All odds were stacked against the Miami Dolphins in their Week 7 battle against the Buffalo Bills and yet the Dolphins almost pulled off a stunner. Prior to kickoff Sunday, head coach Brian Flores announced the Dolphins would be without two elite players on the defensive side: Reshad Jones and Xavien Howard.
As for the offense, Miami induced a backup center in the lineup, too, with Daniel Kilgore inactive. Throw in rookie first-rounder Christian Wilkins, who was tossed after two plays in the first quarter for throwing a punch. Unable to protect a third quarter lead, Bills quarterback Josh Allen tossed two touchdown throws in the final quarter, in part of a 22-7 fourth quarter scoring output, leading Buffalo to a 31-21 victory at New Era Field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who got the nod under center over a struggling Josh Rosen, gave the Dolphins every opportunity for an upset win, as Buffalo opened 17-point favorites. Fitzpatrick moved the football early and often, followed by Mark Walton, who started over Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage for the second consecutive week. Walton continued to surprise Miami’s coaching staff, as the former Miami Hurricane closed with a team-high 66 yards on 14 carries.
The Dolphins held Buffalo to three Stephen Hauschka first-half field goals, but had trouble in the second half containing Allen, as the former Wyoming product completed 16-of-26 for 202 passing yards. Fitzpatrick kept the Dolphins alive, however, finding Preston Williams and DeVante Parker on a consistent basis throughout drives.
Williams led Miami in receptions (6) and receiving yards (82), whereas Parker hauled in a touchdown reception for the second time in as many weeks. Buffalo was able to secure victory after Micah Hyde recovered an onside kick attempt and ran 45 yards for the score. Brian Flores, in a quick and calm manner postgame, stated Fitzpatrick will start next Monday night against the 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins’ lone primetime appearance.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
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