With the way things have been going for the New York Jets and the New York Giants it stands to reason that some New York football fans would have jumped on to the Buffalo Bills' bandwagon. What? You didn’t know there was a whole state called New York outside the boundaries of the Hudson River and north of the Riverdale Section of the Bronx. State allegiance made some fans notice that the Buffalo Bills were seemingly a team on the come up before their lost to the Kansas City Chiefs last week. And if karma is to be interpreted as an absolute then it also would be reasonable to believe that some of those rapid fans of either team that played in at MetLife Stadium over in New Jersey would have picked their Week 5 win over the surging Detroit Lions as a comfortable juncture at which to transfer their allegiances. However after losing to playoff contenders two games in a row, those hypothetical Benedict Arnolds are now scurrying to find a lifeboat of hope to latch onto as the Bills season continues to falter and once fertile playoff hopes begin to whittle.
As the somewhat surprising Miami Dolphins prepared to host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football they had won three of the last four games, with a loss to the Detroit Lions Last week coming on a last second scoring drive by the Lions. Though the two teams had the same record coming in to the game, the Dolphins seemed a bit more legitimate with Ryan Tannehill at the quarterback position rather than career backup Kyle Orton, who mans the QB slot for the Bills because their heir apparent QB E.J. Manuel still can’t read defenses yet.
From the first drive it was apparent that the game would be a defensive struggle from the 1st quarter through most of the 3rd quarter as Buffalo’s defensive front harassed Tannehill for much of the game, but there were far too many instances which the referees would put their mark on the game. DE Mario Williams garnered 3.5 sacks all by his lonesome. However, the Dolphins were able to take advantage of the Bills’ 10th ranked run defense to the tune of 125 yards while the Bills’ rushers only racked up 54 yards of their own.
Kyle Orton has been the preeminent bus driver quarterback and he did more of the same in this game. He didn’t turn the ball over, but he didn’t throw any touchdowns either. In fact, the Buffalo offense was so anemic that they failed to capitalize on the two fumble recoveries offered up by the Miami Dolphins. The latter fumble recovery, which occurred in the 3rd quarter, was better off not happening as far as the Bills are concerned. With Buffalo on their own 6 yard line, the Dolphins pinned their ears back and mercilessly pressured Orton into making quick decisions that he has historically been unable to make. An offensive holding call and a pass play that went for -6 yards would lead to a safety being the result of a controversial intentional grounding call on a double move in which WR Sammy Watkins zigged but Orton zagged. that made the score 9-12. Couple that with the really suspect pass interference call moved the Dolphins from the Buffalo 37 yard line the 13 yard line and you have two critical plays that should have gone the Bills’ way, but did not.
A Tannehill to Landry touchdown early in the 4th quarter would pretty much put the game out of reach and a Miami field goal late in the game was pretty much icing on the loss cake for Buffalo.
Next up for the Miami Dolphins is a test in Mile High Stadium versus the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills will try to get back to the high side of the .500 mark versus the New York Jets.