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Miami Runs All Over Buffalo 28-25
Bills didn't play well enough to win a road division game.
by Steve Saslow
Week 7
Bills  25
Dolphins  28
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Jay Ajayi ran for 214 yards as Miami dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage and won an important division game 28-25. Despite Miami dominating all facets of the game the Bills held a 17-6 lead in the third quarter when Tyrod Taylor hit Marquise Goodwin for a 67 yard touchdown bomb. Miami's running game took over from there as Ajayi responded with a four yard touchdown run on the next series and Damien Williams scored from 12 yards out to give them the lead. A broken play allowed Ryan Tannenhill to hit Kenny Stills for a 66 yard touchdown to put the game away. The Bills made it look closer when Reggie Bush scored a garbage time touchdown and caught the two point conversion attempt.

The Turning Point:
Suh Sack: With the Bills clinging to the three point lead they were at the fringe of field goal range when Ndamukong Suh sacked Taylor to take the out of field goal range.

The Big Drive:
Miami's First Touchdown: After the Bills took a 17-6 lead, Miami got back into the game and established the momentum for the rest of the game that they wouldn't relinquish. It was a 10 play, 75 yard drive and took 5:33 off the clock. Ajayi ran it in for four yards out. Tannehill then connected with Jarvis Landry for the two point conversion to get them within a field goal. Landry had a 21 yard reception on the drive.

Stat I Did Like:
Penalty Yards: They only had 45 in this game, much lower than their season average.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Ajayi: 214 yards rushing just shouldn't happen.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills arrived in South Florida later than planned after mechanical issues on their plane. They arrived around 8pm Saturday night instead of 4pm. The players had boarded the plane but were able to get off and come back later.
- Former Bills greats Bruce Smith and Cornelius Bennett were at the game.
- Today's captains were former Dolphins: Dan Carpenter, Justin Hunter, Mike Gillislee, Richie Incognito, and Charles Clay along with Florida native John Miller.
- Buffalo won the toss just like they have every week this season. They elected to defer likely they have six of the seven games.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
C Eric Wood vs. DT Ndamukong Suh: Winner: Suh. He had the huge sack that really cost the Bills. He had pressure a couple of other times.
RT Jordan Mills vs. DE Mario Williams: Winner: Williams. He was quiet most of the game but made plays in the Bills backfield when the game was on the line.
LB Jerry Hughes vs. RT Ja'Wuan James: Winner: James. Only time I heard from Hughes was from one of his patented unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
LB Zach Brown vs. RB Jay Ajayi: Winner: Ajayi. He is the fourth player in NFL history to have back to back 200 yard games as he destroyed the Bills defense.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Find New Weapons: Failure! Nobody stepped up.
2. Deal With Florida Heat: Failure! The defense spent too much time on the field and wilted in the end.
3. Win Time Of Possession: Failure! Miami dominated the game at the line of scrimmage and controlled the ball way too long which led to the Bills collapsing in the fourth quarter.

My Take:
I guess they read their press clippings during the week. They were due for a typical Bills clunker and got it in this game. They were dominated throughout on both sides of the line of scrimmage as Miami's OL and DL controlled the football game. It is shocking to think the Bills actually had an 11 point lead in the second half of this game. Everyone has been waiting for Taylor to have a big fourth quarter game winning drive, he had that chance and went three and out. Truly depressing effort and depressing loss against a team that is very beatable.

What's Ahead:
The Bills come home to face Tom Brady and the division leading New England Patriots. This loss takes a lot of luster off of that game.

  • Lorenzo Alexander - He was the most active defensive player. Pressuring the quarterback, getting a sack, and even making a big special teams hit.
  • Brandon Tate - Had a big punt return and a great punt downing at the one yard line.
  • Marquise Goodwin - He had four catches for 93 yards and the one big touchdown.

  • Goats
  • Offensive Line - They gave Taylor no time to throw and opened up no holes in the running game.
  • Defensive Line - When there weren't big holes to run through they were missing tackles.
  • Tyrod Taylor - He had a chance to win this game and didn't do anything.
  • Linebackers - The front seven was just pathetic as they were gashed worse than I could remember in a long time.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Lorenzo Alexander - He's the best player on this team this year.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Dolphins Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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