ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — The Buffalo Bills came into the game as 17 point favorites at home against the winless Miami Dolphins, but the game was a lot more evenly matched than most experts predicted it would be.
Coming back from a bye week, the Bills looked rusty on both sides of the ball in the first half, but before the game, quarterback Josh Allen showed some love for the 7-1-1 Sabres.
The Bills drew first blood early in the first quarter when kicker Stephen Hauschka connected on a 39-yard field goal. Later in the first, Hauschka kicked in a 43-yard field goal to give the Bills a 6-0 lead, which held until the Dolphins’ first drive in the second quarter.
Miami’s Kalen Ballage scored on a 3-yard run to end an eight play, 75 yard drive. The successful extra point gave the Dolphins a 7-6 lead with 14:49 left in the second quarter.
The Bills countered with another successful drive, but couldn’t get into the endzone, and were forced to settle for another field goal attempt. Hauschka knocked in his third field goal of the day, a 45-yarder. Although the offense was hoping for a touchdown, the FG put Buffalo back on top, 9-7 with 10:11 minutes left in the half.
The Dolphins, looking for their first of the season, wouldn’t quit. A 12-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to DeVante Parker capped off a seven play, 75 yard drive. A successful extra point, and a few stagnant drives to follow, and the Dolphins had their first, first-half lead of the season, 14-9.
Things got hairy in the third quarter for Bills fans. Miami was driving, and looked like they were going to score a crucial touchdown to go up by two possessions, but that all ended when Tre’Davious White picked off Fitzpatrick on the Bills’ one yard line. White’s third interception of the year could not have come at a better time for Buffalo.
The Bills carried the momentum off that turnover. A 12 play, 98 yard drive was capped off with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Allen to John Brown. A successful two point conversion rush by Allen put the Bills up 17-14 with 13:50 left in the game.
The Bills defense came up big in the fourth quarter, specifically, Tre White again. Fitzpatrick connected with Preston Williams for a five yard gain, but White stripped the ball from him. It was recovered by Jerry Hughes, who returned it 13 yards to the Miami 16.
Buffalo capitalized on the turnover once again — a short drive ended when Allen connected with Cole Beasley for a three yard touchdown, Beasley’s first of the season. A successful extra point put the Bills up 24-14 with 6:31 left in the game.
Fitzpatrick made a little Fitz-magic late in the fourth quarter. An 11-yard touchdown run and successful extra point brought the Dolphins closer, 24-21, with 1:45 left in the game.
The Dolphins went for an onside kick, and the Bills didn’t just recover, but Micah Hyde returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. Hauschka’s kick was good and the Bills were back up two possessions, 31-21, with 1:38 left in the game.
That score held until the final whistle. Bills improve to 5-1 with a 31-21 win over the AFC East rival Dolphins, who fell to 0-6. Stick around with News 8 WROC for a lot more analysis on the big win
Allen went 16-26 for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions. The QB also added 32 rushing yards on four carries.
Check back with News 8 WROC at 7:45 p.m. EST for Bills Gameday Recap. Thad Brown goes live from New Era Field to discuss the good, the bad, and what this man means going forward.