Allen rallies Bills over Dolphins to secure No. 2 seed in AFC
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Josh Allen threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Dawson Knox midway through the fourth quarter, and the Buffalo Bills won their fourth straight AFC East title, rallying past the Miami Dolphins 21-14 on Sunday night.
Allen made things difficult for the Bills with three turnovers in Miami territory, but he came through at the end to help Buffalo earn the No. 2 seed in the conference. The Bills, who didn't clinch a playoff berth until Tennessee beat Jacksonville earlier Sunday, will host seventh-seeded Pittsburgh in the wild-card round on Sunday.
Buffalo was 5-5 in mid-November and faced long odds just to make the playoffs, but won five straight and six of seven to get in with plenty of momentum.
Miami, which made the postseason with its Week 16 win over Dallas, fell to the sixth seed and will play at AFC West champion Kansas City on Saturday night.
The Bills dominated time of possession and outgained Miami by nearly 200 yards, but Buffalo trailed 14-7 before Deonte Harty returned a punt 96 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo forced a three-and-out, and Allen directed an eight-play, 74-yard drive, capped by his 5-yard toss to Knox with 7:16 left.
Allen finished 30 of 38 for 359 yards and two TDs. He was intercepted on back-to-back drives to open the game, and he squandered another scoring chance when he completed a pass to Ty Johnson short of the goal line at the end of the first half, allowing time to expire.
A promising Buffalo drive in the third quarter ended when Allen was strip-sacked by Christian Wilkins.
Tagovailoa finished 17 of 27 for 173 yards with two interceptions. He had a 3-yard touchdown throw to Tyreek Hill in the second quarter and finished with an NFL-best 4,624 yards passing. Rookie running back De’Von Achane’s shifty 25-yard score in the second quarter put Miami ahead 7-0.
Hill, finished with seven catches for 82 yards, bringing his league-leading total to 1,799. He celebrated his 13th touchdown of the season with a back flip in the end zone four days after firefighters put out a blaze at his South Florida home.
Both teams were sloppy early in this high-stakes matchup.
Buffalo safety Christian Benford undercut Tagovailoa’s pass intended for Hill to end Miami's opening drive. Then, Dolphins cornerback Eli Apple intercepted Allen in the end zone on Buffalo's first possession to halt a 12-play, 79-yard drive.
Allen had entered the game as one of the league's most turnover-prone quarterbacks with 14 interceptions. He had another one on Buffalo's second drive on a fourth-down heave across his body. Dolphins safety DeShon Elliott came down with it.
But the momentum that Miami had built with its two first-half touchdowns fizzled as Buffalo forced four Dolphins punts and a turnover down the stretch. The Dolphins closed the season with two straight losses and now face a Chiefs team that beat them 21-14 in Germany in Week 9.
Bills: WR Gabe Davis left in the second quarter with what appeared to be a non-contact left knee injury and did not return. ... LB Tyrel Dodson left with a shoulder injury. ... CB Rasul Douglas (knee) left in the second quarter. ... RB Ty Johnson did not return after halftime because of a concussion.
Dolphins: Elliott pulled his calf in pregame warmups but played through it. ... LB Andrew Van Ginkel left with a foot injury in the third quarter and did not return. ... Backup linebacker Cameron Goode was carted off the field with a leg injury early in the fourth quarter.
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