Buffalo Payments (2) – Miami Dolphins (7): 34-31
It was simply presupposed to be a formality. Weaker gamers with the best odds in wild card historical past, the Dolphins gave chilly sweats to the careless ball-carrying Payments. Till the final second, Miami had the chance to win.
In the end, the expertise of Buffalo’s quarterbacks qualifies them for the following spherical, however a lack of the ball should be erased to hope for something within the AFC.
Key second: Cairo Elam interception within the third quarter
Main for the primary time within the recreation (20-24) after a brand new loss to Josh Allen (return for a landing), the Payments wallow unsure. Their subsequent two possessions finish on a punt and the shadow of defeat begins to creep in.
They want a shock, and that’s rookie defender Kaiir Elam, who makes certain of that with a tactile interception on Skylar Thompson’s under-pass. The momentum of the sport modified but once more, and the loss resulted in 14 factors for Buffalo, who regained the lead, by no means to relinquish it.
SELECT. Payments are coming! #SuperWild card
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2023
The Payments begin the sport with a false stride, failing on the fourth try. Ignition delay, nothing else as Josh Allen (23/39, 352 yds, 3 DT, 2 INTs, 3 fumbles together with 1 forfeit) finds his shut Dawson Knox in purpose for an acrobatic occasion on his subsequent trip
Two defensive performs and an interception later, and attacking Payments returns to the sector. A number of tackles from the untenable Stefon Diggs (7 receptions, 114 yards) earlier than touchdown a second strike to the Dolphins’ head simply two minutes later, this time from James Prepare dinner (12 runs, 39 yards, 1 DT). 14-0, then 17-0.
Quite the opposite, the assault from Florida is apathetic. The operating recreation is down and Skylar Thompson (18/45, 220 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) is beneath stress on each cross. The rookie can be not helped by the unlucky drops of his two stars, Jaylen Waddle (3 receptions for 7 objectives, 44 yards) and Tyreek Hill (7 rebounds for 15 objectives, 69 yards).
Nevertheless, profiting from the foolish errors of Buffalo’s crew, which went utterly free on the finish of the primary half (beginning out of bounds, then a avoidable interception by Josh Allen, a punt return from 50 yards, then one other interception by Josh Allen), the Dolphins scored for every time (3 discipline objectives and a transformed 2-point landing). To Invoice’s 17 factors, the Dolphins reply with 17 factors in a row. A breath of contemporary air flows by way of the stadium in disbelief.
Story To get his head again on the spot, Josh Allen distributes a number of laser passes down the ultimate climb and again 54 yards in lower than 30 seconds. The Payments are proud of the penalty kick and return to the locker room with simply 3 factors forward. Just a little comfort.
Getting back from the locker room, the Dolphins proceed to place insane stress on Josh Allen and trigger a brand new sack rotation with defender Eric Rowe returning for a Zach Sieler landing.
Uncertain, main 20-24, the Payments get again into place by way of their rookie Kaiir Elam who intercepts Thompson. Two touchdowns later, work from Gabe Davis (6 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD) and Cole Beasley (2 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD), the Payments lastly appear secure (34-24).
The Dolphins nonetheless refuse to surrender, and a pleasant drive from 75 yards ends with a brand new landing this recreation, a seventh, within the race of Jeff Wilson (10 races, 23 yards, 1 TD). They’re within the recreation as soon as once more (31-34). With one final probability to get again into the lead, the Dolphins lastly fail on their fourth strive, reasonably dismal clock administration helped little as their three breaks have been used to keep away from Sport delay.
Buffalo simply wants time to win, child.
MVP: Kaiir Elam
Not solely did the cornerback get his crew again on observe by intercepting Thompson, he was additionally a defensive rock late within the Payments recreation, with two extra passes saved, together with the Dolphins’ last fourth strive at Tyreek Hill, albeit over the telephone.
Leflop: Josh Allen
Sure, Payments received. Sure, the offense scored 34 factors. However the Payments younger quarterback introduced the Dolphins down within the first quarter by forcing lengthy passes in a cartoonish method.
Evidently, he fell off the offensive line (7 sacks conceded), Allen made two interceptions and dedicated three fumbles (just one loss). In comparison with different AFC giants, this sort of efficiency will probably be crippling.
The variety of runs collected in a match that lasted virtually 4 hours, leading to 65 factors. A quantity that illustrates many losses, but in addition, paradoxically, stunning defensive sequences by every crew (6 factors for the Dolphins, 5 for the Payments).
Miami discovered colours beneath the management of Mike McDaniel. The primary audition of the following season begins with the quarterback. If it appears just like the folks of Florida need to proceed enjoying with Tua Tagovailoa, the buildup of concussions is greater than worrisome. The workforce is steeped in high quality AFC East could also be extra contentious than ever.
From the aspect of the Payments we are able to push an enormous “whew” of aid, the entice is over. Subsequent week, Buffalo will face the Jaguars (if the Ravens win) or, extra probably, the Bengals, in a rematch of the match canceled after Damar Hamlin’s accident. Whatever the opponent, will probably be essential to tighten the bolts in protection in opposition to very efficient assaults.