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NFL playoff recap: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins 34:31 – Bills win despite plenty of mistakes

The Buffalo Bills managed to win their playoff opener against the Miami Dolphins in a game they largely dominated – only a few mistakes and a sleepy second quarter left the Dolphins significantly lower in the match and made it closer than in the end the top favorite would have liked to have.

Bills vs. Dolphins: At a Glance

  • The Bills dominated early on, taking a 17-0 lead behind Josh Allen’s passing game (23 of 39 for 352 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and -8.5 EPA). In the second quarter, however, you quickly felt quite safe, which led to a sleepy and hazy game. Allen threw a careless and unlucky interception in the second quarter, each resulting in points.
  • The Dolphins tied with a series of field goals and a late touchdown on Mike Gesicki at 17:17. Rookie quarterback Skyler Thompson (18 of 45 for 220 yards1 TD, 2 INTs and -9.2 EPA) had his mistakes, but also had to be annoyed by a few drops from his receivers – especially Jaylen Waddle, who also thanks to a shoulder injury early in the game. Gameplay remained ineffective.
  • In the second half, the Dolphins even took the lead thanks to a sack-strip fumble from Josh Allen that Zach Sieler carried to a touchdown. But the Bills have taken their opponent more seriously now than they did in the second quarter.
  • With Miami now adjusting to Allen’s deep balls, the Bills responded with more short passes – and pulled away with two touchdowns on Cole Beasley and Gabe Davis at 34:24.
  • Miami pulled back with a 76-yard drive and had the ball just short of the 50-yard line with minutes to go – but Skylar Thompson couldn’t finish Gesicki at 4th-and-6.

Bills vs. Dolphins: The Analysis

The Bills were unstoppable for the first quarter and quickly established a clear lead with a short pass to Dawson Knox and a 12-yard run from James Cook. The Dolphins must have been annoyed by the falls of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, after three Dolphins drives the two still had no grip with 5 targets.

The Bills mainly trained their passing game through Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs: Diggs had 100 yards in the first quarter, and Davis made a spectacular catch early in the second quarter that made the field 17-0. Davis’ hold was initially ruled incomplete, but Sean McDermott threw the challenge flag, much to Diggs’ delight.


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