MIAMI GARDENS, FL (WIVB) – Looking at the stats from Josh Allen’s day against the Dolphins, you’d think the Bills won in another massive way as he had 42 completions, 400 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Not to mention the Bills had almost 500 yards of total offense compared to Miami’s 212.
“You should win those games and we just didn’t take care of the ball enough and come away with some takeaways but I like the way we fought in all three phases until the end and we’ve gotta learn from it,” Sean McDermott said after the game.
But it was Miami that came out with the 21-19 win to stay undefeated on the year and take first place in the AFC East.
“This is one game, we’ll learn from this one tomorrow, take it on the chin and prepare for next week. That’s all we can do. We can move forward and we’re 2-1, like to be 3-0 but we’re 2-1, we can still accomplish everything we want to accomplish,” Josh Allen said after the game.
There’s a couple key areas the Dolphins did much better than the Bills that were the differences in this game.
The first stat is turnovers. Buffalo had the only turnover of the game and Miami made the Bills pay as Josh Allen fumbled while being sacked by Jevon Holland in the first quarter and Melvin Ingram recovered. That set up first and goal on Buffalo’s six-yard line and the Dolphins capitalized as Chase Edmonds punched in the touchdown.
Another difference in the game was red zone efficiency as Miami went 3-for-3 in the red zone while Buffalo went just 2-for-4. The Bills first drive in the second half stalled and they were forced to settle for a field goal, the drive after that Bass missed a field goal attempt and the next series Allen threw a pass too low for Isaiah McKenzie on 4th and 2 at the Dolphins two-yard line.
“We gotta finish drives,” Allen said.
“Red zone we weren’t very good, we gotta find a way to get it in the end zone there and we really beat ourselves tonight. Credit to them, they had a really good game plan. They came out and did what they had to do but there’s obviously plays that we want back and that’s gonna happen over the course of every single game, this one especially.”
Before halftime was another chance the Bills had to put points on the board. They were at Miami’s 34-yard line, well within Tyler Bass’ field goal range and Allen bobbled the snap, made a pass to Stefon Diggs and then time ran out in the second quarter.
“I think execution overall. We had the situation before half there we were trying to kill the clock and take it down to about four seconds there which is what we normally do to kick the field goal and get points at the end of the half there and we didn’t execute,” McDermott explained.
“Then we got the ball down inside the one-yard line again and didn’t execute there so just things we can learn, we can learn and grow from.”
After all of that, the Bills still had a shot to win the game after Miami’s bizarre failed punt attempt with 1:33 left in the game. It was “blocked” as the ball hit the backside of a Dolphins’ player for a safety.
So down by only two with 18 seconds left, the Bills had 2nd and 20 at their own 47, Allen completes a pass to Isaiah McKenzie but he doesn’t get out of bounds, the clock keeps running, Buffalo had no timeouts, they ran out of time and that’s how the game ended.
“We didn’t do enough at the end of the day and we didn’t capitalize on some opportunities that we had for points so give credit to them, they won the game,” McDermott said.
Injuries were a huge storyline coming into the game and it continued throughout the game as the Bills lost a handful of players. By the end of the game, the Bills were playing a backup at right tackle, a backup at right guard and their third string center. Not to mention Jake Kumerow left with an ankle injury and Christian Benford was dealing with a hand injury, another blow to an already very banged up secondary.
Before the game we knew Micah Hyde (out for the season), Jordan Poyer, Dane Jackson, Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips would miss this game. Then Mitch Morse was inactive as well, adding to the list of starters out.
Throughout the game many players were in and out dealing with cramping too as the heat played a big role on Sunday.
“That was a heck of an effort, never wanna come up short, there’s no ribbons for second place and they know it, they know it. So we got back, we learn from this and I think we’ll learn things that were really good about today one of those is the guts and heart and the intangibles of our football team and I think we’ll learn some things that weren’t very good today which led to the result we got,” McDermott said.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.