Advertisement

Sunday Night Football: Bills clinch AFC East, No. 2 seed with 21-14 win over Dolphins

Sunday Night Football: Bills clinch AFC East, No. 2 seed with 21-14 win over Dolphins

Things looked dire for the Bills when they lost to the Broncos back on a Monday night in Week 10 and fell to 5-5 on the season.

But despite the club’s struggles early in the season, Buffalo wasn't out of it. The franchise proved that by winning five of its last six to set up a Week 18 matchup with the Dolphins for the division title.

And so on Sunday night, with a fourth-quarter surge, Buffalo defeated Miami 21-14 to win the AFC East for the fourth consecutive season.

The Bills were down 14-7 entering the final period, with Josh Allen having committed three turnovers to help the Dolphins stay ahead. But Deonte Harty took a punt return back for 96 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 14-14 with 13:42 left.

Then when the Dolphins went three-and-out, the Bills responded with their second touchdown drive of the game. Allen hit Dawson Knox with a 5-yard scoring strike to give Buffalo a seven-point advantage that would stand until the end of the game.

The Bills had a shot to close the game out on offense, but Allen’s fourth-down sneak came up short. The Dolphins even advanced into Buffalo territory with just under 90 seconds left in the contest.

But on second-and-10 from the Bills’ 40, Tua Tagovailoa was intercepted by safety Taylor Rapp on a pass intended for Chase Claypool, who appeared to be well covered.

That sealed Buffalo’s victory, division title, and the AFC’s No. 2 seed.

Allen finished the game 30-of-38 passing for 358 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a lost fumble. He also rushed 15 times for 67 yards. Khalil Shakir led the Bills with six catches for 105 yards while Stefon Diggs had seven catches for 87 yards.

If not for Allen’s turnovers, the game would have been a rout. Buffalo finished with 473 yards, 26 first downs, and 9-of-15 on third down — averaging 6.1 yards per play.

On the other side, Tagovailoa was 17-of-27 for 173 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Hill finished with seven catches for 82 yards with a TD.

The Dolphins had just 275 yards, 16 first downs, and were 4-of-10 on third down.

With the victory, the Bills will now host the No. 7 Steelers next Sunday afternoon for the wild card round.

After leading the AFC East for the entire season, the Dolphins lost their last three of their last five to fall the conference’s No. 6 seed. Miami will travel to what’s expected to be a frigid Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Saturday night in a game that will be broadcast exclusively on Peacock.