5 takeaways from the Bills’ 34-31 Wild-Card win vs. the Dolphins

Here are five takeaways from the Buffalo Bills’ 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins in NFL’s Wild-Card round:

The Dolphins hung around

Jeff Wilson Jr. #23 of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

To the Bills’ credit, it’s hard to beat a team more than once in the same season. That’s why divisional games across the NFL are typically so close.

But considering the spread, Buffalo was near two-touchdown favorites, the Bills don’t look great for letting Miami stick around for the entire game.

After going down early, the Dolphins dug in with their third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson and kept things close throughout. Something many didn’t expect.

Messy end of half

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17)  Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

No doubt about it: What many in western New York were worried about throughout this contest was the messy end of the first half.

After a drop from receiver Khalil Shakir led to a punt. A big return from the Dolphins turned into three points.

The ensuing Bills drive went from interception to touchdown.

Prior to that sequence, the Bills were up 17-6. Buffalo was hoping such mistakes by the Bills would be left in the regular season, but they were not.

Playoff Gabe

Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis (13)Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills had a big game from Stefon Diggs. A bit expected.

Gabe Davis? Not so much, but “playoff Gabe” showed up in Orchard Park.

After an underwhelming 2022 regular season, Davis had a massive first game of the postseason. He scooped balls off the ground and had an impressive toe-tapping score.

Davis continues to be a gamer in the playoffs after his record-setting efforts in the postseason last year,

Matt Milano doing Matt Milano things

Bills linebacker Matt Milano (58)  Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple sacks. multiple tackles for loss, a team-leading nine tackles. The first-team All-Pro was the brightest spot on the Bills defense again against the Dolphins.

Along with Milano’s promising outing once again, defensive backs Dean Marlowe and Kaiir stood out. Both had interceptions for Buffalo’s defense.

Survive

Bills safety Jordan Poyer (21)  Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the day, this isn’t the regular season. Stats don’t matter, the final score does. It was a rocky road for the Bills en route to the win. But it was a victory. That’s really all Buffalo needed to be concerted with.

In a way, there could be a hope that this type of win, a testy one that kept the Bills on their heels, might be good for this team. After so many wins in the row, perhaps this close one will help Buffalo’s locker room focus in that extra bit more they’ll need as they continue their postseason run.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire