The Dolphins cut down on the amount of sacks they allowed on Sunday, but it was still one too many for them to snap their losing streak.
Mario Williams sacked Ryan Tannehill in Dolphins territory with just over two minutes left to play and Kyle Williams recovered the ensuing fumble to set the Bills up in great field position. Their running game, dormant to that point in the proceedings, churned up enough yards to move into position for a 31-yard Dan Carpenter field goal and Carpenter nailed it to give the Bills a 23-21 victory over his former team.
The choice to have Tannehill throwing in that spot, as well as on a previous drive that went three incompletions and out, is likely to bring some criticism in Miami. The Dolphins had one of their best running days of the year with Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller combining for 103 yards on 21 carries while Tannehill was being held in check, so the decision not to work some clock and protect a lead against a team quarterbacked by Thad Lewis is curious.
That won’t be the only question. Tyson Clabo was beaten for the fateful sack and gave up another sack to Mario Williams earlier, continuing a dreadful year at right tackle. There will be calls to replace him after the Dolphins chose to keep their line intact coming out of the bye. It had been a strong first three quarters for the blockers, but the fourth quarter breakdowns will keep the issue in the forefront.
Tannehill’s three turnovers are some more grist for the mill in Miami, which means it will be a long week for coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
It was a slog for the Bills offensively for much of the day, but they didn’t make blunders that would make it harder for their defense to remain in the game. And the defense did just that thanks to Nickell Robey’s interception return for a touchdown and the late fumble that got them in position for a victory.