The Miami Dolphins got off to a slow start against the Buffalo Bills today, having two interceptions and two punts on their first four drives of the game. But, the team spent those 17 plays establishing a previously unknown running game and, eventually, were able to put it together.
The team scored on a six-play, 62-yard drive at the beginning of the second quarter. While they would miss a field goal and also have two more three-and-outs, they would drive 75-yards in five-plays over 1:05 at the end of the first half, scoring touchdown number two on the day and bringing the Dolphins to within three at the break.
With the 17-14 lead, the Bills had an opportunity to extend that lead with the first possession of the third quarter, only to go three-and-out, giving the Dolphins the ball at their own 34 yard line. Eleven-plays and 66 yards later, Ryan Tannehill was finding Brandon Gibson in the endzone for the third TD pass from Tannehill and, second to Gibson, on the day.
The Bills would answer with former Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter's second field goal of the day on the next drive, making the score 21-20 early in the fourth quarter.
Then is all fell apart for Miami. After the two sides traded punts, the Dolphins got the ball back with 3:39 left on the clock and a one point lead. Conventional wisdom says this game is over with a sustained drive, grinding the ball on the ground and letting the clock run. Instead, the Dolphins dropped back to pass, only to give up the strip sack to Mario Williams, allowing Kyle Williams to recover the ball on the Miami 34 with just over two minutes remaining.
Already in field goal range, the Bills did exactly what the Dolphins did not do, running the ball and wasting time. Eventually, they ran the clock all the way down to 33 seconds remaining as Carpenter connected on the 31-yard field goal to give Buffalo a 23-21 lead.
Marcus Thigpen was able to return the kickoff 44-yards, only to have Dan Carpenter trip him up enough to prevent the touchdown. Miami was unable to move the ball on the next three plays, and a fourth down Hail Mary with six seconds remaining fell to the turf.
Tannehill finished the game 19-for-37 for 194 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, a 71.2 passer rating. Daniel Thomas led the way with 12 carries for 60 yards, while Lamar Miller had nine carries for 43 yards. Mike Wallace tallied five receptions for 76 yards, Brian Hartline had six catches for 69 yards, and Brandon Gibson recorded five receptions for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Charles Clay added another touchdown on his only catch of the game.
The Dolphins are now 3-3 on the year, and have lost their last three games. They face the New England Patriots next week.
Use this thread as a live thread for the late afternoon games and as a place to vent after some questionable (at best) play calling on the second to last drive for Miami.
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