Josh Allen leads snow-winning drive to beat Dolphins to clinch playoff berth

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The highly anticipated second matchup of the season between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills saw the exact opposite climate this time around in upstate New York compared to the Sunshine State.

The result? A win for the home team in their cold elements.

The Bills clinched a playoff berth for the fourth straight season as they defeated their AFC East rival 32–29 to improve to 11–3 on the season.

The blizzard started late in the game and was tied 29-29 when Miami punted the ball to the Bills. Allen and the offense took control and drove 15 plays down the field, killing the rest of the clock to set up a short Tyler Bass field goal.

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Quintin Morris #85 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

Quintin Morris #85 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

As the Buffalo players cleared snow from the intended kick spot, Bass connected it from 25 yards out for the win.

To tie the game though, the Bills had to take the field with an eight-point deficit, knowing that a potential two-point conversion was required if a touchdown was scored. Allen managed to find Dawson Knox for that touchdown, but on the two-point conversion, it required him to take off, only breaking the plane to tie him up.

BILLS FANS THROW SNOWBALLS TO CELEBRATE FIRST TOUCHDOWN VS. DOLPHINS

Allen would finish the game with 304 passing yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 77 yards on 10 attempts.

Pre-game snowfall invited a few snowballs tossed down the field by Bills fans in this game, and officials turned it down after some Buffalo touchdown celebrations involved flurries of them in the stands. The broadcast also mentioned that some fans were throwing them on the Dolphins’ sideline, whereupon the officials delayed the game and threatened them that thrown snowballs would result in a 15-yard penalty for the Bills.

The first of those touchdowns by Allen was also the first by rookie tight end Quintin Morris, who caught a 14-yard pass to make the game 7-3.

After the Dolphins responded with another field goal to pull to within one, the Bills went 12 plays and 75 yards to Nyheim Hines’ touchdown – the first with the Bills since being traded by the Indianapolis Colts.

But Miami would finally reach the end zone after three trips to the red zone thanks to Salvon Ahmed, who had his first touchdown of the season, an 11-yard run to cut the Bills’ lead to one once more.

Salvon Ahmed #26 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after running for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

Salvon Ahmed #26 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after running for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Buffalo would respond with James Cook scoring a four-yard Allen touchdown, making this a 21-13 contest.

Once again, the Dolphins came back with a touchdown of their own as Jaylen Waddle broke free of Bills defenders and ran 67 yards for the score.

Then it was their turn to take the lead. Tyreek Hill got one of his own, a 20-yard score to make it 26-21.

A field goal after an Allen strip sack made it 16 straight points the Dolphins had scored, but the Bills never faltered. In the end they knew they could kill some clock in the snow and set up the winning score.

Typically, Stefon Diggs is Allen’s top receiver, but Knox won with 98 yards on six receptions, his longest, a 45-yard catch-and-run. Diggs finished with 60 yards on five catches.

TUA TAGOVAILOA DOS DOLPHINS ON DEALING WITH EXPECTED BUFFALO COLD: ‘SNOW IN ALABAMA’

For the Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa was 17 of 30 for 234 yards with two touchdowns, while Raheem Mostert set the tone on the ground with 136 yards on 17 carries.

In the passing game, Waddle’s big touchdown reception helped his game-high 114 yards on just three catches. Hill had 69 yards on nine catches.

Nyheim Hines #20 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with Dion Dawkins #73 after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

Nyheim Hines #20 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with Dion Dawkins #73 after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

As the Dolphins continue to fight for a playoff berth, the Bills can take a breather as they head to Chicago next week to take on the Bears on the road.

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Miami, now 8-6 after losing its third straight game, will return home to face the Green Bay Packers at Christmas.

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