MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – For at least another week, the Miami Dolphins will remain in the thick of the AFC Playoff picture.
In a game that had its fair share of ugly moments, the Dolphins came out on top, defeating the Buffalo Bills 21-17 at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
Overall it was solid game for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed 16-of-24 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 103.6.
Miami got off on the right foot for the second week in a row, opening the game with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass to DeVante Parker.
Buffalo is now 0-8 this season when allowing its opponent to score first.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, there wasn’t much to get excited about offensively following the early score.
After picking up five first downs on their opening drive, Miami had just five more over its next eight drives. That inability to move the football allowed Buffalo to remain in the game.
Miami appeared to be in the driver’s seat late in the game following a beautiful touchdown catch by Kenny Stills with just under nine minutes to go.
When Buffalo followed that up with a missed 55-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka, the game was Miami’s to lose.
The Dolphins had a four point lead possession of the ball near midfield with 3:34 to play, but a quick three and out gave Buffalo one last chance with plenty of time on the clock.
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen led the Bills right down the field but ultimately came up short after former Dolphins tight end Clarles Clay dropped what would’ve been a go-ahead touchdown on fourth down.
Clay had to dive for the ball but it was certainly catchable, and there were no defenders within ten yards of him.
It was a lucky break for Miami after a complete breakdown in coverage, thanks mostly to Allen and his ability to extend the play with his legs.
It was an up-and-down day for Allen, who had serious accuracy issues but pulled off several spectacular runs. He led all players in rushing yards, picking up 135 on just nine carries. He also threw a pair of touchdowns and was intercepted twice.
Miami is currently the first team out of the playoffs in the AFC with a 6-6 record.
Baltimore (7-5) holds the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
Record-wise, the Dolphins are tied with Indianapolis and Denver but wins the tiebreaker thanks to a better conference record.
If the Dolphins’ eight penalties for 89 yards looks bad, imagine how much fun it will be for the Bills to review this game tape. Buffalo was called for a whopping 13 penalties that cost them 120 yards.
X-MAN STRIKES TWICE
Xavien Howard is making a major case for a Pro Bowl nod. Howard intercepted two passes for the second week in a row, bringing his total to an NFL-best seven on the year.
It was also the third game this season that Howard picked off multiple passes, and the fifth time he’s done it during his short career.
DeVante Parker’s first quarter touchdown was his first in 17 games. The last time he scored was Week 2 of 2017.
Parker finished the game with four catches for 43 yards on seven targets.
Miami is now 3-1 against teams in the AFC East this season. They still face New England at home (next Sunday) and Buffalo on the road (Week 17).