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Week 11 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 37, Miami Dolphins 20
What you need to know
The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday to improve to 7-3 on the season. Josh Allen
was at his best, with three touchdown passes, a touchdown rush, and no turnovers. Allen threw two of his touchdowns to John Brown
, while adding a third to Dawson Knox
, and a fourth touchdown on the ground. Buffalo continues to lean more heavily on Devin Singletary
ahead of Frank Gore
in the running game.
All good things must come to an end, and that happened this week for the Miami Dolphins after they fell to the Buffalo Bills 37-20. Buffalo was always going to be a tough defensive matchup and Miami was just not able to keep up this week. Jakeem Grant
stepped up in a big way with a 101-yard kick return and a rushing touchdown and Ryan Fitzpatrick
threw for more than 300 yards. The Dolphins were able to move the ball through the air but had drives killed by giving up 7 sacks for 43 yards lost and only rushing 13 times for 23 yards as a team. The defense did not record a single sack this week and only managed to hit Josh Allen
twice the entire game. The Dolphins were on the brink of turning things around before half time after they scored their first touchdown and recovered a successful onside kick. Unfortunately, Allen Hurns
fumbled the ball after making a 20-yard catch and things proceeded to go downhill after that. Miami will travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns next Sunday and have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way outside of the Patriots to end the season.
|QB Josh Allen, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 33 - 256 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 56 - 1|
had a strong performance with four touchdowns against the Dolphins on Sunday. Allen threw two touchdown passes to his favorite target, John Brown
. The first was a cover 2 beating throw along the perimeter that Allen threw on time and accurately to allow Brown to make a big run after the catch. Allen’s second touchdown to Brown was a bootleg in the red zone where he hit Brown through zone coverage in the end zone. Allen also added a touchdown to Dawson Knox
on a good throw to Knox who was able to make a defender miss for a run after the catch score. He also added a scramble for a touchdown in the red zone. Allen was largely accurate and on time during the game and made good decisions. In recent weeks, Allen has avoided the mistakes he made early in the season and was finally able to connect for a big play in the passing game which has been absent most of the season. Allen will get a home matchup against the Broncos next week.
|RB Devin Singletary, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 75 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
continued to the featured running back in the Buffalo offense against the Dolphins. Singletary continued his recent stretch of strong play, including a big gain on the first play from scrimmage. Singletary ran well between the tackles despite his short frame but fumbled the ball twice. Fortunately for Singletary, both fumbles were recovered by Buffalo but Frank Gore
was notably the primary clock-killing back at the end of the game. Singletary had only one short reception for four yards on his only target. Singletary will get a good matchup next week as a home favorite against the Broncos.
|RB Frank Gore, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 27 - 0, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (2 targets)|
continued to work in a secondary role behind Devin Singletary
in the Buffalo offense against the Dolphins on Sunday. Gore’s work was predominantly on interior carries and failed to establish any consistent success. Gore saw two series late in the game when the Bills were in clock-killing mode and saw five carries and a target, but both series were three and outs. Gore will get a good matchup against the Broncos as a home favorite next week.
|WR John Brown, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 137 - 2 (14 targets)|
had the best game of his strong season against the Dolphins. Brown scored two touchdowns on Sunday. The first was against cover 2 on a perimeter route where Josh Allen
made a good timing throw to thread the needle to Brown between the corner and safety, which allowed Brown to make the safety miss for an easy touchdown. The second was a red zone bootleg, where Brown ran an over route when Allen threw the ball through a tight window for the score. Cast as a deep threat coming into the season, Brown has consistently made catches all over the field, and Sunday was no different. Brown has developed into a consistent number one receiver for Allen and his quickness allows him to create separation in the short game for Allen and he can make plays after the catch when Allen’s throws are on time and accurate. Brown had other red zone chances including a fade in the end zone and a catch over the middle that was stopped short of the goal line on another drive. Brown also was missed on a deep over route that could have been another long gain. Brown will face Denver at home next week.
|WR Cole Beasley, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 38 - 0 (4 targets)|
had another quiet game against the Dolphins on Sunday as John Brown
had a strong performance as the leading receiver. Beasley caught all four of his targets which were primarily in the short passing game. Beasley’s volume has waned in recent weeks as the passing game has revolved around John Brown
, but he continues to be the clear second receiver in the offense. He will look to bounce back next week at home against the Broncos.
|TE Dawson Knox, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 32 - 1 (3 targets)|
had a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday. He was targeted over the middle in man coverage in the red zone and able to beat a safety with an athletic run after the catch for the score. He also had a quick flat route that he turned upfield for a run after the catch, while adding a drop. Knox is a big-bodied target in the offense with good athleticism and has shown the ability to make plays after the catch this season. He will face the Dolphins next week at home.
|QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 45 - 323 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
For a brief moment we all thought that Fitz-Magic was back, and the Dolphins were going to make a late charge. He threw for more than 300 yards this week, completed passes to 7 different receivers, and showed a clear connection with DeVante Parker
. The duo connected on a 50-yard pass to help setup the first touchdown of the game. Parker ran a deep crossing route and had the corner coming over in coverage fall down after he tried to make a play on the ball. It was a beautifully thrown ball by Fitzpatrick that hit Parker in stride and let him run after the catch. Fitzpatrick looked good this week outside of the offensive line not being able to protect him at all. The offensive line allowed 7 sacks for a loss of 43 yards and he was hit a total of 14 times. Fitzpatrick looked to be harassed on almost every single one of his drop backs and rarely had a clean pocket to make a play. The Dolphins have been playing to draft their next quarterback all season, but they may want to think about putting a line in front of someone first or they will never find any success. Fitzpatrick should get the nod again next week against the Browns and have a bit easier of a matchup.
|RB Kalen Ballage, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 9 - 1, Rec: 5 - 8 - 0 (6 targets)|
It looked like it was going to be a good game for Ballage and then the Dolphins dug themselves in an early hole that they could not get out of. He averaged just a single yard per carry and was only given the ball 9 times. His longest rush went for 7 yards and that accounted for more than 2/3 of his total rushing yards. Ballage did score the first touchdown of the game for Miami after he powered the ball 3 yards up the middle. He put his head down and did not run into much resistance on the way to the end zone. This score was setup by a big 50-yard pass play to DeVante Parker
. Ballage chipped in 5 catches on 6 targets for another 8 yards, but it did not do much to boost his overall stat line. In the end, he had 14 total touches for 17 yards and a touchdown. Kenyan Drake
has found a better home in Arizona and Ballage is going to have to play a lot better if he wants to keep an increased role when Mark Walton
It has been the Parker show since Preston Williams
went down with a season ending injury. He has seen the greatest bump in targets outside of Allen Hurns
and has done the most with it so far. Parker caught 7 of his 10 targets this week and went over 100 yards receiving for the first time this season. He also had his longest play of the season with a 50-yard reception in the first half to help setup a touchdown. Parker ran a deep drag route across the middle and Fitzpatrick hit him in stride for the big gain. The Bills were in zone coverage and the corner that was supposed to fill that zone had fallen down and allowed Parker to run for big yards after the catch. It was by far the best game of the season for Parker and the only thing he did not do this week was find the end zone.
|WR Jakeem Grant, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 1, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (3 targets)|
It seems like it should be easy to make a name for yourself in the Miami offense. They have traded away the majority of their skill players and are giving several guys a chance to make big plays. Enter Grant this week and his 2 touchdowns. The first score came on a 101-yard kick return. He fielded the ball in the end zone and took off down the middle of the field. After making a few guys miss and cutting to the outside it became a foot race to the end zone with only the kicker to beat. This brought the score to 23-14 and gave the Dolphins some hope going into the second half. Grant then made another big play when the offense ran a trick play with Ballage taking the direct snap and handing to Grant on the end around. Grant took the ball 7 yards off the right end and into the end zone. Both plays were an impressive showcase of speed and ability to make a defender miss. Grant also caught all 3 of his targets for 32 yards and showed that Miami should work him into the offensive game plan more often.
|WR Allen Hurns, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)|
It was difficult for Hurns to find room in this offense behind Parker, Williams, and Grant but he has done just that in the past few weeks. With Williams done for the season, Hurns has stepped up and seen the biggest jump in playing time. He caught 4 of his 6 targets this week and was second on the team with his 53 receiving yards. Unfortunately, he made one big mistake and fumbled the ball after making a 20-yard catch across the middle. The Dolphins had just recovered an onside kick and were trying to take a shot down the field. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but upon further review it was ruled a fumble and clear recovery by Buffalo. It killed what could have been a big turning point in the game for Miami and could hurt his playing time going forward after Jakeem Grant
stepped up this week.
|TE Mike Gesicki, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 18 - 0 (6 targets)|
Another week and another disappointing performance from Gesicki. We have been waiting for him to break out all season long and make good on the promise of an athletic tight end in an offense that needs to throw the ball a lot. He still looks lost running his routes at times and has not done a good job in run blocking at all. He caught 4 of his 6 targets for 18 yards this week. 10 of those yards came on a single catch and Miami just did not call his number deep down the field at all. Fitzpatrick was harassed all day and did not have time to let the tight end run routes deeper down the field. Gesicki still does not have to fear Nick O’Leary behind him, but he will have to play much better if he truly wants to be their tight end of the future.