Bills versus Dolphins: AFC Wild Card heroes as Buffalo outlasts Dolphins

Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

When we woke up on Sunday morning, the Buffalo Bills were favored over the Miami Dolphins by 13.5 points on FanDuel. They looked like they were on the way to annihilating the spread in the second quarter, especially after the extra-point conversion put the bow on a 14-point lead after their third offensive drive. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan.

In a game that was closer than Bills Mafia would have preferred, Buffalo turned the ball over three times and got all that they can handle from a scrappy Miami Dolphins team before finally putting them away and seeking out a three-point 34-31 win.

Buffalo does just enough and gives new meaning to ‘survive and advance’. Orchard Park was the scene of a classic on Sunday, but the best part about it is the right team won. Let’s hand out some game balls as the Bills move on. Forgive us if we hand out a few too many.

Josh Allen headlines or list of heroes as the Bills move on to the Divisional Round.

The Bills ran 72 plays on offense while racking up 423 total yards and 34 points. They converted nine of 16 third-down attempts. It was an impressive and gutty victory, but expect to hear criticism next week.

Oh well, that’s life for the NFL’s elite. A win is a win, and this one was a total team effort highlighted by some strong individual showings. Here are a few that we’ll remember forever.

Josh Allen, quarterback

QB1 Josh Allen scorched the Fins for 352 yards on 23 completions. He threw three TD passes. He also threw two interceptions, but let’s be honest. The Bills don’t win this game without him.

James Cook/Devin Singletary, running backs

James Cook and Devin Singletary combined for 87 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Singletary’s massive effort on the Bills’ final running play resulted in the game’s final first down, one that sank the Fins’ ship for good.

Cut a game ball in half and give it to both of them.

Stefon Diggs/Gabe Davis, wide receivers

All you can ask is your stars show up for big games. Stefon Diggs answered the call, exceeding 100 yards receiving in the first half en route to a game-high 114 yards receiving.

Gabe Davis wasn’t too shabby either. He hauled in six receptions for 113 yards and his touchdown grab went a long way in ensuring the right team won.

Matt Milano, linebacker

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe this guy was a fifth-round draftee. Matt Milano missed a tackle on a Fins fourth-and-eight conversion early but played well overall, tallying a game-high ten total tackles.

He also led the Bills in sacks (two) and solo stops (eight). Two of his tackles resulted in a loss of yardage.

Dean Marlowe, safety

With Jared Mayden and Micah Hyde out of the lineup, Dean Marlowe earned an opportunity and made the most of it. His early interception set up the second Bills TD of the afternoon. He finished with four tackles as well.

Kaiir Elam, cornerback

How about a hand for the rookie? Kaiir Elam proved to be advanced beyond his years. He finished with two, tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup on Miami’s final offensive play. That one resulted in a turnover on downs.

Hot. Bills advance despite close call versus Dolphins. light