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Bills Lose Heartbreaker 34-31 In Overtime
Incredible offensive effort ruined by Dolphins kicker.
by Steve Saslow
Week 16
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Allen Franks hit a 55 yard field goal with :06 left in regulation than nailed a 27 yarder with less than a minute left in overtime to give Miami a wild 34-31 overtime victory that ends the Bills playoff hopes. Tyrod Taylor hit Charles Clay with his second touchdown of the game with 1:20 left to allow the Bills to erase three 14 point deficits and give them the lead. Dan Carpenter missed two field goals including one in overtime that would have given them the lead. The Bills had a franchise record 589 yards in the loss. Taylor had his first 300 yard passing game while LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins both went way over 100 yards.

The Turning Point:
Boneheaded Punt: There were several turing points in this game but we will say it's Rex Ryan punting in the final minutes of overtime when they had to win to stay alive.

The Big Drive:
Winning OT Drive: The only play that really mattered on this 7 play, 77 yard drive was Ajayi's 57 yard run on the first play after the Bills ridiculously punted.

Stat I Did Like:
Total Yards: The Bills had a team record 589 total yards on offense.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Miami's Rushing Attack: They gave up 261 yards on the ground.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills wore blue jerseys with blue pants again this week. They wore them last week as well when they beat the Browns.
- Another very sparse crowd at The Cap today as the very faint playoff hopes and division rivalry weren't enough to bring fans to the game on a rainy Christmas Eve morning.
- Three of the all time best in this rivalry, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Dan Marino took pics together on the field before the game. Kelly was on the sidelines during the game as he usually is. He had his nephew Chad Kelly with him.
- The captains for the game were all members of the front seven: Jerry Hughes, Lorenzo Alexander, Leger Douzable, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus. Rex likely sending a message that they would stop Ajayi this time, of course they didn't.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Kiko Alonso: Winner: McCoy. He has been the lone bright spot on a disappointing season.
RT Jordan Mills vs. LDE Cameron Wake: Winner: Mills. Wake had a sack but wasn't very active.
DB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Jarvis Landry: Winner: Gilmore. He was solid in pass coverage.
LB Zach Brown vs. RB Jay Ajayi: Winner: Ajayi.He just owns the Bills as he went over 200 yards for the 2nd time this year against them.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Stay Motivated: Success! Even after falling behind by two touchdowns three times they battled back and were a whisker away from a win.
2. Stay In Their Lanes: Failure! Ajayi used misdirection to make huge gains in the running game especially on the edge.
3. Pressure Moore: Failure! He had all day to throw.

My Take:
I was hoping for a Christmas miracle and a big 4th quarter comeback win from Taylor and co. When Clay caught that TD pass I thought maybe I will be able to enjoy my Christmas Eve and first night of Hanukkah. Of course the football gods give and then quickly take it away. Franks somehow hit his career long 55 yard field goal while the Bills were trying to call timeout after he ran on the field with no timeouts left. Then to not rip out the heart of every Bills fans anymore, Carpenter misses his second field goal and then Ajayi beats them. What has Bills fans done to deserve this? The playoff drought is now officially 17 years in a row and it came in the most heartbreaking fashion you can imagine. A record setting offensive day was ruined by a desire not to lose by Rex. Well, he not only lost because of his playcalling he likely sealed his fate.

What's Ahead:
The Bills close out another non playoff disappointing season in New Jersey against another disappointing team in the Jets.

  • LeSean McCoy - Had 128 yards on 24 carries.
  • Mike Gillislee - He had 91 yards on 11 carries.
  • Sammy Watkins - Had a monster day which could be a good sign of things to come next year. 7 catches for 154 yards.
  • Tyrod Taylor - Had his first 300 yard passing game going 26 of 39 for 329 yards.
  • Charles Clay - .

  • Goats
  • Rex Ryan - He played not too lose and of course lost. They didn't go for it on a 4th and 3 play in the first half. They punted late in overtime and never got the ball back. He cooked his own goose.
  • Total Defense - They were awful in tackling all game long and that killed them in a game where the offense exploded.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Tyrod Taylor - He had the big comeback and did throw a touchdown pass in the final minutes that should have led to a victory.

  • No grades this week Gamebook
    Dolphins Game Preview
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