By Steven "Goldie" Goldstein

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The buzzword was “upset” as the Dolphins spent Halloween in Buffalo.

The Bills beat up the Fins twice last season, and 35-0 in Week 2 of this season.

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This one was competitive and winnable. The Dolphins should have had a halftime lead, but mistakes were the story again. The lack of offense in the second half put the defense on the field too long.

The result: another game that starts well but ends in a seventh straight loss, 26-11.

Let’s dig in.

The D We Expected For A Half

The defense turned back the clock to last season with a strong performance in the first half. The blitzes returned, tackling was solid and the enthusiasm showed was unlike any game this season. But Buffalo put together two long touchdown drives in the second half as the defense disappointingly reverted back to the 2021 version as they couldn’t cover Bills receiver Cole Beasley.

4th & 6

Down 14 in the fourth quarter, Tua Tagovailoa completed a long pass to Mike Gesicki. It kept the Dolphins alive. Tua then ran it in for a touchdown and again hit Gesicki for the two-point conversion, but the defense couldn’t stop Buffalo on the next possession.

The Messy Play

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An inexcusable play at the end of the first half cost the Dolphins the lead at halftime. A snap that inexplicably hit the man in motion, Gesicki, perhaps while he was trying to get Jaylen Waddle lined up properly resulted in a turnover. In a season full of mistakes at bad times, like the completed pass safety in Las Vegas, this one stands out.

More False Starts

The defense begins the game forcing a three and out series. The offense impressively moves deep into Buffalo territory. An easy field goal is missed. The start of the game that looked so good ended with the game still scoreless. Despite doing so much well, the Dolphins are let down again by one unit. It’s a microcosm of the season.

Gimmie More Gesicki

It was refreshing to see the emotion and fire Mike Gesicki played with. He clearly is frustrated with the losing and mistakes on offense. The losses should make players angry.

Tua To Parker

The game plan early on was on target and so was Tua when looking for DeVante Parker. He was clearly the main target and it worked. Parker had four catches for 60 yards in the first quarter. Perhaps the Bills adjusted because passes really weren’t sent Parker’s way after the hot start. He did have a drop late in the fourth quarter and had a play earlier that he didn’t fight to come back for the ball.

Shoulda, Woulda

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The bottom line is the Dolphins should have had at least six more points in the first half, maybe more. Instead, the Bills were tied and dominated the second half. The mental and physical errors took away a potential win. And the quarterback match-up was again won by the opponent.

Steven "Goldie" Goldstein