9 studs, 3 duds in Bills’ 56-26 win over Dolphins

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Nick Wojton
·5 min read
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In terms of a top-to-bottom effort from a team in the NFL, it’s hard to get much better than the effort the Buffalo Bills gave against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.

When the Bills (13-3) put their starters in? Great work. Then when the Dolphins (10-6) took on Buffalo’s backups? They still were too much for the visitors to handle.

After looking at the tape and letting the dust settle, here are nine studs and three duds from the Bills in their win over the Dolphins:

Duds

RB Devin Singletary

Both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss only had three carries in this one. Moss had eight yards to Singletary’s seven. Neither guy had much of a workload, but Singletary usually has a promising catch or two. Instead, Moss turned heads in that role with an angry run early off a grab in the flat. Both will have more opportunities in the playoffs.

TE Dawson Knox

Dawson Knox had a nice catch late from Matt Barkley 20 yards down the field, but his effort came into question on a deep target on an early third down. In addition, Knox had eight targets throughout the game and only hauled in two of them. That’s not great for a guy who’s not exactly a touted blocker.

Sloppy starts

Slight bit of nervous energy there from the Bills in the first quarter, specifically on offense. Passes sailed, running plays went nowhere, balls were dropped, drives were not extended. Not a lot went right for the Bills in the opening quarter, as the team only gained 42 total yards and turned the ball over. Somehow, all whopping 56 points came after the first frame.

Push

CB Josh Norman

The veteran cornerback had a pick-six interception, Josh Norman’s first since 2015 when he was back with the Panthers. However, DeVante Parker finished with seven catches for 116 yards. Parker has a thing for solid games against the Bills, but about half of his grabs, slightly more even, came against Norman. Levi Wallace allowed his longest grab, though.

WR Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts is a deserved Pro Bowler. But he has one big problem as Buffalo’s return man: Roberts never scores. Isaiah McKenzie took backup snaps in the this role for Roberts and he scored the Bills’ first punt return touchdown since 2014. Funny how things work like that sometimes.

Studs

WR Isaiah McKenzie

The star against the Dolphins was Isaiah McKenzie. He had six catches for 65 yards but scored three total times. Including his punt return, McKenzie had two other grabs with the starting offense for touchdowns.

HC Sean McDermott

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott was star No. 2 in this game. He started his first teamers and got away from the game with no injuries, locking up the No. 2 seed in the AFC. In addition, the Bills not only kept rolling, they might’ve even added some momentum. Finally, the cherry on top, his team only three three penalties for 16 total yards.

LB Tremaine Edmunds

In terms of the box score, Tremaine Edmunds had a game-high nine tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Via the eye test, Edmunds was sideline-to-sideline, flying all over the field. His efforts was a big reason why the Dolphins running backs only averaged three yards per carry.

QB Josh Allen

Like the Bills offense entirely, quarterback Josh Allen went off in the second quarter mostly, but boy, what a performance. Allen did have an interception that was suspect. The rest of his day was above and beyond an improvement, though. He was 18-for-25 passing with 224 yards with three touchdowns.

S Dean Marlowe

When the game got out of hand for the Dolphins, rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did his best Ryan Fitzpatrick impression in the second half, slinging passes up left and right. Of course with Fitzpatrick it’s typically “when will the sky fall” type of deal. This time around, it was almost immediately fell because Miami never got much going and Dean Marlowe took two interceptions to the bank. They were the first two of his career.

RB Antonio Williams

Buffalo’s running game did little for us in the first half. In the later stages of the game, former undrafted rookie and on-and-off practice squad guy in Antonio Williams rushed like a mad man. He was motivated and it showed. Williams finished the game with 63 yards (5.3 YPC) and two touchdowns.

DT Harrison Phillips

Harrison Phillips recovered a fumble with the Bills and it was one of those that require some attention to detail, the ball didn’t just fall into his lap. In terms of his actually job in the middle of the Buffalo defensive line, he’s gotten better and better. Phillips had two tackles and a QB hit. Phillips and Ed Oliver were also in the middle when Tagovailoa tried to sneak it to get off his own goal line. That went nowhere.

P Corey Bojorquez

Usually for Bills Mafia it’s a cool and edgy thing to say the punter is good. But Corey Bojorquez was actually excellent. He had two punts inside the 20, including a coffin corner. His four punts averaged to 53.5 yards per punt, too.

Offensive efficiency

The penalties were mentioned, not doing those was efficient. But minus that first quarter, the Bills kept on clicking. Williams had an 18-yard scamper, John Brown had a 32-yard catch on a perfectly placed ball by Allen, while Gabriel Davis had an impressive 56-yard catch for a score. The big plays were there.

In the prior mentioned second quarter, three-straight went for touchdowns, and in total, six of their 10 (excluding kneel downs) did as well. In the red zone Buffalo was 4-for-4 in scoring touchdowns. On third down, the Bills were close to converting on half of them as well, 4-for-10, which isn’t bad.

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Buffalo
+145+3O 53.5
Kansas City
-167-3U 53.5