Few people would’ve faulted the Buffalo Bills if they opted to rest their starters in a (mostly meaningless) regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins. With the personal pride of a 13-3 record, the number-two seed, and a 6-0 divisional record on the line, though, the Bills chose to play most of their starters through the first half of the game—and they’re making the Dolphins look like their little brother in the AFC East, with a 28-6 halftime lead.
The star of the day is Isaiah McKenzie, who scored three of Buffalo’s touchdowns—two receiving touchdowns on four catches for 47 yards, and an outstanding 84-yard punt return touchdown. He was expected to hold a major role if the Bills benched their starters, but actually did his damage while Stefon Diggs and John Brown were still in the game.
Byron Jones had a toe-tapping sideline interception of Josh Allen in the first quarter, but otherwise Buffalo’s QB made his best case for MVP. Playing against the league’s top-scoring defense, Allen completed 18 of 25 passes (72 percent) for three touchdowns and 224 yards. He now holds every major passing record in the Bills’ record books.
On the injury front, Taron Johnson collided with Matt Milano in the first quarter on a tackle attempt, but both players returned to the game without issues. Stefon Diggs was also hit in the helmet by Christian Wilkins, which resulted in a personal foul penalty, but Diggs remained in the game afterward. Jon Feliciano came up a little bit lame from a tangled scrum, but stayed in the game and finished out his drive.
With the Bills switching to their backups, the Dolphins will be desperate to try a comeback in the second half. If Buffalo can hold onto the lead, they’ll reach 13 wins and clinch the number-two seed. Here’s your open thread for the second half. Go Bills!