bills vs. Dolphins score, takeaways: Buffalo overcomes costly blunders, survives Miami's bid at historic upset - CBS sports

The Miami Dolphins, playing with seventh-round rookie and third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson, gave Josh Allen and the second-seeded Buffalo expenses a scare within the third quarter, however the preseason tremendous Bowl favorites recovered for a 34-31 victory on tremendous Wild Card Weekend to increase to the AFC divisional circular. They blew an early 17-0 lead, however they bounced returned to take a 34-24 facet earlier than forcing a vital turnover on downs with 2:22 left in the online game. 

The Dolphins confronted a 3rd-and-one from their own forty eight following a 14-yard completion from Thompson to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. They proceeded to run up the middle for no profit, after which mayhem broke loose. Miami struggled to get lined up because the play clock wound down, however the whistle to blow the play lifeless came a beat after Thompson snapped the ball. He acquired a heave off to Tyreek Hill, which was an overthrow for an incompletion. although, the play never counted, and Thompson's flow on fourth-and-6 was ripped out of tight conclusion Mike Gesicki's fingers, thwarting Miami's opportunity at what would have been tied for the 2d-biggest playoff upset in the super Bowl era according to the unfold. The shut win made Buffalo the first favourite of more than 10 points in the wild-card round, on the grounds that 1978, to no longer cover the unfold. 

The bills entered the game Sunday as 14-aspect favorites, the biggest in wild-card round history, and they gave the look of it early as they rattled off 17 consecutive elements: an Allen touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox, a 12-yard speeding ranking from working returned James prepare dinner and a 33-yard field aim by way of kicker Tyler Bass. The second touchdown came after an interception of Thompson with the aid of protection Dean Marlowe, filling in for the injured Damar Hamlin. 

youngsters, after that run by using Buffalo, the Dolphins put collectively a 17-0 run of their own to tie the game right earlier than the half. the majority of these aspects came thanks to two interceptions that Miami turned into in a position to drive off Allen. After a ball bounced off bills broad receiver Cole Beasley's chest and landed into the fingers of Dolphins safeguard Jevon Holland, Thompson changed into able to connect with tight conclusion Mike Gesicki for a touchdown that helped tie the online game together with a Tyreek Hill two-aspect conversion. As we now have viewed with this expenses offense earlier than, however, you can't depart it any time. After Miami tied the game with 33 seconds left within the half, Buffalo marched 54 yards down the box and retook the lead, 20-17, because of a Tyler Bass box purpose. 

After a Dolphins three-and-out to start the 2d half, Allen turned into overrun with the aid of the Dolphins' blitz, and he turned into strip-sacked by Miami defense Eric Rowe, inflicting the football to roll down near the aim line. shielding handle Zach Sieler scooped up the unfastened ball and stumbled into the end zone for the score. That sequence gave the seventh-seeded Dolphins the 14-factor underdogs, their first lead --24-20 -- after trailing 17-0. Sieler's fumble return touchdown became the primary one in Dolphins playoff background.

That misplaced fumble marked Josh Allen's first video game with three turnovers -- two interceptions and a lost fumble -- when you consider that Week 10 towards the Vikings, a 33-30 overtime loss. The bills entered Sunday 29-1 in Josh Allen begins, including the playoffs, when leading with the aid of 17 or more facets. That lone loss was that equal home video game versus the Vikings in Week 10. despite the fact, due to Allen, that checklist more advantageous to 30-1. 

He ultimately obtained up off the mat and bounced lower back to throw consecutive touchdowns, a six-yard score to the currently reacquired Beasley and a 23-yard strike to Gabe Davis that put the expenses on right 34-24. Allen accomplished with 352 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 23 of 39 passing, which gave him his fourth career playoff video game with over 300 yards. everybody else in bills background has mixed for 4 such games. An fantastic effort for the preseason NFL MVP favorite given that the Dolphins had considered one of their top of the line defensive outings of the yr, tying their season-highs in sacks (5) and takeaways (three). 

Thompson led the Dolphins on an extra scoring pressure after going back down by way of 10 facets: an eleven-play, 75-yard pressure that culminated with a one-yard touchdown run by means of working again Jeff Wilson Jr. Thompson, the 247th decide upon in the 2022 NFL Draft, ended his playoff debut with 220 passing yards, the seven-yard touchdown pass to Gesicki, and two interception on 18 of forty five passing. while those numbers don't seem to be the rest to have a good time on the surface degree, the rookie garnered compliment for his efforts from Allen -- the desired end result for any younger, mobile quarterback with a cannon for an arm however may use some growth in the accuracy department. 

"i assumed he performed pretty neatly," Allen observed of Thompson, per "He gave them a shot to win the game and that's all that matters."

Why the bills received

Josh Allen made the key throws once they mandatory him to in the conclusion. losing the turnover fight, 3-2, is continually a recipe for disaster, however Allen failed to panic. It took a short while, Buffalo's first two drives after happening 24-20 have been punts, but Allen main consecutive touchdown drives to conclusion the third quarter settled his teammates and expenses Mafia down. Going lower back up 34-24 allowed the expenses protection to get again to teeing off on Thompson. The expenses' composure defensively when the Dolphins were making their final attempt at the go-ahead ranking turned into also massive as Miami couldn't get lined up properly when it mattered most.

Why the Dolphins lost

The Dolphins' offensive procedural disasters ended in two wasted timeouts and a delay of online game on probably the most crucial play of the online game, a fourth-and-1 that grew to become into fourth-and-6. All of these blunders came within the fourth quarter and snowballed right into a heartbreaking loss for a group that turned into in the beginning thought to haven't any enterprise competing with the excessive-powered expenses rating for ranking. 

Thompson's 2nd interception halfway in the course of the third quarter unofficially killed the upset for Miami as Buffalo was in the end zone for the first of Allen's two touchdowns in a row 5 plays later on a 6-yard touchdown to Cole Beasley. That sequence misplaced the Dolphins the lead for respectable. 

Turning factor 

Thompson's 2nd interception outlined above serves as Sunday afternoon's turning element. The Dolphins led 24-20 and had the chance to stretch the lead to 11 or seven features on the very least with one other score. the printed reduce to a deflated Josh Allen sitting on the bench. Then, Thompson gave the impression of a seventh-round rookie is expected to of their playoff debut, and he made a killer mistake, underthrowing an open Trent Sherfield. 

Play of the online game

The Dolphins' strip-sack, scoop-and-rating that gave them a 24-20 lead, their just one of the video game, to start the third quarter stands as the play of the video game. Following a Dolphins three-and-out, it felt like the bills were going to rating a different landing to head up double-digits and put the video game out of attain early within the 2d half. however, a safety blitz via Miami resulted in Eric Rowe catching Allen without warning, which allowed him to knock the football free. protecting tackle Zach Sieler scooped up the free ball and stumbled into the end zone for the score, marking the primary touchdown of his profession as neatly because the first playoff fumble healing landing in Dolphins history. This play set the tone for the leisure of the video game that Miami wasn't going to just roll over and that the bills would need to come and take the victory from them. 

What's next

With the win, the bills are in wait-and-see mode in terms of who their subsequent opponent may be within the divisional circular. If the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens knock off the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals Sunday nighttime, the fourth-seeded, AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars will head to Buffalo. 

however, should the Bengals take care of enterprise in opposition t the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens, they're going to face the bills within the divisional circular next week. The Dolphins are still looking for their first playoff win considering the 2000 season, the 2d-longest energetic drought forward of handiest the Detroit Lions, who have been ready for the reason that the 1991 season. 

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