OPINION: Overheated

Sunday's loss in Miami was a tough pill to swallow for the Bills
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Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - That, folks, was a tough one.

Sunday’s 21-19 loss to the Dolphins in Miami saw the Buffalo Bills, already somewhat ravaged by injuries to begin with, stretched so thin during the game that keeping a roster nearby was probably a pretty good idea for most fans.

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Of the many things that make this loss so tough, I think the most frustrating part of it is despite a huge helping of adversity, the Bills were the better team and dominated the game. 90 plays to only 39 for Miami. Yards were 497 to 212 in favor of Buffalo.

It’s absurd that Miami won this game, but that’s sometimes just how it goes.

So, what the heck happened? Well, how long a list of "coulda/woulda/shoulda" would you like?

There’s the final drive, that as it’s about to begin, I’m feeling pretty great about. Despite not having any timeouts, here comes Josh Allen and the Bills only needing 35-40 yards to get into field goal range.

I’m not here to tell you it should’ve been easy, but I am here to tell you I know which team I’d rather be in that situation. I’d rather have the ball needing a field goal to win, rather than trying to defend that Bills offense.

Credit Miami for pass breakups that would’ve been important completions for the Bills.

The holding penalty on tackle David Quessenberry really hurt. The Bills were just about to reach field goal range at the Miami 43, and the penalty took them back to their side of the 50-yard line.

Watching live, I was frustrated by Isaiah McKenzie not heading for the sideline on the Bills' final play. After looking at it a few more times, there’s a couple things: Maybe most importantly, I think the best you could’ve hoped for there is 63-yard field goal try for Tyler Bass if - if - McKenzie can get out-of-bounds. I’m not certain he doesn’t get tackled in-bounds there.

So I guess I get what McKenzie is trying to do on the play.

Of course, the previous Bills possession is a big miss, especially the final play of the drive - the 4th-and-goal incompletion to McKenzie.

It is definitely worth noting that Allen was seen having his throwing hand looked at after this play, and that he had an X-ray after the game, as well. That may be all of the explanation, but Allen was also weirdly off balance as he attempted the throw. It looked, to me, like his mechanics were thrown off as a result.

Thus, a pretty easy pitch-and-catch ended with a throw that bounced well-short of the target.

Gabriel Davis had two hands around a potential touchdown catch, but again, credit to the Miami defender for staying with it and pushing the ball out of Davis’ grasp.

Matt Milano also dropped a pretty easy pick-six.

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There’s your list. Yes, in all of these scenarios, the Bills, in some way or another, failed to come through.

The adversity they were facing in the form of injuries going into the game, and then compounded by heat-related fatigue during the game, likely plays some part in those plays falling short. But still, those are all misses.

Watching this game and listening to postgame comments from head coach Sean McDermott and others, it strikes me that these players really battled in this game.

So how hard do you want to be on them?

The bigger concern, in my view, is health. How soon is Jordan Poyer back? Same for Ed Oliver and Mitch Morse. We now know that Micah Hyde isn’t coming back. Hopefully most, if not all of the players who had to leave this game rest up and are fine for next week against the Baltimore Ravens.

Of course it’s a bummer to lose a game they had ample opportunity to win. But I’m honestly struggling to be too tough on them, considering the adversity they faced in Miami.

I’m pretty confident we’re still looking at the best team in the league.

They just don’t have the best record in the league anymore, nor in the AFC East, for that matter.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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