The Miami Dolphins lost their third straight game of the season tonight, dropping an AFC East divisional game to the Buffalo Bills 19-14. The Dolphins, who were completely flat most of the night, had a chance to make a game of it on a last minute drive, but rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's second interception of the game sealed Miami's fate tonight.
The Dolphins have not looked good the last three weeks, losing to the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and now the Bills. The team cannot run the ball, and has struggled to pass as well. The defense, once the top ranked rush defense in the league, has suddenly allowed team to run all over them and cannot cover the pass. It's not been a good recipe for any sort of success.
Tonight, Miami only gained 184 yards of total offense, 124 passing and 60 rushing. Meanwhile, the Bills added nearly an extra 100 yards on top of that, with a 281 yard total.
Tannehill was 14-for-28 with 141 yards, one touchdown, and the two interceptions. Opposite him, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 168 yards on 17-for-27 passing with no touchdowns or interceptions.
The Dolphins rank Daniel Thomas 12 times for 33 yards, while Reggie Bush ran 10 times for 20 yards. The Bills' C.J. Spiller carried the ball 22 times for 91 yards.
The game's only offensive touchdown came on a Davone Bess reception in the front corner of the end zone. The play was originally called incomplete, but head coach Joe Philbin challenged the call, and Miami actually came out on the right side of a replay.
Reshad Jones, who was probably the player of the game for the Dolphins this week, recorded 14 tackles for the Dolphins' defense. Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, and Koa Misi each recorded a sack on the night.
The only player who could claim to have a better game than Jones was kick and punt returner Marcus Thigpen, who scored on a kickoff return in the first half tonight. He average 36.2 yards per kick return on 5 tries, with two put returns for a 15.5 average.
Ultimately, the game came down to the basics for the Dolphins. They lost the turnover battle three to none. They gave up too many yards on penalties (6 for 69 yards), with four of those penalties for 56 yards on cornerback Nolan Carroll. The Dolphins were actually less penalized than the Bills (11 for 100 yards), but it seemed like every time the Dolphins were able to stop the Bills, a penalty would give Buffalo new life - and ultimately the four field goals that pushed the lead out past where Miami could reach tonight.
With the three game losing streak, the Dolphins fall below the Bills in the AFC East, a half game ahead of the New York Jets for the basement of the division.