No excuses, no defense: Dolphins look like worst D in football in loss to Bills

Tribune Content Agency

MIAMI — Josh Allen is the best quarterback in the AFC East.

The Bills are the best team in the AFC East.

And the Dolphins would be the worst team in the AFC East, if it weren’t for Adam Gase’s Jets.

Final score: Bills 31, Dolphins 28.

But don’t you dare pin this one on Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense.

The Dolphins’ defense deserves every bit of the blame.

Yes, Allen was spectacular. He made some truly fantastic throws en route to 417 passing yards and four touchdowns.

But he had plenty of help from the guys in aqua and orange.

Nik Needham got beat. Noah Igbinoghene got beat.

And with the game on the line, Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain got roasted.

Facing third-and-9 from the Miami 46 up four points with just over three minutes remaining, Allen threw deep to John Brown, who got behind Howard and McCain and scored the game-sealing touchdown.

The final jaw-dropping stats allowed by the Dolphins’ defense Sunday: 524 yards. Nine yards per play. Completions of 47, 46, 46, 38 and 26 yards.

And any one stop would have won them the game.

The Dolphins were cruising and wore the Bills’ defense down in the second half with eight, 12 and 10-play drives to turn a seven-point deficit into a three-point lead.

The go-ahead score? A two-yard plunge by Jordan Howard.

But that lead lasted all of 4 minutes, 16 seconds. On the Bills’ next play from scrimmage, Stefon Diggs roasted Noah Igbinoghene for a 47-yard gain, and then Allen hooked up with Gabriel Davis for a six-yard touchdown pass, slipping the grasp of Emmanuel Ogbah who had a shot at a sack on third-and-goal.

On Allen’s last two drives, he completed 6 of 8 passes for 145 yards and two scores.

Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, went 31 of 47 for 328 yards and two scores.

This game had everything — but good defensive football, at least by the Dolphins.

A power outage knocked out the CBS television feed for much of the first half, the Dolphins’ highest-paid player (Byron Jones) lasted just a few plays before leaving the game with a groin injury and a lightning storm forced a 36-minute delay two plays into the second half.

So there was plenty to talk about. But the biggest story line is how terrible the Dolphins’ new-look, highly compensated defense has looked through two weeks.

Seven days after surrendering 217 rushing yards, the Dolphins allowed an astonishing 342 yards in the first half alone, including 269 courtesy of Allen’s arm and legs.

He threw touchdown passes to Reggie Gilliam and Stefon Diggs. Nik Needham, who played a ton after Jones’ injury, was a liability in coverage, allowing several big plays and extending a scoring drive with a defensive holding.

The Dolphins had no business being in the game. But yet somehow they were down just a touchdown at the break after Fitzpatrick directed a hurried field-goal drive late in the second quarter.


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