The Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills, take sole possession of 1st place to lead the division

Dolphins Bills Lead Division

Photo by Eric Espada / Getty Images


Miami Gardens, FL – What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? Day becomes night. Night becomes day. And, the Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills 21-19 to lead the division, undefeated after week three. The defense, the temperature, and a resilient Tua got the job done today.

The Defense

The Buffalo Bills put up 495 total yards – 380 passing and 180 rushing. However, they only converted two touchdowns. The Dolphins’ defense stepped up big time when it mattered most. Buffalo had two separate 1st-and-goal situations where Miami kept them out of the end zone. The first was on Buffalo’s 1st drive of the 2nd half where they settled for a field goal. The 2nd came closer to the end of the game when they needed a touchdown to take the lead. However, Miami forced a turnover on downs. Miami also kept Buffalo’s run game in check. Their leading rusher was Josh Allen with 47 rushing yards. Stefon Diggs was also kept to under 100 yards and zero touchdowns. He was shadowed by Xavien Howard, who kept the star receiver at bay for the most part. Miami also forced Buffalo to fumble deep in their own territory leading to a Miami touchdown on offense.

The Temperature

Another familiar foe for visiting teams to Miami also chipped in to help the Fins overcome this strong Buffalo team. The temperature was around 90° with a heat index making it feel like 99° and dudes were dropping like flies. Tackle – Spencer Brown, TE – Dawson Knox, and WR – Isaiah McKenzie all left the game due to heat-related issues.

Resiliency

Talk about resiliency… Right before the end of the 1st half, Tua left the game with an apparent head injury. We found out postgame that it was in fact a back injury. He said he hyperextended his back on a play where he got sacked, someone was on his legs, and someone else was pushing him backward. He stayed in the game though. He would end up getting pressured again. This time, he’d be pushed to the ground before allowing the sack, but he landed awkwardly on his back, causing him to temporarily lose strength in his legs. This caused him to stumble, which made it look like he had a concussion.

Teddy Bridgewater came in for him, but couldn’t get anything going. However, at the beginning of the 2nd half, he was out there, starting again. Moreover, he had 110 more yards in the 2nd half than he did in the 1st, including a 45-yard pass to Waddle to set up the Chase Edmonds TD run!

Xavien Howard also battled cramps due to the heat, but he was able to finish the game as well.

Coach McDaniel said postgame about the team’s resiliency, “…to see the way they came back with confidence and played attacking football, I learned what I would hope to learn. You never know until you’re in those situations, but I was very happy with the entire team and how they pressed forward…” When asked about breaking the seven-game losing streak to the Bills, Coach McDaniel replied, “I think it meant something to everybody… it was special for everyone involved in that regard, as special as a Week 3 regular season game can be.”

This season, Miami seems to be exorcising some demons. It appears as though our offense is finally catching up to the defense. However, September is over, so the temperature won’t always be here to help the Defense. Last week, the offense surely gave fans a glimmer of hope, and this week, Miami connected on big plays when they mattered most. This is what Fins fans have wanted all along, a competitive team, so we can trash-talk all the transplants that aren’t originally from South Florida. Ok, maybe that’s just me, but I know there are others like me as well.

Fins Up Juice

  • Tyreek Hill caught his 500th reception. It was a 22-yard catch in their 1st drive of the 2nd half.
  • Today’s win is Miami’s 8th-straight win at Hard Rock Stadium. It’s now the longest home-winning streak in stadium history.
  • After beating the Bills, the Dolphins lead the Division. All alone at the top!

Photo | Eric Espada Getty Images

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