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

The highly-anticipated second matchup of the season between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills saw the exact opposite weather this time 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 spot 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 this game, and it was tied 29-29 when Miami punted the ball away to the Bills. Allen and the offense took over 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.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

As the Buffalo players cleared the snow away from the intended kicking spot, Bass plugged it from 25 yards to win.

To even tie the game, though, the Bills had to drive down the field with an eight-point deficit, knowing a potential two-point conversion was needed if a touchdown was scored. Allen was able to find Dawson Knox for that touchdown, but on the two-point conversion, it required him to go airborne, just breaking the plane to tie it up.

BILLS FANS THROW SNOWBALLS TO CELEBRATE FIRST TOUCHDOWN VS. DOLPHINS

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

The snow that fell prior to the game invited some snowballs thrown on the field by Bills fans in this one, and the referees weren’t having it after a couple touchdown celebrations by Buffalo involved flurries of them from the stands. The broadcast also mentioned that some fans were throwing them at the Dolphins’ sideline, to which referees delayed the game and threatened them that snowballs thrown would result in the Bills being assessed a 15-yard penalty.

The first of those touchdowns from Allen was also a first for rookie tight end Quintin Morris, who snagged a 14-yard pass to make it a 7-3 game.

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

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

Salvon Ahmed #26 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after rushing 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 rushing 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 receiving touchdown from Allen, making this a 21-13 contest.

Again, the Dolphins came right back with a touchdown of their own, as Jaylen Waddle broke free of Bill’s defenders and went 67 yards for the score.

Then, it was their turn to take the lead back. 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 scored, but the Bills never faltered. In the end, they knew they could kill some clock in the snow and set up the game-winning score.

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

DOLPHINS’ TUA TAGOVAILOA ON DEALING WITH BUFFALO’S EXPECTED COLD WEATHER: ‘IT SNOWS IN ALABAMA’

For the Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa went 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 pass game, Waddle’s big touchdown catch aided in 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)

While the Dolphins continue to fight for a playoff spot, the Bills can breathe a bit as they head to Chicago next week to face the Bears on the road.

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

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