BILLS-DOLPHINS QUARTERLY REPORT
Theme: Josh Allen outplays Ryan Tannehill. Allen was 7 of 8 for 99 passing yards in helping the Bills to a 14-0 lead.
Turnovers: Tremaine Edmunds and Tre’Davious White got interceptions on Miami’s first two possessions. The Bills finished with 16 INTs, two shy of last season.
Zebra report: The Bills’ sideline was irate over a late-hit penalty by Kiko Alonso on Allen after a 46-yard pass to Chris Ivory.
Lineup changes: The Dolphins sat Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard. Second-year undrafted player Torry McTyer made his fourth career start in his place. Also out was starting safety T.J. McDonald. He was replaced by first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, making his 11th start. However, only 17 percent of Fitzpatrick’s snaps this year had come at safety (as opposed to cornerback).
Injury: McTyer took a big hit from Logan Thomas on the long pass to Ivory and went out with a concussion.
Slow starters: Miami scored 52 points in the first quarter, third fewest in the league.
Cold fish: It was the 14th time in the last 22 years Miami came to Buffalo late in the season.
Theme: Bills let Dolphins back in the game. A short-field score and an interception return for a touchdown tied the game.
Not special: Matt Darr hit punts with hang times of 3.1 and 2.9 seconds. They netted just 27 and 31 yards to give Miami good field position.
Good hands QB: Ryan Tannehill caught 112 passes in his college career at Texas A&M but his 3-yard grab was the first TD catch (and third overall reception) of his NFL career.
Big collision: On a third-and-7 play from the Buffalo 22, Tre’Davious White collided with Kenyan Drake on a pass to the right flat. White took a hit to the head as he tried to make the tackle and had to be helped off the field.
Second guess: It’s fine to let Josh Allen try to run a hurry-up drill in the final minute. But after LeSean McCoy was stopped for a 2-yard loss, a safer pass to the outside of the field would have been a better idea. Instead, Reshad Jones returned a middle-of-the-field pass 29 yards for a TD.
Slump in second: The Bills allowed 168 second-quarter points, second most in the NFL.
Theme: Bills win a fight-filled quarter.
Cheap shot: Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso was ejected after a late hit personal foul call on Josh Allen. Bills tackle Jordan Mills and Miami defensive end Robert Quinn were ejected for the fracas after the play.
Zebra report: The Bills caught a break on the 5-yard TD pass to Robert Foster that put them ahead, 21-14. The play clock ran down to zero just before the snap but the officials did not see it. Bills coach Sean McDermott ran down the sidelines, trying to call time out, but couldn’t get the officials’ attention.
Banged up DBs: Miami safety Reshad Jones went out with a leg injury and was replaced by little-used Maurice Smith. Rookie Cornell Armstrong took over for McTyer at cornerback. Then Miami lost corner Bobby McCain, leaving them with just two healthy cornerbacks. Lafayette Pitts took over for White at corner for the Bills.
“We were down numbers, to say the least,” said Miami coach Adam Gase. “So we had to do something on offense and we didn’t.”
First in third: The Bills allowed 40 third-quarter points, fewest in the NFL.
Theme: Josh Allen puts on a show. Not that Ryan Tannehill is anyone’s measuring stick, but Miami fans have to be thinking that Allen has looked more dynamic in two games against the Dolphins than Tannehill ever has looked.
QB keepers: Allen finished with eight rushing TDs, tying the team record for a QB, set by Jack Kemp in 1963. Cam Newton holds the single-season NFL record for a QB (14).
Last gasp: Trailing by 35-17 with 8:14 left, Miami’s Kellen Ballage fumbled a high snap out of a Wildcat formation, and Trent Murphy recovered at the Bills’ 48. Miami ran the Wildcat at the Bills four times for a net of 6 yards.
Great Gore: Frank Gore, Miami’s 35-year-old leading rusher, sat out the game and might be done after 14 seasons. Gore ranks fourth in career rushing yards (14,748) and fifth in yards from scrimmage (18,544).
Turnover win: The Bills finished 6-0 when they made one turnover or none. They were 0-10 when they made two or more turnovers.
Series: The win was the sixth in the last seven for the Bills over Miami in Buffalo. The Bills lead the series in Buffalo, 27-26.