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Buffalo Bills 23, Miami Dolphins 14: Second-half open thread

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Late pyrotechnics, but the Bills are winning so far.

The Buffalo Bills have easily controlled the Miami Dolphins in two out of three phases of their football game, but Miami’s made them look completely foolish on special teams in limiting Buffalo’s lead to nine points at halftime. The Bills lead 23-14 at halftime. Through most of two quarters, the Buffalo Bills looked as utterly dominant as they’d been in 2019. The only blemish on their 16-0 lead was (stop me if you’ve heard this before) the fact that three of their four drives ended with field goals instead of touchdowns.

Late in the second quarter, Ryan Fitzpatrick pulled up some of his patented Fitzmagic. He connected with DeVante Parker on a 50-yard catch-and-run down the sideline, all the way to the goal line. Two plays later, Kalen Ballage slashed up the middle for a touchdown that cut Buffalo’s lead to nine points.

Following the Dolphins’ touchdown, Miami coach Brian Flores made a brilliant call to take a surprise onside kick. It’s only the second onside kick to be recovered by the kicking team all season, and Miami executed perfectly in waiting until the ball had traveled ten yards to fall onto it. Then their momentum was cut short. Allen Hurns caught a crossing route and took it into Buffalo territory, but bobbled the ball as he turned upfield and Jordan Poyer landed on the ball. While it was originally ruled an incomplete pass, Sean McDermott successfully overturned the call through a challenge.

The Bills took that newfound life and capitalized on it. Josh Allen handled the teeth of a blitz and lasered the ball to Dawson Knox for another touchdown to extend Buffalo’s leave to 16 points, but Buffalo’s special teams collapsed again. Pro Bowl returner Jakeem Grant carried the kickoff 101 yards into the end zone and brought the score to 23-14.

The Dolphins will receive the opening kickoff of the second half, and the Bills need to keep opening up their lead if they want to advance to a 7-3 record. Here’s your discussion thread for the second half. Go Bills!