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Buffalo Bills 37, Miami Dolphins 20: Rapid recap and notes

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Brilliant days for Josh Allen and John Brown.

Noted Miami Dolphin killer Josh Allen had another brilliant game against his division rivals, and the Buffalo Bills overcame a disastrous day on their kickoff unit to coast to victory over the 2-8 Miami Dolphins. The Bills jumped out to a 16-0 lead, took a 23-14 lead into halftime, and finished with a comfortable 37-20 victory in Miami Gardens.

Allen seems to have a knack for big plays when Dolphins Day comes up, and this was no exception. He scored four touchdowns (three in the air, one on the ground), was responsible for more than 300 yards of offense (256 passing, 57 rushing), did not turn the ball over, and didn’t really make any bad decisions on the day. Allen had a winning hand with John Brown matched up against Miami’s motley crew of cornerbacks, and he rode that all day. Brown finished with a season-high nine catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bills’ defense also came to play. They did surrender two rushing touchdowns, but sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick seven times and limited the Dolphins to 23 rushing yards on 13 attempts.

The blemish on Buffalo’s report card today: special teams, specifically on kickoffs. Facing Pro Bowl returner Jakeem Grant, the Bills knew they had to contain his dangerous speed, yet the team was unable (or unwilling) to send their kickoffs out of the end zone. Grant returned one 101 yards for a touchdown, and took another one out to midfield. Adding insult to injury, the Dolphins caught Buffalo sleeping with a 16-7 lead. Following a Miami touchdown, the Dolphins kicked a surprise onside kick with no Bills in the neighborhood. Fortunately for the Bills, that drive would end with a turnover.

While the kickoffs didn’t work out, Stephen Hauschka did right his season as a field goal kicker. He was three-for-three on converting those attempts, including a 51-yarder on Buffalo’s first drive of the game.

Injury Notes

  • Ty Nsekhe injured his ankle in the third quarter. The Bills put it in an air cast, carted him off, and Cody Ford finished the game. It’s still early, but this could potentially be a season-ender.
  • Backup safety Siran Neal left the game and headed into concussion protocol.
  • Wideout Isaiah McKenzie left with a knee injury, but returned to finish the game.

Miscellaneous

  • Have a day, John Brown! Not only did he extend his streak of four-catch, 50-yard games, but he eviscerated the Dolphins to the tune of nine catches, 132 yards, and two touchdowns.
  • Last time around, the Bills struggled to finish off Ryan Fitzpatrick in the pocket. Today they were much more successful. They sacked him seven times.
  • One of those sacks was Ed Oliver’s, his first “quarterback sack” of his career.
  • Jordan Phillips landed his team-leading seventh sack of the season, as well.
  • Folks yelled for the Bills to give Devin Singletary more touches, but the rookie had an off day. Singletary fumbled twice, and the Bills benched him for Frank Gore for most of the rest of the afternoon.
  • Luckily, both of those fumbles were recovered by the Bills. They came on crucial touchdown drives, too.
  • The Bills had fumble luck the other way, though. Receiver Allen Hurns was untouched but bobbled a catch, which bounced right into the hands of Jordan Poyer.
  • The Bills defense was a no-running zone today. Miami had 13 rushing attempts and took those for a measly 23 yards.
  • Josh Allen has now made it five straight games without throwing an interception. He also didn’t lose any fumbles today.
  • With his four touchdowns today, Allen now has 13 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns on the season. You love to see it.
  • The Bills, at 7-3, will return to Orchard Park next week to host the 3-7 Denver Broncos. Today’s win keeps Buffalo in the driver’s seat for a Wild Card slot.