Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen racked up fantasy football numbers against his division rival Miami Dolphins.
Allen, a third-year pro, threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, both career bests, and the Bills thump AFC East rival Miami for the fourth consecutive time Sunday, 31-28.
“We believe in our playmakers here. Coach Daboll will not shy away from putting the ball in my hands,” Allen shared. “Our guys got opened and made plays.”
Allen reached a career-high in yards passing for the second week in a row and became the first Buffalo quarterback to have consecutive 300-yard games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002.
“Offensively and defensively, we could not finish the game,” Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said. “You have to finish in this league if you want to win the game. We played well in the third quarter, nothing more important than finishing in the fourth quarter.”
If a football game is played and there are barely any fans at the stadium because of a pandemic, does the game count? It did not matter.
Masked fans were given access to Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins were one of the six NFL teams that will allow fans in their stadium until further changes. A maximum of 13,000 was being allowed to attend the home opener. Buffalo fans took advantage since half of the 11,075 in attendance were Bills fans.
The crowd was less than 20% of the stadium’s capacity. Groups of spectators were required to space at least 6 feet apart throughout the stadium.
The game was delayed because of lightning in the area early in the third quarter.
Key points back to the game.
The Dolphins had a 12 play, 85-yard drive ending on the Buffalo one-yard line without a field goal attempt. Dolphins went for it on 4th down, ending with an incomplete pass to Preston Williams. The deficit would have been one in the 3rd quarter with 2:05 to play if there was made a field goal. Dolphins lost by 3.
It was a crucial play call.
The Dolphins cut it to 31-28 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Mike Gesicki and effective 2-point conversion with 49 seconds left. The Bills’ Micah Hyde recovered the ensuing onside kick. Looking back, that field goal would have possibly tied the game leading to maybe overtime.
“We played better but in the key situations, not being able to punch it in, especially on that 4th and 1,” Fitzpatrick shared. “There is plenty of stuff early where we stalled and were not converting third down.”
Fitzpatrick went 31 for 47 for 328 yards and two TDs. Besides, he finished the game, completing nine straight passes. Gesicki is making a name for himself as a critical target for Fitzpatrick. He had eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, but the Bills’ defense was big on the goal-line stand in the third quarter.
“It felt good to have fans in the stadium, but we need to win some games for them,” Gesicki shared.
Defensively Dolphins cornerback Bryon Jones went down in the first quarter with a groin injury and did not return. The Dolphins gave up a good amount of yards proving they could not cover a talented receiving core. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs led the Bills with eight catches for 153 yards.
“We struggled to cover them; they have good receivers,” Flores shared. “They got open; they had time and protection to throw it. I don’t want to put it all on the coverage guys. It is a team game. It starts with me. We have to do a better job to put them in a position to cover better.”
The beat goes on to week three.
Bills will host the Rams next Sunday.
Dolphins have a quick turnaround will play Thursday night at Jacksonville for the first time since 2015.