The Dolphins are still without their starting quarterback, as Tua Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol. At the helm for Miami is rookie third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson — a seventh-round pick out of Kansas State in last year’s draft. Veteran Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand in Week 17, is active also.
The Dolphins are aiming to win a postseason game for the first time since 2000, while Josh Allen is aiming to lead the second-seed Bills to their third straight divisional round appearance.
Next on FOX, the sixth-seed New York Giants battle the NFC North champions and third-seed Minnesota Vikings (4:30 p.m. ET), followed by the sixth-seed Baltimore Ravens facing the AFC North champions and third-seed Cincinnati Bengals (8:15 p.m. ET).
Here are the top plays!
The Bills’ opening drive didn’t go as planned. Allen fumbled on a short scramble, but the ball went out of bounds in the process. The Bills ended the possession by turning it over on downs on Miami’s 32-yard line.
After the Dolphins went three-and-out on their first drive, the Bills got the ball back quickly and redeemed themselves on their next possession. Allen connected with Dawson Knox for a wild one-handed score to put Buffalo ahead early, 7-0.
On the Dolphins’ next drive, Bills safety Dean Marlowe picked off Thompson just outside Miami’s red zone.
Ground game strong
The Bills capitalized on the turnover in a big way, moving downfield with ease before rookie running back James Cook punched in a 12-yard score to extend Buffalo’s lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Allen hit Gabe Davis up the middle for a 19-yard pickup that was originally deemed an incomplete pass. Buffalo challenged the ruling, and the play was reversed, putting the Bills near midfield heading into the second quarter.
Both teams traded field goals to make it a 17-3 game midway through the second frame. Chaos ensued after Allen’s pass to John Brown was picked off near Miami’s goal line by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard and returned to midfield.
The two squads got in a scuffle after the play, drawing offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties. The turnover resulted in a field goal for Miami, which closed the gap slightly, 17-6, late in the second quarter.
Closing the gap
The Dolphins finished the first half with a bang, as Cedrick Wilson Jr. returned the punt 50 yards to Buffalo’s 27-yard line. The drive ended in another field goal, as Miami made it an eight-point game, 17-9.
The Bills ran into some trouble just ahead of the break. Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley bounced out of the receiver’s hands and into the arms of Dolphins safety Jevon Holland, who returned it 29 yards to Buffalo’s 18-yard line with less than a minute to spare before the end of the first half.
Call of the wild!
Miami’s tie lasted less than a minute, as Buffalo snuck in a field goal just before halftime. But after going three-and-out to open the second half, the Dolphins snatched the ball away from Allen as well as the lead. What an improbable turn of events.
Back and forth
Buffalo regained the lead late, 27-24, in the third quarter after a costly Miami interception.
The Bills made it a 10-point game late in the third quarter, 34-24, thanks to a jaw-dropping 23-yard touchdown reception from Davis.
Stay tuned for updates!
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (8:15 p.m. ET)
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