MIAMI GARDENS, Fla (AP) — Josh Allen threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs, and the Buffalo Bills beat AFC East rival Miami for the fourth consecutive time 31-28.
Allen reached a career high in yards passing for the second week in a row, and became the first Buffalo quarterback to have back-to-back 300-yard games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002.
“This offseason we worked really hard,” said Allen. “It goes back to the knowledge of the offense, knowing my protection, knowing what can hurt you, knowing your answers if you see something and getting yourself out of a bad situation. That’s the job of the quarterback. Not to get in the right play every time but to get out of the wrong ones.”
Trailing 20-17, the Bills (2-0) reclaimed the lead on a 6-yard pass from Allen to rookie Gabriel Davis, who made a diving catch in the end zone.
Allen’s 46-yard pass to John Brown stretched the lead to 31-20.
The Bills totaled 524 yards.
“He’s got ice water in his veins,” said McDermott. “There’s no moment too big for him. That was true from the very start when we got him here.”
MIAMI (WROC) — The Buffalo Bills will look to improve to 2-0 on the young season as they take on divisional foe, the Miami Dolphins in Florida Sunday, where it’s sunny and close to 90 degrees.
The Bills took care of business in week one, beating the New York Jets 27-17. The Dolphins dropped their season opener last Sunday with a 21-11 loss to the New England Patriots.
For notable injuries, the Bills will be without linebackers Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds Sunday.
Each team’s first possession resulted in a punt, but Buffalo broke the seal when quarterback Josh Allen connected with rookie tight end Reggie Gilliam for a 1-yard touchdown with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter. That capped off am 11-play 97-yard drive that saw Josh Allen complete six of eight attempts for 80 yards, plus a 16-yard run.
Kicker Tyler Bass had a successful extra point attempt and the Bills took a 7-0 lead.
Some technical difficulties near the end of the first quarter sent viewers to a broadcast of the Steelers vs. Broncos game. At least Bills fans weren’t forced to see the Dolphins touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found wide receiver DeVante Parker for a 2-yard score. Kicker Jason Sanders knocked in the PAT and tied the game 7-7 with 38 seconds left in the quarter.
The Bills couldn’t escape the opening period without more trouble, however. After a touchback, Allen found tight end Dawson Knox for a big 38-yard gain, but he fumbled, and the Dolphins recovered, taking over with decent field position on their own 38-yard line. After a 4-yard run, the quarter came to a close with the scored tied at 7.
The fumble didn’t prove too costly for the Bills, who held Miami to a three-and-out. A 50-yard punt and a 7-yard return put the Bills own their 16-yard line.
And Buffalo went right to work, namely with two big pass plays. Allen went deep to Isaiah McKenzie for a 46-yard gain, and on the next play Allen found wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a 22-yard touchdown, capping off a 5-play, 84-yard drive. A bass extra point put the Bills up 14-7
After a Dolphins punt, the Bills got moving again. An incredibly accurate throw to Stefon Diggs in a tiny window got the drive moving. A huge defensive hold created by Cole Beasley kept it alive on 3rd and 10. The Bills thought they had a first and goal inside the red zone, but a illegal blindside block was called on Isaiah McKenzie. It created a 2nd and 22. The Bills did not get a first down, but a 15 yard catch by John Brown got Buffalo close enough for a 39 yard field goal try. Tyler Bass’ attempt wasn’t near dead center, but it was good enough for a 17-7 lead.
Mario Addison followed with a third down sack that forced a Miami three and out just before the two minute warning. The Bills, however, could not move the ball much. Allen tried a Houdini like rush on third and long, but was stopped well short.
Miami got the ball back with only 33 seconds left and Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to make it work. A 14 yard rush by Myles Gaskin and a 27 yard catch by Mike Gesicki set up Jason Sanders for a 52 yard field that he just slipped inside the left upright. The Bills went to the half leading 17-10.
Two plays into the second half, the Bills and Dolphins went into a lightning delay that started at 2:50pm. The delay lasted 35 minutes and the game re-started at 3:25pm.
The Dolphins used a couple good size throws to Gesicki and Parker to set up a 45 yard field goal by Sanders that cut the Bills lead to 17-13. The Bills got one first down on their first drive the second half, but Allen misfired on third and 2 to force another Buffalo punt.
Miami marched down the field and appeared poised to take their first lead, but the Bills stood strong and stopped four straight plays from the one yard line. The plays were: straight running back give, Fitzpatrick keeper, incomplete to Gesicki on a fade, incomplete to Preston Williams on the goal line. Buffalo caught a break on the last one. Williams had the ball in his chest and could not hold on.
The Bills offense did nothing with their possession from the one. In fact, they almost completely undid all of the defense’s good work. On third and short, Allen threw a pass intended for Diggs, but Kyle Van Noy nearly plucked it out of the air for what would have been a walk in pick six (Billsmafia still had a heart attack). The Bills punted to close the third quarter still leading 17-13.
After pinning the Bills, Miami started with the ball on the Buffalo 45 yard line. Miami grinded out a five minute drive that ended with a Jordan Howard TD run on third and goal just outside the one. A game that Buffalo dominated most of the first half becomes a 20-17 Miami lead.
This is where Josh Allen stepped up in a huge way.
First, he got the offense moving with a 47 yard deep ball to Diggs. Next, he converted a 2nd and 24 with a perfect touch ball to Cole Beasley. Finally, he escaped a pressure on third and goal from the six and, on the run, threw a superb ball to Gabriel Davis. The rookie laid out and made an eye popping catch to give Buffalo a 24-20 lead with just over six minutes to play.
After forcing a punt, the Bills quickly discovered they could not run out the clock with the ground game. So, they went back to the air. No problem.
Allen dropped a beauty to Diggs for 21 yards. Then on third and long, he hit John Brown for a 46 yard touchdown. It was Allen’s 4th TD throw of the game and put him over 400 (!) yards passing for the day. The Bills took a 31-20 lead.
The Dolphins got a last minute TD pass from Fitzpatrick to Gesicki. The two point conversion got Miami within 31-28.
Allen finished with 417 yards passing and four touchdowns on 24 of 35 passing. He was only 46 yards short of Drew Bledsoe’s team record for passing yards in a game: 463. Diggs had eight catches for 153 yards and his first touchdown with the Bills. Brown had four catches for 82 yards and a score. Beasley got five grabs for 70 yards. Devin Singeltary and Zack Moss combined for 93 yards on 18 carries.
Fitzpatrick did throw for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Gesicki set career highs with both eight catches and 130 yards.
It wasn’t enough. Buffalo is now 2-0 and feeling super good about themselves and their star QB after a 31-28 win.