It seemed like the Buffalo Bills had things on easy mode Sunday when they jumped out to an early 17-0 lead against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card match-up. Although the day would end successfully for Buffalo, it wouldn’t come without plenty of drama along the way.
Miami, playing with backup quarterback Skylar Thompson, scored 17-straight points to tie the game up shortly before halftime. Buffalo was able to answer with a field goal late in the half to take a 20-17 lead to break.
A turnover for a touchdown gave Miami a 24-20 advantage early in the second half but Buffalo’s defense tightened and just as importantly, the Bills didn’t turn the ball over the rest of the way, after doing so four times to that point.
As a result the Bills survived as a 34-31 winner, despite entering the game as a nearly two-touchdown favorite. With the win the Bills advance to the divisional playoffs next weekend as the AFC’s second seed while Miami heads home with a 9-9 overall record this season.
The loss means the end of the road for the 2022 season for former Notre Dame standouts Liam Eichenberg and Durham Smythe while no former Golden Domers advanced with the Bills.