Bills 23, Dolphins 21

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills: Quarter-by-quarter highlights

 

BY MATT KELLEY mkelley@MiamiHerald.com

First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

First quarter

• Impact player: Bills cornerback Nickell Robey entered Sunday’s game as one of the league’s best defenders in the slot, and he wasted no time in putting his stamp on this game. The rookie undrafted free agent opened the scoring less than two minutes after kickoff with a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown.

• Highlights: After a bye week to self-evaluate, the Dolphins were more determined to run the ball. Despite an early 14-0 deficit, Miami continued to run successfully, totaling 36 rushing yards and 4.5 yards per carry.

• Lowlights: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill played his worst quarter of the season to open Sunday’s game, throwing two interceptions and completing just two passes.

Second quarter

• Impact player: Tannehill bounced back from his abysmal first quarter by going 9 of 14 for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the second frame, including a 13-yard scoring pass to receiver Brandon Gibson with just 21 seconds left in the half.

• Highlights: Gibson was instrumental in the Dolphins’ late scoring drive before halftime. Gibson made an acrobatic sideline catch then, on the next play, soared over defenders at the goal line to finish the drive for the 13-yard score.

• Lowlights: Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis missed his second consecutive attempt, dating back to the potential game-winner he missed against Baltimore. Sturgis pushed a 51-yarder wide right with 5:50 left in the half.

Third quarter

• Impact player: Safety Reshad Jones, who struggled two weeks ago against the Ravens, recorded 10 total tackles on Sunday. The Bills ran 14 plays in the third quarter and Jones made tackles on four of them, including a 9-yard sack.

• Highlights: The Dolphins only had one drive in the third quarter. They went 66 yards on 11 plays, possessing the ball for 6:43 and scoring on a 4-yard pass from Tannehill to Gibson.

• Lowlights: Rookie linebacker Jelani Jenkins violently launched himself at Buffalo quarterback Thad Lewis while blitzing on a third-down play. Lewis completed the pass for 17 yards, and Jenkins’ penalty added 15. The Bills eventually kicked a field goal on the drive.

Fourth quarter

• Impact player: Bills defensive end Mario Williams saved his best for last, recording both his sacks in the final period. The first came on a second-and-8 with Miami on the verge of field goal range; that drive ended in a punt. Williams’ second sack ended up being the death blow to the Dolphins. After overpowering right tackle Tyson Clabo, Williams got to Tannehill and forced a fumble that gave the Bills possession.

• Highlights: Marcus Thigpen’s ensuing 44-yard kickoff return breathed life into the crowd and gave the Dolphins a sliver of a chance for a miracle finish.

• Lowlights: Clabo allowed two sacks in the final quarter, including the game-changing turnover.

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