The play that saw the Bills all but win the game was a three-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Cole Beasley. With a 96.76% win probability, and a two-score lead late in the fourth, the Bills could fall back on their defense and run the clock out to finish the game. In a perfect world this game isn't as close as it was, but there’s no such thing as a good loss and no such thing a bad win.