MIAMI — The Bills‘ first loss of the season featured many twists and turns, and ultimately, Buffalo fell to the division rival Dolphins despite finishing with 90 offensive plays and more than doubling Miami’s time of possession (40:40 to 19:20).
With the Bills’ final drive falling short as time expired after quarterback Josh Allen passed to Isaiah McKenzie, when the wide receiver appeared to have time to get out of bounds to stop the clock, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was shown on the CBS broadcast reacting in frustration, slamming his headset, hat and tablet into the desk and crumpling the papers around him. Allen also slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration after the 21-19 loss.
“I was trying to get out of bounds. I was also trying to get yards,” McKenzie said. “I knew [Buffalo place-kicker Tyler Bass‘] range, so I was trying to get out of bounds but also get up the field. I tried to get out of bounds. There was nine seconds left, and I was trying to get to the hash — and I kind of got bumped by going to the ref, and it just went down from there. If I could take it back, I would probably just go up field, get down, put it on the hash myself and live to fight another down.”
The Bills had many missed opportunities throughout the game, including a contested pass to wideout Gabe Davis in the end zone and a potential pick-six by linebacker Matt Milano that he was unable to haul in.
“I trust Gabe in those situations,” Allen said of the play to Davis. “Those are ones we come down with nine out of 10 times. That was the 10th time, I guess. I’ve got no loss in faith in him and what he’s able to do and his capabilities in this game.”
The Dolphins possessed the ball for only 7:55 in the second half, and they still came away with a win. Miami’s 19:20 time of possession was the lowest in a win since the 2014 season, when the New England Patriots beat the New York Jets in Week 7 with 19:06.
“We’ve got to finish drives,” Allen said. “I think third down we were all right. Red zone we weren’t very good. We’ve got to find a way to get it in the end zone there. We really beat ourselves tonight. Credit to them; they had a really good game plan. They came out and did what they had to do.
“There’s obviously plays we want back, and that’s going to happen over the course of every single game, this one especially.”
Dorsey played college football at Miami, posting a 38-2 record as a starting quarterback. This was his first game as an NFL offensive coordinator in Miami. His determined nature and passion are often mentioned by players and coaches when discussing Dorsey.
“He’s such a competitive guy,” Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “He wants to win every situation. … I think our players seem like they feed off of it. I know we were in training camp, and even when we were competing against each other in OTAs, I could sense the offense really having that same type of intensity that Kenny kind of coaches with; but yet, he is a guy who’s able to reign it back when he needs to and take it in a different direction, to encourage players at the same time.”
The Bills went into the game down six starters due to injury, and seven more players suffered injuries during the contest, which saw multiple Buffalo players dealing with heat-related issues.
“At halftime, I even threw up,” McKenzie said. “I’m like, I’m hot, and I started cramping. I came in and got an IV and things like that. And we were just fighting.”
While Allen took a face mask or a helmet to what appeared to be his right hand on the sideline and entered the X-ray room at Hard Rock Stadium, he said after the game he was “fine.”
“[Allen’s] good,” Buffalo coach Sean McDermott added.