Armando Salguero

Dolphins quickie reaction: A big disappointment follows a big victory

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of the Miami Dolphins' Reshad Jones (20) during the first half Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of the Miami Dolphins' Reshad Jones (20) during the first half Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. AP

So let’s get this straight...This was the team that beat the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last week?

This is the team that six days ago looked and talked like it had found its footing to finish this season strong?

The Dolphins have done a lot of disappointing things the past couple of decades. They’ve done disappointing things this season.

Add this day and this game to the list.

The Dolphins still had an outside shot to factor in the 2017 playoff picture when this day dawned. And then the team showed up at New Era Field.

Check that. And then the team failed to show up at New Era Field.

Bills 24.

Dolphins 16.

(Yeah, it wasn’t that close as the Dolphins got a desperation field goal with 39 seconds to play.)

Outside of Kenyan Drake and a couple of others, the Dolphins played as if they didn’t really want to be here. And I get it, because it was cold and cloudy and a little windy so this was probably not the most fun place to be on Sunday.

But the Bills showed up. They had similar stakes in this game. They also want to factor in the playoff conversation with the season drawing to an end.

Except Buffalo played like it.

LeSean McCoy dominated and was clearly the best player on the field in the first half when he scored on a four-yard run and caught a 16-yard pass.

Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor, often injured this year, benched earlier this season, played like he owns the Dolphins. And maybe that’s because he does.

Taylor threw that touchdown pass and now he has nine career TD passes against Miami without an interception. He also scored on a nine-yard run.

Are you kidding me?

The Miami defense was on its heels most of the first half.

And the third quarter was a nightmare for the Dolphins offense. Jay Cutler threw two consecutive interceptions. The unit was 0-for-3 on third down conversions. The unit was 0-for-1 on fourth down conversions.

Cutler threw three interceptions for the day. Somebody on social media suggested he should have retired on top after the New England game.

And the Bills got a field goal to extend their lead to 24-6.

Not exactly what anyone would expect from a team that seemed to be on a roll after beating Denver and New England at home the last two weeks.

Look, the math is not ready to say these Dolphins are out of the playoff hunt. But this performance spoke volumes on that front. So did the five losses in a row earlier this year — a streak that included a loss to 4-9 Tampa Bay.

The Dolphins are just another team. Nothing amazing or spectacular.

Except the spectacular and amazing way they build up the fan base with a victory over New England ... and then dash everyone’s hopes against Buffalo days later.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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