Dolphins hang tough against Bills in Fitzpatrick’s return

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

One week after bringing the Dolphins so close to their first victory of the season, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took the field for his return trip back to Buffalo. Fitzpatrick, who is very familiar with the setting as he played for Buffalo during the 2009-2012 season, understands how hard it can be on opposing teams to play here.

He was asked after the game on how it was playing here.

Coming back here, what’s this cauldron like? It there a level of comfort to come back here because you started out here, or discomfort because of the noise? “It was a strange feeling every time I’m here and it’s a strange feeling walking into the stadium – there’s so many good memories. This place is so special to me as a player and as an opponent I guess, but it brings up great memories and a lot of memories that carry a lot of weight and emotion to them.”

Dolphins came in looking to build off some of their success during last week’s near-win and, hopefully, with Fitzpatrick bringing some of his “FitzMagic” back into this offense.

It was the defense however that took center stage as the Dolphins, who are 5-1 in coin tosses this year, deferred to the second half. On Buffalo’s first play, the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was tossed out of the game for throwing a punch on Buffalo’s lineman Cody Ford.

After the game, Wilkins had this to say:

“I was extremely selfish,” Wilkins said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “This is the ultimate team sport. It’s not just about me. I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in myself about something, especially something that was in my control. Really, really shouldn’t have happened.

“There’s no place for it in this game and that’s not the standard I hold myself to because I just love this game, I try to respect this game as much as possible, play it as competitively as possible. This game was meant to be competitive, not combative. I really let myself down and my teammates down in just a selfish moment so early in the game.”

 

Not that one particular play defined the whole game, but if anything, it kind of energized these guys. Miami came out and executed a very solid game plan. With a mixture of running and passing, the Dolphins held a 14-9 lead heading into the locker room for the half.

As this has been the Dolphins “Achilles’ Heel” all year long, once again they couldn’t seem to keep the momentum going into the second half. They started the third quarter with a long drive to Buffalo’s 4-yard line and, on a 4th-and-1, Dolphins Head Coach Brain Flores called for a fake field goal. Punter Matt Haack gained 2 yards!

Now, on a 1st-and-Goal play that would have extended the Dolphins lead, Fitzpatrick fumbled the ball and, luckily, recovered it for a 10-yard loss. On the very next play, Fitzpatrick was picked off by Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White, which started Buffalo on a 98-yard scoring drive. This was the first of two scoring turnovers the Dolphins would give up. The other came off a wide receiver Preston Williams catch and fumble which gave the Bills the ball on the Dolphins 16 yard line.

With a total of 15 points off takeovers, the Dolphins fought hard but once again came up short. They ended the game with an onside kick that saw Buffalo’s cornerback Micah Hyde return it 45 yards for a touchdown.

Dolphins will now face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football October 28th.

 

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