Immediate Reactions: Miami Dolphins 22, Buffalo Bills 9

Ryan Tannehill took a shot down the field in the early fourth quarter of Miami’s second-half cakewalk over the Buffalo Bills. The pass down the middle was well-defended by Stephon Gilmore, but a “letter of the law” pass interference call gave Miami a first down that became a touchdown moments later.

And then Phil Simms said it. It was correct and it wasn’t exactly brave given the outcome of the play, but he said it.

“That’s why you throw the ball deep down the middle of the field. You can make a play or get a flag.”

Not exactly rocket science, but everything the Bills haven’t been trying until games are out of reach. I don’t know if it’s Doug Marrone or Nathaniel Hackett or Kyle Orton, but it’s a weak-willed bunch of “better safe than sorry” stuff. And now the Bills have been rewarded with what happens when you play it safe: 5-5 and essentially out of the playoffs.

Barring a miracle, you can count this loss as the one that did two things:

1) more or less put playoff-less year No. 15 on the board, folks. FIFTEEN YEARS.

2) sealed Doug Marrone’s fate as the latest in a long line of Mularkeys. They even kinda look alike.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.09.22 PM

– Before we go any further: the safety. There was nothing more predictable than CBS “refereeing expert” Mike Carey defending the intentional grounding in the end zone call on Orton. Again, if we go letter of the law you can defend the call, but no one in their right mind thinks that was intentional grounding. It might now have made much of a difference given how poorly the Bills offense has been playing, but it sure would’ve been nice if the Bills could’ve mussed things up on their own rather than by a sketchy at-best penalty.

– Mario Williams is a freak of nature.

– For the record, former UB offensive coordinating failure and current Dolphins OC Bill Lazor (under Jim Hofher in 2001-02) just relatively out-performed “next gen” genius Nathaniel Hackett. Chew on that.

– There was nothing more “Billsy” in terms of this season’s play calling than the play after Kyle Orton was nearly intercepted by Louis Delmas. Buffalo was within Dan Carpenter’s field goal range for 2nd and 10, but was just nearly intercepted. Didn’t you hear me?!?!?! Between the ineffective tackles run to Bryce Brown.

– Jim Schwartz’s aggressive defense has been much responsible for far more good than bad this season, but the Bills were burned for a touchdown on a short yardage down for the second-straight week. First there was Jamaal Charles’ 39-yard 4th down run last week. Then on Thursday we got to witness two Bills players fooled by Tannehill and Lazor. It was Jerry Hughes and another linebacker, and it kept Gilmore from covering Brandon Gibson.

– Orton was terrible on any pass over, say, 7 yards in length, to a wide receiver who wasn’t running free and wide open. Not his best day, and the consecutive misses to Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods with about 10 minutes to play in the fourth were brutal. We also got the second-straight week of “disappointed Robert Woods body language”, which is apparently not reserved for EJ Manuel alone.

– The vanilla look on Doug Marrone’s face after Jerry Hughes took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a half-sack that Mario Williams created was a special moment. Marrone looks shellshocked, like he never expected to be in this situation.

– And here’s the thing: Miami doesn’t have much going for them beyond Ryan Tannehill, who I think is pretty underrated. For me there isn’t much of a question as to whether Miami can roll with him for at least a little while longer.

The big question: How low will the Bills second round pick be?

The bigger question: What team will take a second and a third to get back in the first?

Three players I liked…

1. Mario Williams
2. Marcel Dareus
3. Chris Hogan

Three things that troubled me…

1. The officials
2. Orton
3. Play calling and/or unwillingness to throw downfield until the game was basically over.

Game ball(s)…

Mario Williams

– Absolute stud.

Lastly…

Great job, offense. Thanks for ruining everything.

Next week…

The Jets at home. Perfect Bills “So you’re saying there’s a chance” game. Buffalo handles New York, 26-13

Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

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