ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Bills fans and media spent the week leading up to the Dolphins game discussing almost anything other than who would win. That goes triple for me.
Would Josh Allen throw for 300 yards?
Would the Bills cover the 17 point spread?
Would the Bills defense score more than the offense?
And yet, there was Ryan Fitzpatrick … two yards from putting the Bills in a 21-9 hole with 20 minutes to play.
At that point, Jordan Phillips knocked the Dolphins back ten yards. Tre White followed with an interception and Miami was effectively drained of its FitzMagic for the day.
The win wasn’t as pretty as hoped, but that matters little. The Bills are now 5-1. They are as primed to win ten games and make a playoff run as they were Sunday morning.
The script really didn’t change much from any of the other wins. The defense does the heavy lifting. The offense makes just enough plays late and the Bills wipe their brow after escaping with a win.
This team isn’t some juggernaut that can wipe the floor with an NFL opponent on command. Any NFL opponent.
As much as it’s fun to see Josh Allen pad his fourth quarter comeback total (guessing he’s one of the few to engineer a such a comeback on the first possession of the second half), this team still has growing to do. And they know it.
“We’ve got to come out to better start. We just can’t be comfortable with what we did,” John Brown said.
“(Coming back in the fourth quarter) is a good thing to have, but it’s not something you want to lean on all the time,” Cole Beasley added. “We’re trying to get better and put full games together and we’re yet to do that. Right now, it’s either two quarters or three quarters or even one quarter.”
Specfically, Beasley is referring to the offense and on this day, it was two quarters. Allen was 10 of 11 in the second half, including both his touchdown passes.
The Bills second year QB actually had one of his cleaner games. No fumbles. No interceptions. The back to back throws to Beasley and Brown that gave Buffalo the lead for good were big time quarterback plays.
However, the offense couldn’t finish drives in the first half, bogging down around the Miami 25 three consecutive times. Three field goals and no touchdowns opened the door to an NFL reality: no defense is going to pitch virtual shutouts every week. If you don’t score points, you’re gonna fall behind.
They don’t have to be the team that scores a ton of points yet. They are still early enough in the growth process to allow for some deficiency. And they have a schedule soft enough that “some deficiency” can easily make the playoffs.
Let the Bills be who they are. Great on defense and the rest summed nicely by Lorenzo Alexander: “This team has been resilient. It’s built on finishing off games.”
This is not the part of the ascent where haggling over the quality of wins is necessary. Get the W, go home and try to do it all again next week.
Five more weeks like that should give everyone in Western New York plenty to talk about.