But when the Bills moved pass-rusher Jerry Hughes to Fox’s side in the second half, the right tackle’s game fell apart.
Fox allowed a strip sack to Hughes, was flagged for holding twice, and committed a false start in the second half as the Bills exploited Ja’Wuan James’ replacement on the offensive line.
James is out for a month with a toe injury, and Fox struggled in his first start at right tackle this season.
“The fourth quarter, that was a rough quarter for me personally,” Fox said. “I’ve got to play better. I will play better. We’ll figure it.”
The Dolphins had eight penalties for 62 yards — five of which came on special teams.
And each one was costly.
The worst of the bunch:
▪ Neville Hewitt held on the game’s first punt. It backed up the Dolphins inside their 10; on the next play, Mike Pouncey’s snap sailed over Ryan Tannehill’s head, resulting in a safety.
▪ Terrence Fede held on what would have been a field-flipping kickoff return by Damien Williams. Instead of starting their drive at the Buffalo 48, the Dolphins took over at their own 7.
“It hurt us a bunch on field position,” said defensive end Chris McCain. “We shot ourselves in the foot today. We had so many penalties that took us back. We’ve just got to execute better and have better mental focus.”
A live microphone caught Ndamukong Suh’s salty exchange with an official on what ended up being a pivotal play in the game.
Suh had Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor in his grasp on third-and-4 from the Miami 34 late in the third quarter. But instead of ruling Taylor down for a sack, the officials let the play continue and Taylor threw the ball away.
Suh told the official he needs to “call that dead, or I’m going to slam the [expletive] out of him next time.”
Suh later told reporters that he believed the play should have been ruled a sack.
Here’s why it was important: The Bills were actually called for holding on the same play, and Dan Campbell accepted the penalty instead of forcing the Bills to attempt a long field goal. On the next play, Taylor connected with Sammy Watkins on a 44-yard touchdown pass.
this and that
▪ Brice McCain returned after missing the previous two weeks with a knee injury, but Jamar Taylor got the start at corner for the third straight week. Michael Thomas again started at safety for the Dolphins.
▪ Running back Jay Ajayi, who missed the season’s first seven games with a rib injury, was one of four Dolphins running backs active Sunday. Ajayi finished his NFL debut with 41 yards on five carries.
▪ Lamar Miller had seven catches for 97 yards in addition to 44 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. At the season’s midway point, he has 747 total yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage.
▪ Former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito was again a Bills captain Sunday. When asked about beating the team that suspended him for his role in the Dolphins’ bullying scandal, Incognito responded: “A sweep is hard in any division. Especially being against my former team, it makes it that much more special.”