It might be time to put the Miami Dolphins offense on the side of a milk carton because it continues to be missing in action.
Their playoff hopes may have disappeared as well.
Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd and linebacker Bryan Scott each intercepted Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill inside the final two minutes of play to thwart a Dolphins fourth quarter rally in a 19-14 win Thursday night.
Miami (4-6) is now three games back in the loss column of current wild-card leaders Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, who are both 6-3 on the season.
In the last two games, the Dolphins have played two of the worst defenses in the league in Buffalo (4-6) and Tennessee and only managed to score one offensive touchdown. Miami suffered a touchdown drought of over nine quarters dating back to their game in Indianapolis two weeks ago before Tannehill connected with wide receiver Davone Bess for a 2-yard touchdown with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins failed to even cross midfield until late in the third quarter. When they finally did cross into Bills’ territory, Dan Carpenter clanked a 50-yard field goal off the right upright.
But the Dolphins offense finally broke through and got into the end zone on the next possession to end the streak. Tannehill led the Dolphins on an 11-play drive aided by two defensive penalties to move inside the Bills’ 10-yard line. Tannehill found Bess for a score to pull Miami within 19-14 with under nine minutes to play.
Bills punter Shawn Powell pinned the Dolphins on their own 1-yard line to force Miami to have to go 99 yards for the go-ahead score with under five minutes to play. Instead, Byrd came up with a spectacular diving interception of Tannehill to shut down the Dolphins’ drive. Miami held Buffalo to a three-and-out to get the ball back with 1:24 left to play, but Tannehill was intercepted again to seal the win for Buffalo.
Buffalo’s offense wasn’t much better, but did enough to get the victory. Punt returner Leodis McKelvin took a Brandon Fields punt 79 yards to the house after the Dolphins opening possession to give the Bills a 7-0 lead. Kicker Rian Lindell then connected on his first of four field goals on the night to give the Bills a 10-0 lead.
Marcus Thigpen scored the only points of the first half for the Dolphins on a 96-yard kick return on the ensuing kick to pull Miami back within three.
It’s not going to get any easier for the Dolphins’ offense to get back on track. Next week, Miami plays host to the Seattle Seahawks and their defense, which is ranked fourth-best in the NFL allowing just 296.8 yards and 16.1 points per game. Buffalo heads to Indianapolis to take on the Indianapolis Colts.
Lindell was 4 for 4 on field goals on the night connecting on kicks from 32, 34, 42 and 19 yards.
In Fred Jackson’s absence, running back C.J. Spiller carried 22 times for 91 yards to lead the way for the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick out-dueled Tannehill for the night as well completing 17 of 27 passes for 168 yards.
Tannehill was 14 of 28 for 141 yards and a touchdown, but his two interceptions late proved costly.