BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Deep into the second half of Sunday’s game, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins were marching and threatening to capitalize on another redzone trip against the Bills’ defense.
On first-and-goal at the two yard line, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips made the first big defensive play of the afternoon as he blasted through the Dolphins’ offensive line to sack Fitzpatrick for a loss of 10-yards.
The very next play, the journeyman quarterback would try to a force a pass to Isaiah Ford on the sideline but was picked off by cornerback Tre’Davious White at the two yard line.
“Shaq (Lawson) did a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback. (Fitzpatrick) threw the ball behind the receiver and I was able to recover and dive for it,” White said after the game. “When teams get into the red zone, our philosophy is get field goals or takeaways. Obviously we were able to get a turnover and that was huge for our team.”
“Tre’Davious, he’s been doing that, making big plays for our team. It’s Tre’Davious — ‘Big Play Tre,'” safety Jordan Poyer said. “It was a huge play in the redzone.”
Josh Allen and the Bills offense, which moved the ball well throughout the game but struggled to finish off drives with touchdowns, answered and marched 98-yards to give Buffalo it’s first lead at 17-14 on a 20-yard score by John Brown.
“We knew that if we could force a turnover and get the ball back in their hands, momentum would swing,” defensive end Jerry Hughes said when asked about the confidence in the offense’s ability to move the length of the field.
Huges continued, “We knew if we gave them the ball back, they’d put together a nice four minute drive together, eat up some time and help us out. We played complimentary football and they did that today.”
“It was huge. It was the turning point in the game,” wide receiver Cole Beasley said of the 98-yard TD drive. “We weren’t playing our best ball up until that point — kept stalling on offense, stalling on drives — so, it was good to finally get one.”
White wasn’t done there, and forced a fumble a few series later, which led to a short TD catch by Beasley to help power the Bills to their first 5-1 start since the 2008 season.
The third year cornerback now has 14 takeaways in the second half of games in his career, the most since entering the league in 2014.
“It just kind of reaffirmed our character in the locker room,” defensive end Trent Murphy said. “We come in at halftime, re-evaluate ourselves, where we’re at — we took their best shot. We re-bounded, got back to fundamentals, and I think that’s why we work so hard on fundamentals in the offseason — when the bullets are flying, what can you fall back on? Our fundamentals, the hard work we put in. It’s always tough to win in this league. It’s not going to be pretty, but definitely stuff to learn from today.”