The Buffalo Bills win their fourth straight playoff game, Beat down the Dolphins 32-29.
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Tyler Bass hit a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give the Buffalo Bills their fourth consecutive playoff berth, rallying to a 32-29 win over the Miami Dolphins on a snow-slick field.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — When the snow started falling in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were in their element against the warm-weather Miami Dolphins. The AFC-leading Bills (11-3) rallied from an eight-point deficit, with Allen orchestrating scoring drives on the final two possessions, capped by Tyler Bass’ 25-yard field goal as time expired, to win 32-29 Saturday night.
The Buffalo Bills earned their fourth straight playoff berth and fifth in six seasons under head coach Sean McDermott. The game-winning field goal sparked a wild celebration in front of a snowball-throwing crowd, with Bass, receiver Stefon Diggs, and left tackle Dion Dawkins diving head-first and sliding on their chests on the slick field.
“Almost like it was all supposed to happen,” Poyer said of a long-forecast lake effect snowstorm finally arriving. “Josh shuts down the offence, and the snow begins to fall. It was actually quite surreal. “But it was a fun, fun atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, Allen dismissed Mother Nature’s arrival as a mere coincidence. He instead credited those around him for stepping up, especially during a third quarter in which Buffalo ended four consecutive drives with punts and Allen fumbled on the fifth drive. “We didn’t want to be there in the third quarter,” Allen admitted. “But I thought our defence played a great game, especially in the second half, and then T-Bass at the end.” “He’s tough as nails.”
Allen threw a 5-yard pass to Dawson Knox, who then leaped over the line for a 2-point conversion to tie the game at 29 with 9:02 remaining. Allen fumbled after losing control of the ball, but a replay showed he crossed the goal line before fumbling. Allen then directed a 15-play, 86-yard drive that took up the final 5:56 of the game to set up Bass’ field goal.
Allen threw four touchdown passes, bringing his career total to 171 (one receiving), tying former Miami quarterback Dan Marino for the most by an NFL player in his first five seasons. Buffalo won its fifth straight game and third in three weeks over a divisional opponent, moving it three wins closer to clinching its third consecutive AFC East title.
“Winning a Super Bowl requires making the playoffs. That’s goal No. 1 accomplished,” Allen said of a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations and now has the inside track to finish first in the AFC standings thanks to tiebreakers.
The Dolphins (8-6) were in second place and the AFC’s sixth seed entering the weekend. They’ve now lost three straight games in their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
“We played very well against a very good team,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. “I know a lot of people want to make it about the weather, but our team didn’t.” The climate was a far cry from the Dolphins’ 21-19 victory over Buffalo in Miami in September, when the temperature was 89 degrees. This time, the Bills took advantage of the home-field advantage in a game that they nearly won. With 2:30 left in the third quarter, Tua Tagovailoa’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill gave the Dolphins the lead. Buffalo’s Cam Lewis was flagged for roughing punter Thomas Morstead after the Bills stopped the Dolphins on a three-and-out at midfield, extending Miami’s drive.
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Miami then took advantage of Allen’s sack and fumble, which was forced by Jaelan Phillips and recovered by Christian Wilkins two plays into the fourth quarter. The pass play set up Jason Sanders’ 47-yard field goal.
Tagovailoa completed 17 of 30 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle. Raheem Mostert finished with 136 yards rushing, while Salvon Ahmed added 43 yards on the ground, including an 11-yard touchdown run. Despite the loss, the Dolphins’ offence appeared to be finding its stride. After combining for 527 yards of offence in consecutive West Coast losses to San Francisco and the Los Angeles Chargers, Miami finished with 405 yards against a Buffalo Bills defence that entered the weekend ranked ninth in the NFL in yards allowed.
“For a team that comes from 80-degree weather, I thought we handled the elements pretty well,” Tagovailoa said. “I’m very proud of how our team leaders performed in this game. “I believe our team is moving in the right direction.”
Allen finished 25 of 40 for 304 yards and four touchdowns, tying a career high. Nyheim Hynes, Quintin Morris, and James Cook all had touchdown receptions. With a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cook as time expired, Allen demonstrated his fearless ability to never give up on a play, putting Buffalo up 21-13. Allen waited in the pocket before being flushed to his right on first-and-goal with eight seconds remaining. Allen found Cook alone in the back of the end zone, two steps from going out of bounds, as time expired.
DB for the Dolphins Keion Crossen returned after injuring his knee in the first half but left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.
C bills Mitch Morse did not return after being evaluated in the second half for a head injury.
Green Bay hosts the Dolphins on Christmas Day.
The Buffalo Bills will be in Chicago on Saturday.