Bills Beat Dolphins To Clinch Playoff Spot As Two Teams Spark A Rivalry

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ORCHARD PARK — The result is the thing that ultimately matters most in this fight for the AFC East between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

But even as the Bills delivered a 32-29 victory in the swirling snow at Highmark Stadium, this result offered so much more than mere notches in the standings.

Bills kicker Tyler Bass kicks the game-winning field goal against the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

This game puts the Bills in the playoffs and in control of the AFC East with an 11-3 record and, indeed, they also own the top seed in the entire conference.

That’s kind of what the Bills were expected to do this year. And it is commendable that’s how it’s working out.

But the Bills are not steamrolling their division. And they certainly are not crushing it when they face the Dolphins.

These two teams have now split their season series. A total of 1 point separated the two teams in their combined games.

And this game, won and lost in the final two minutes, amid a scene out of a Christmas movie — with the green turf covered in snow and players making snow angels on the field afterward — suggests these clubs are destined for more.

“That’s a tough football team, they’re a good football team,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said afterward. “It took everything we had to pull this one out tonight so it just makes it special when you can do that.”

Maybe the Dolphins and Bills meet again in the playoffs but only if the Dolphins can rally after three consecutive losses. Maybe they can get to the postseason as their 8-6 record suggests.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa and Bills QB Josh Allen. (Getty Images)

“That’s a really good football team,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said of the Dolphins. “Who knows if we’ll see them again. I’m pretty positive that we will.”

What we’ve seen this year is two teams that promise classics in the future.

Classics like we saw Saturday night.

Classics like these teams played in the 1990s.


The Bills and Dolphins played a fun, exciting, hard-fought game Saturday. And, yes, we want more.

Buffalo Bills fans. (Getty Images)

And, yes, with Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa dueling and defenses rising and falling, it’s a good bet these two are going to be going at it in years to come.

It’s didn’t look that way initially. The Bills mostly dominated the first half.

The Bills sliced up the Dolphins offense in the first half. Allen threw 3 TD passes, including a 4-yarder to James Cook as time ran out in the half.

But Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer seemed to make some adjustments at halftime and suddenly the Allen show came to a halt. The Bills punted the first four times they had the football in the second half.

And on Buffalo’s fifth possession of the half, Allen fumbled when he was hit by Jaelen Phillips. Christian Wilkins recovered to give Miami the ball at the Buffalo 47 yard line.

That turnover led to a 47-yard field goal by Jason Sanders that gave the Dolphins a 29-21 lead with 11:56 to play.

That lead disappeared when the Bills answered with a 75 yard drive that included a 44-yard run by Allen to set up his 5-yard TD pass to Knox. It was his fourth touchdown throw of the night.

And, well, that wasn’t enough. Because Allen then dove over for the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 29.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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