Returnees Spark Bills Offense To Win
Three key offensive contributors returned to the lineup for the Buffalo Bills Sunday in a key divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins, and it made all the difference.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor returned after missing two games with a knee injury to complete all but one of his 12 passes while using his legs to pick up a few key first downs. Sammy Watkins returned after missing two games with leg injuries to catch eight passes for a career-high 168 yards and a touchdown, and Karlos Williams came back from a three-game absence (concussion) to run for 110 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries as the Bills knocked off the Dolphins 33-17 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Watkins was the brightest star for Buffalo Sunday, which for he and the team couldn’t have come at a better time. Watkins was widely criticized for calling critics of his on his Instagram losers during the Bills bye week after many fans, often unfairly and vulgarly criticized his perceived unwillingness to play through injuries. Watkins caught eight of the Bills receptions on the day including a few key drive-sustaining grabs and a 44-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to thwart what looked to be a Miami rally.
Fans were chanting “Sam-my” by the time he left the field.
The returnees won’t the only players that made the offense effective. Lesean McCoy had his best game as a Bill---rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries before leaving late with a shoulder injury. McCoy said post-game he could’ve returned if needed at the end of the game and should be fine for next Thursday’s game against the New York Jets.
As a whole the offense gained 420 on the Dolphins. It’s a good thing, because the defense had its issues against Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense. The Dolphins racked up 397 yards itself, but often shot itself in the foot with penalties or poor play call/coaching decisions.
Jerry Hughes took an awful personal foul late hit penalty in the third quarter but maybe it was a good thing, because Hughes more than atoned after the boneheaded play. He had the team’s only two sacks, including a strip sack he recovered that set up a Buffalo touchdown.
The Bills (4-4) now travel to New York on Thursday to face the Jets (5-3) in a prime time matchup critical to the Bills playoff hopes. Buffalo faces New England on the road following the Jets—a game where it’s safe to project a loss, meaning the Bills need to beat the Jets to reach the 10-game mark no worse than 5-5.
We’ll have plenty of post-game reaction and analysis on Monday.