Bills vs. Dolphins score: Josh Allen, Buffalo overcome costly mistakes, survive Miami’s bid at historic upset


The Miami Dolphins, playing with seventh-round rookie and third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson, gave Josh Allen and the second-seeded Buffalo Bills a scare in the third quarter, but the preseason Super Bowl favorites recovered for a 34-31 victory on Super Wild Card Weekend to advance to the AFC divisional round. They blew an early 17-0 lead, but they bounced back to take a 34-24 edge before forcing a critical turnover on downs with 2:22 left in the game. 

The Dolphins faced a third-and-one from their own 48 following a 14-yard completion from Thompson to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. They proceeded to run up the middle for no gain, and then mayhem broke loose. Miami struggled to get lined up as the play clock wound down, but the whistle to blow the play dead came a beat after Thompson snapped the ball. He got a heave off to Tyreek Hill, which was an overthrow for an incompletion. However, the play never counted, and Thompson’s pass on fourth-and-six was ripped out of tight end Mike Gesicki’s hands, thwarting Miami’s chance at what would have been tied for the second-largest playoff upset in the Super Bowl Era based on the spread. 

The Bills entered the game Sunday as 14-point favorites, the largest in wild-card round history (since 1978), and they looked like it early as they rattled off 17 consecutive points: an Allen touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox, a 12-yard rushing score from running back James Cook and a 33-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Bass. The second touchdown came after an interception of Thompson by safety Dean Marlowe, filling in for the injured Damar Hamlin. 

The Dolphins rallied to take leads of 20-17 and 24-20, but Allen brought the Bills back despite three turnovers  — two interceptions and a fumble. Sunday marked his first three-turnover game since Week 10 in the Bills’ 33-30 overtime home loss against the Minnesota Vikings. 

Allen eventually got up off the mat and bounced back to throw consecutive touchdowns, a six-yard score to the recently reacquired Beasley and a 23-yard strike to Gabe Davis that put the Bills on top 34-24. Allen finished with 352 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 23-of-39 passing, which gave him his fourth career playoff game with over 300 yards. Everyone else in Bills history has combined for four such games. 

With the win, the Bills are in wait-and-see mode in terms of who their next opponent will be in the divisional round. If the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens knock off the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals Sunday Night, the fourth-seeded, AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars will head to Buffalo. 

However, should the Bengals take care of business against the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens, they will face the Bills in the divisional round next week. The Dolphins are still searching for their first playoff win since the 2000 season, the second-longest active drought ahead of only the Detroit Lions, who have been waiting since the 1991 season. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here