Josh Allen makes huge 4th quarter plays and Bills clinch playoff spot with win over Dolphins

There aren't many quarterbacks who can make plays like Josh Allen.

Sometimes, like a touchdown pass as he let eight seconds melt off the clock to end the half, aren't ones you'd advise. Others, like clutch throws through a snowstorm in the fourth quarter, are hard to believe.

Allen saved the Buffalo Bills from what would have been a bad upset loss to the Miami Dolphins. Allen led two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, as the snow fell hard in Orchard Park, and the Bills pulled out a 32-29 win that clinches a playoff spot and keeps them ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs for the top spot in the AFC. On the first big fourth-quarter drive, Allen did a lot of the work with his legs, on a long run to set up a touchdown and then a leaping two-point conversion to the tie the game. One the game-winning drive he completed passes even though it had to be hard to see through the snow. Allen finished with 304 passing yards and four touchdowns, and added 77 rushing yards.

It might be too late for Allen to get back in the MVP conversation, after the conversation moved to other candidates when Allen had a brief slump. But the Bills know what they have with their young quarterback. They wouldn't have won Saturday night without him.

Dolphins rally in second half

On the final play of the first half, Allen showed what can happen when you have a quarterback that can make a bad play look great. The Bills had eight seconds left with a timeout. On first-and-goal, a quick play would allow Buffalo at least two shots at the end zone. Allen stood in the pocket for a while, rolled right as the clock hit zero, threw across his body to the end zone and James Cook caught it for a touchdown.

That's nothing coaches would draw up. But Allen turned it into a highlight. The Bills led 21-13 at that point. Had the Dolphins knocked that last pass down, they would have gone into the locker room at halftime trailing by just a point.

Despite that poor end to the half, the Dolphins were unfazed to start the second half. Miami's defense forced four straight punts to start the half and the offense hit some big plays to take a lead.

Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle downfield on a blown coverage, and Waddle used his speed to run for a 67-yard touchdown. A little later, after a roughing the punter penalty kept a Miami drive alive, Tagovailoa made a great pass to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown and a 26-21 Dolphins lead.

When Jaelan Phillips strip-sacked Josh Allen near midfield early in the fourth quarter, Miami had a great shot for the upset.

Josh Allen made some huge plays for the Buffalo Bills in a dramatic win over the Dolphins. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Josh Allen made some huge plays for the Buffalo Bills in a dramatic win over the Dolphins. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Game tightens up in the fourth quarter

Snow, which was forecasted for the game, didn't start until early in the fourth quarter (though fans took the snow that had accumulated in the stands before the game and threw snowballs in the first quarter). The Bills trailed 29-21, facing a brutal home loss as they try to stay ahead of the Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC.

The Bills scored on Allen's fourth touchdown pass but needed the two-point conversion to tie it. Allen tried leaping into the end zone and crossed the goal line just before he was hit and the ball came out. The game was tied. And by the time the broadcast came back from commercial, the snow was coming down hard.

Miami had a drive start in a promising way, but then the Buffalo defense held and forced a punt. The Bills took over at their own 7. A huge play in the drive was a 15-yard catch by Gabriel Davis on second-and-18, and then a six-yard catch by Stefon Diggs on third down. Those plays weren't easy in the weather.

Buffalo rode running back Devin Singletary for a lot of the drive after that to get into field-goal range. A long pass interference got the Bills closer, and they needed all the yards they could get for kicker Tyler Bass. The Bills ran the clock down and called timeout with two seconds left, players got on hands and knees to clear snow off the field for Bass' kick, and Bass drilled the 25-yarder for the win.

It was a huge win for the Bills. It was another reminder that they're a Super Bowl contender, mostly because of their unique quarterback.