Josh Allen shook off the rust from a bye week off and a shaky first half to throw touchdown passes on consecutive second-half drives in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 26-11 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
After managing just 100 yards net offense through Buffalo's first possession of the third quarter, Allen found his rhythm in overseeing a pair of scoring drives which combined for 22 plays and covered 151 yards.
The Bills went ahead 10-3 in the third quarter when Allen shrugged off Jaelan Phillips’ bid to sack him and found a wide-open Gabriel Davis for an 8-yard touchdown reception . He followed that by capping a nine-play, 69-yard drive by hitting Stefon Diggs on a post route for a 19-yard TD.
The Dolphins cut the lead to 17-11 on Tua Tagovailoa's 1-yard plunge and 2-point conversion pass to Mike Gesicki early in the fourth quarter.
Allen responded by marching the Bills on a 14-play drive which ended with Tyler Bass hitting a 39-yard field goal. Jordan Poyer sealed the victory by intercepting a pass Tagovailoa sailed over the middle while facing third-and-26 from his 19 with 2:21 remaining.
Allen, who waved good-bye to the Dolphins after scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:07 left, finished 29 of 42 for 249 yards passing, and had a team-best 55 yards rushing.
The Bills (5-2) rebounded from a heart-breaking 34-31 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 18 by continuing their dominance over their AFC East rival. Buffalo beat Miami for a series-record seventh consecutive time.
The Dolphins (1-7) have lost seven straight overall to match their longest skid since losing their first seven games of the 2019 season. After losing three times on walk-off field goals this season, including their past two outings, the Dolphins’ latest defeat was determined in the first half when Miami squandered a pair of scoring attempts.
Though Jason Sanders hit a 51-yard field goal with the wind behind him in the second quarter, he missed a 36-yard attempt wide left into the wind in the first quarter.
Then came a dreadful close to Miami's final drive of the first half. Facing third-and-5 at Buffalo's 12, tight end Gesicki was running across behind the line and had Austin Reiter's snap bounce off his chest, with the ball recovered by Buffalo's Micah Hyde.
Tagovailoa finished 21 of 39 for 205 yards and an interception amid speculation on the Dolphins interest in acquiring Deshaun Watson from Houston before the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday. Tagovailoa’s career record dropped to 7-7.
The Bills improved to 12-0 against quarterbacks with 16 or fewer starts, which included a 35-0 win over the Dolphins in Week 2, in which Tagovailoa lasted two series before being sidelined by rib injuries.
Bass opened the scoring with a 57-yard attempt, which ranks as the fourth longest in team history, and third longest at what is now called Highmark Stadium.
Former Bills running back O.J. Simpson was in attendance, and posted a video from a suite before the game. Simpson, wearing a Bills wool hat, recalled how the Bills went 1-17 against Miami during his career in Buffalo, spanning 1969-77, before adding, “My Bi ls are going to kick their butts today.”
Bills co-owner Terry Pegula was spotted on the sideline during pre-game warmups, five days after leaving NFL meetings in New York after being deemed to have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 at his daughter's wedding.
Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker did not play due to a knee injury. WR DeVante Parker returned after missing three games with shoulder and hamstring injuries and finished with a team-leading eight catches for 85 yards.
Bills TE Dawson Knox missed his first game since breaking his right hand in the loss to Tennessee two weeks ago.
Dolphins: They return home for two games, starting with a meeting against the Houston Texans next Sunday.
Bills: They continue a stretch of playing four of five games on the road with a trip to the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
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