Week 8: Miami Roars Back To Whip Bills 25-16
2nd half collapse was worst football of the season for Bills.
by Steve Saslow
There comes a moment in every game where you think a team has the game in control. Many people must have figured they had control against the Dolphins when Marshawn Lynch had a nice eight yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 16-7 lead early in the third quarter in Miami. They may have let off the throttle a bit as they almost immediately turned into a bumbling team as Miami roared back with 18 unanswered points to stun the Bills 25-16. With the rest of the division winning the Bills are now tied for first with New England and the Jets are only a game back with Miami now only two back.
The fourth quarter is suppose to be Trent Edwards time and with the Bills trailing by one when the final stanza started fans thought good things would happen. What did happen was three straight turnovers wrapped around a safety on their last four possessions. Edwards had his arm hit and threw a pick on the first play of the fourth quarter that led to a Miami field goal. He was driving the Bills back down the field on their next possession but he fumbled it away trying to stretch for a first down. They didn't get points off of that turnover but it flipped the field position. That helped setup the third big play as Edwards was sacked when he held on to the ball too long and fumbled but the Bills did recover to allow only a safety instead of a touchdown. That was small consolation as the uncharacteristic mistakes really cost the Bills in a game that totally turned around quickly in the second half.
The good field goal position from the safety and the exhausted Bills defense allowed Miami to put the nail in the coffin for the Bills second loss of the season as they hit their third field goal of the second half to put the game away. The Bills tried a late comeback but another turnover, this one a fumble by Robert Royal, ended a day where the team just couldn't keep things going.
Miami took the momentum on the opening play of the game as Ted Ginn Jr. beat Terrence McGee for a 46 yard pass to setup a touchdown on the drive that went 78 yards in nine plays. You would hear a lot from Ginn in this game as he burned McGee all day long as he had a career day with a whopping 175 yards on seven catches. Miami had a great plan of picking on McGee who obviously wasn't 100% as he hasn't been burnt that much in a game in years.
The Bills battled back as they moved the ball offensively the rest of the first half but got bogged down as they got close and had to settle for three first half field goals to give them a 9-7 halftime lead. Rian Lindell hit kicks from 19, 43, and 47 yards out. They were lucky to have the lead thanks to a blocked field goal by Langston Walker and a fumble recovery by Keith Ellison. Those plays helped keep Miami from gaining a stronger foothold on the game in the first half.
The Bills finally seemed to have the momentum and control on the opening drive in the third quarter when Lynch had his nice cutback run for the team's only touchdown. Miami showed heart and why they are much improved as they just turned it on and started moving the ball very well offensively. They drove to a field goal and a touchdown on their next two possessions to re-capture the lead before the third quarter was done.
It was at that point that the Bills decided to become a turnover machine to make it easy for the Dolphins to put the game away. Everyone thought the Bills would have the big plays but it was the Dolphins that made more, specifically Ginn who had a 64 yard reception right after Lynch's score that set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Bills need to get over this tough loss quickly as the Jets come to town next Sunday in what becomes an extremely important game in the AFC East that has tightened up thanks to the Bills terrible play in the second half. They didn't play that well in the first half either and will have a lot to correct. It may start with their attitude as they may have to stop reading the press clippings and believing the national media attention they were getting. After that loss, at least the spotlight will come off of them.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Dolphins:Gameballs