Miami Dolphins earn 10th victory in ugly win over Bills
The Miami Dolphins gave up a 14 point lead not once but twice and as regulation wound down Miami needed another miracle to get their 10th win and inch closer to the post-season.
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Miami started off very strong on both sides of the ball and looked as though they would route the Bills in Orchard Park, NY but as is common with the two clubs, what should have been a blow out turned into one of the ugliest football games in recent memory.
Both teams combined for over 1,000 yards on the day with Jay Ajayi rushing for over 200 yards for the third time this season and second time against the Bills this year. Ajayi carried the ball over 30 times as the Bills couldn’t stop him.
For the Bills it was a plethora of runners who almost doomed Miami. LeSean McCoy ran for 128 yards and a touchdown while Mike Gillislee ran for 91 and Tyrod Taylor added 60. Through the air Taylor tossed for 329 yards three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sammy Watkins who has been banged up with a foot injury the last five weeks or so caught 7 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Another former Dolphins, Charles Clay added two touchdowns and 85 yards on 8 receptions.
Despite the excessive yardage numbers for the Bills, Miami showed once again that they simply do not quit. Winning for the first time in Buffalo since 2011 the Dolphins overcame their defensive struggles and turned the Bills comeback into a chance at the playoffs.
Leading the Dolphins receivers was DeVante Parker with 85 yards on four catches and one touchdown. Matt Moore threw two touchdowns and 233 yards while Kenyan Drake ran four times for 56 yards and a touchdown including a 45 yard score when he reversed field in traffic and caught the edge.
Moore was hardly under much pressure on the day and was not sacked. Conversely the Dolphins registered only one sack on Tyron Taylor. The Bills game planned for Taylor to run in this game and it worked most of the time.
In the end it came down to special teams. Dan Carpenter missed two field goals from over 45 yards including one in over time that allowed the Dolphins to stay alive. Andrew Franks also missed a 40 yard field goal but connected on a 55 yard field goal, the longest of his career, on the Dolphins final drive in regulation that sent the game into over time.
Franks would finish it off with less than a minute left in over time.
The win now sets up a viewing party for Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos. A win by the Chiefs and the Dolphins will secure a playoff spot. Their first since 2008.