Final score, recap, highlights: Buffalo Bills 26, Miami Dolphins 11
ORCHARD PARK – The Bills will be looking to defeat the Miami Dolphins for the second time in 2021, and for the seventh consecutive time overall dating to 2018 when the teams meet Sunday afternoon at Highmark Stadium.
If the Bills are victorious, this would be their longest winning streak in the long-time series against the Dolphins. Of course, it would still fall short by 13 games – more than six years’ worth of games – of Miami’s epic 20-game win streak that encompassed the entire decade of the 1970s.
Buffalo is 4-2 and leads the AFC East, while Miami’s season has gone up in smoke with six straight losses – starting with a 35-0 defeat at the hands of the Bills on Sept. 19 – and its playoff hopes are virtually extinguished.
Stay here all day long as Sal Maiorana and Ryan Miller provide live updates throughout the game.
Buffalo added another touchdown to pad its lead. Allen looked to pass on a play-action on third down but scrambled for a 7-yard touchdown run. The Bills' two-point conversion attempt failed.
Miami got the ball down two scores with 3:29 left and had three straight miscues. Wide receiver DeVante Parker dropped a pass over the middle on second down. Tua Tagovailoa fumbled as he was sacked by Jerry Hughes. It was recovered by the Dolphins but then Tagovailoa threw an interception on the next play. Safety Jordan Poyer picked off a pass over the middle and returned it 26 yards to the Dolphins' 11-yard line.
Buffalo kept the ball in the air with the lead. Josh Allen found tight end Tommy Sweeney completions of 13 and 11 yards and and connected with Cole Beasley for 20 yards on third-and-10. Allen ran past arm tackles for 12 yards to get to the Dolphins' 23. Allen's 6-yard run to the Miami 7 was called back due to a low block penalty by guard Jon Feliciano. Two more short completions gave Buffalo a fourth-and-19 from the Dolphins' 21 with 3:33 left. Tyler Bass made a 39-yard field goal to give the Bills a two-possession lead. Miami burned all three of its timeouts and doesn't have any left. It was a 17-play, 69-yard drive that took 6:10 off the clock.
Miami's offense somehow answered after failing to find the end zone for nearly two full games this year against the Bills.
Tua Tagovailoa dove in for a 1-yard touchdown to cut the Dolphins' deficit to 17-9. Miami converted the two-point conversion on a pass from Tagovailoa to tight end Mike Gesicki. It was Miami's first TD against the Bills in 128 straight plays dating back to Week 17 last year.
A 40-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Gesicki on fourth-and-6 from the Bills' 44-yard line set up the score. It was the longest completion of the season for Tagovailoa.
Buffalo's offense is back. The Bills drove 69 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs, who punted the ball into the stands to celebrate. It is Diggs' second straight game with a touchdown reception.
Cole Beasley has been huge for Buffalo in the second half and has eight catches for 86 yards.
The Bills have gained more total yards in their last two drives than the rest of the game combined.
Not a single yard seemed to come easy on Buffalo’s 13-play, 80-yard drive, but it ended in the end zone as Josh Allen threw to a wide-open Gabriel Davis from eight yards out.
On the play before, the Bills were bailed out on third down when Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was called for pass interference on Tommy Sweeney which gave the Bills a first down, and they scored on the next play.
Cole Beasley, who had to miss a couple snaps when he got hurt, keyed the drive by making four catches 44 yards including a huge 15-yarder to convert a third-and-14.
Miami hasn't been able to move the ball in the second half and punted after a three-and-out which it lost 1 yard. Michael Palardy punted 47 yards to the Bills' 8. Punt returner Isaiah McKenzie decided to field the punt and muffed it. Buffalo's Jake Kumerow hopped on the ball in the back of the end zone to regain possession. It was ruled a touchback downed in the end zone.
The Bills had taken a halftime lead in 15 consecutive regular-season games which was an NFL record, but that’s over because they just trotted off the field with boos ringing in their ears as the game is tied at 3-3.
The Bills are extremely fortunate to be tied. The Dolphins missed an early chip shot field goal, and then turned the ball over in the final seconds of the first half in the red zone when a shotgun snap bounced off TE Mike Gesicki who was coming in motion, and Micah Hyde recovered to take certain points off the board.
That last possession was made possible when the Bills went for a fourth-and-4 near midfield and the play was blown up by the Miami defense and forced Josh Allen into an intentional grounding penalty that gave Miami the ball at the Bills 41.
Buffalo drove to the Dolphins' 44-yard line in the final minute of the second quarter but turned the ball over on downs. The Bills bled the clock and it appeared they'd try to get Miami to jump offsides before making a call whether to go for it, punt or attempt a long field goal. A Miami defensive lineman appeared to move offsides moved. Allen thought he had a free play — no flag was thrown — so he called for the snap and was called for intentional grounding as he was pressured by linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel. Miami took over on downs at the Bills' 41-yard line.
To say the start of this game has not gone as expected would be an understatement. With 8:10 left in the first half, Jason Sanders made amends for his earlier miss and drilled a 51-yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3.
Buffalo’s offense has been horrible, plain and simple. The Bills can’t get any semblance of a running game going, the Dolphins have been very well prepared for the Bills passing game and nothing is working. They failed on a third-and-1 and then Matt Haack shanked a 19-yard punt to give the Dolphins a drive start at the 35, and they drove for the tying field goal, helped by a huge third down completion from Tua Tagovailoa to Myles Gaskin.
Buffalo's offense went three-and-out for the second time of the half. Running back Zack Moss was dropped for a 1-yard loss to set up fourth-and-2 from the Bills' 46-yard line. Sean McDermott decided to punt and the ball went off punter Matt Haack's foot for 19 yards to the Dolphins' 35.
Miami has had some success moving the ball with a short passing game — wide receiver DeVante Parker has four catches for 60 yards — but defensive end Mario Addison took down Tua Tagovailoa at the end of the quarter. Addison sacked Tagovailoa for a 5-yard loss on the last play of the first quarter to give Miami a third-and-20 to start the second quarter.
Miami’s Jason Sanders couldn’t find a way to make a 36-yard field goal on the Dolphins first series of the game, but Buffalo’s Tyler Bass turned around and drilled a 57-yarder to give Buffalo a 3-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter.
The Bills offense has started pretty poorly, though. It went three and out on the first possession, and after Sanders’ miss, the only reason the Bills were in position for Bass’ field goal is because Josh Allen took off on a 34-yard run.
The rest of the possession was awful, including a ridiculous play call on third-and-9 from the Miami 39 where Allen kept the ball on a designed run that had zero chance of getting the first down.
The Dolphins went 56 yards in 112plays to the Bills' 18-yard line but couldn't muster any points. Tua Tagovailoa converted two third downs on the drive, which ended in a missed 36-yard field goal attempt from kicker Jason Sanders.
The Bills received the ball first and went three-and-out. Devin Singletary totaled 5 yards on two carries and on third down Josh Allen threw incomplete for Stefon Diggs. Buffalo entered the game second in the NFL with a 50% third-down conversion rate.
O.J. Simpson, one of the greatest players in Bills history and a Pro Football Hall of Famer, but a man who is among the most reviled in the country for obvious reasons, is at Highmark Stadium today.
He’s sitting in a suite – no idea who’s it is – on the Bills side of the field, toward the main scoreboard end of the field. He was out in the parking lot before the game posing with fans for pictures, and once he got to the suite, he posted a 90-second selfie video saying that he was thrilled to be back in Buffalo to watch his Bills.
Later, he acknowledged fans who were sitting right in front of him in the stands, thanking them for whatever they were saying.
As far as I know, Simpson hasn’t been at a Bills game since before he went to prison in 2008. He has been a free man since Oct. 1, 2017.
One player who is active Sunday who you may never have heard of is tight end Kahale Warring.
With Dawson Knox sidelined by a broken hand, the Bills were light at the position with just Tommy Sweeney and hybrid tight end/fullback Reggie Gilliam, so Warring was activated from the practice squad Saturday.
Warring was signed by the Bills late in the preseason and this is the first game he has dressed for. He’s a former third-round pick of the Texans in 2019 out of San Diego State where he caught 51 passes for 637 yards with eight touchdowns during his time there.
He missed all of 2019 with a concussion and played only sparingly for Houston in 2020, catching three passes for 35 yards in seven games. This year he spent training camp and the preseason with the Texans but was waived on Aug. 23, and so began a journey that saw him get signed and cut by the Patriots and Colts before he came to Buffalo on Sept. 2.
Not sure whether Phil Mickelson has been a Bills fan at any point in his life, but he is today.
Given that it’s Halloween day, several Bills came to the stadium Sunday morning in costumes. The quarterbacks all dressed as golfers, and Josh Allen chose Mickelson to imitate.
He wore a visor, golf shirt, shorts and shoes, and as he walked into the locker room with the Bills’ video department filming him, he mimicked some of Mickelson’s signature moves such as his thumbs up and his tipping of his visor. Allen also pointed to his calves, a nod to Mickelson occasionally bragging about his calves.
The video was tweeted out with Mickelson tagged and he saw it and sent a quippy reply, ending it by saying GoBills.
The rookie right tackle did not practice all week and was listed as doubtful, and Sunday morning the team made it official – he’s inactive, and now we wait to see how the Bills are going to fill the void.
The other inactives are: TE Dawson Knox, RB Matt Breida, and defensive linemen Justin Zimmer, Efe Obada, and Boogie Basham.
Brown took over at right tackle in Week 4 when guard Cody Ford was benched and Daryl Williams was moved to RG to replace Ford. The obvious move is for the Bills to move Williams back out to RT and start either Ford or Ike Boettger at RG.
Of course, they still have Ryan Bates and rookie Tommy Doyle who could play tackle, but playing either at that position seems unlikely, so expect Williams to be at RT. If Boettger gets the start over Ford, that’s a serious indictment on Ford, the 2019 second-round pick who has been a disappointment.
How to watch, listen to Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins game
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Highmark Stadium
TV: CBS (Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burrus)
Satellite radio: Sirius 206, XM 229
DirectTV: Channel 705
Radio: 96.5 FM/950 AM
Series: Dolphins lead 61-53-1 counting playoffs.
Tipico betting line: Bills -13.5
Total offense: 411.5yards (6th); 307.6 (28th)
Rush offense: 130.7 yards (7th); 80.1 (31st)
Pass offense: 280.8 (8th); 227.4 (24th)
Points scored: 33.8 (2nd); 18.1 (29th)
Total defense: 270.2 yards (1st); 414.9 (32nd)
Rush defense: 89.7yards (6th); 117.7 (19th)
Pass defense: 180.5 yards (1st); 297.1 (30th)
Points allowed: 16.3 (2nd); 29.6 (31st)
Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins individual leaders
Bills: Devin Singletary 60 carries, 311 yards; Josh Allen 44-214; Zack Moss 54-208; Mitchell Trubisky 10-27; Isaiah McKenzie 3-10.
Dolphins: Miles Gaskin 54-243; Malcolm Brown 33-125; Salvon Ahmed 28-75; Jacoby Brissett 16-57; Tua Tagovailoa 11-52.
Bills: Josh Allen 149 of 230, 1,723 yards, 15 TDs, 3 interceptions.
Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa 82 of 118, 835 yards, 7 TDs, 4 interceptions; Jacoby Brissett 104 of 159, 883 yards, 4 TDs, 2 interceptions.
Bills: Stefon Diggs 37 catches, 463 yards; Cole Beasley 33-303; Emmanuel Sanders 24-413; Dawson Knox 21-286; Devin Singletary 13-38; Zack Moss 10-109; Gabriel Davis 6-104.
Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle 44-384; Mike Gesicki 37-427; Miles Gaskin 28-146; DeVante Parker 17-242; Durham Smythe 13-134; Salvon Ahmed 9-93; Mack Hollins 7-84; Albert Wilson 7-45.
2021 Buffalo Bills schedule
9/12 vs. Steelers, L 16-23
9/19 at Dolphins, W 35-0
9/26 vs. Washington, W 43-21
10/3 vs. Texans, W 40-0
10/10 at Chiefs, W 38-20
10/18 at Titans, L 31-34
10/24 Bye week
10/31 vs. Dolphins, 1 p.m.
11/7 at Jaguars, 1 p.m.
11/14 at Jets, 1 p.m
11/21 vs. Colts, 1 p.m
11/25 at Saints, 8:20 p.m.
12/6 vs. Patriots, 8:15 p.m.
12/12 at Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.
12/19 vs. Panthers, TBD
12/26 at Patriots, 1 p.m.
1/2 vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
1/9 vs. Jets, 1 p.m.
Sal Maiorana can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.