Linebacker Elandon Roberts turned to the 66,206 fans that filled Hard Rock Stadium – the second-largest crowd since the venue was modernized in 2015 – and waved his arms up and down.
Leading 21-17 with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter, fans roared as the Dolphins were one play away from a huge defensive stand on fourth-and-goal – which they got, as quarterback Josh Allen's underthrown pass fell incomplete.
When the Bills regained possession after a safety, Miami stopped them for good, beating its AFC East rivals, 21-19, to remain undefeated and pick up its eighth-straight victory at Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphins' longest streak since the 1980s.
"I'm just really, really happy for the team," McDaniel said. "I knew we were going to get our best effort from everybody, and to be able to finish the game with two unbelievable efforts by the defense. I think I couldn't have written a better script for what we're trying to do."
Buffalo (2-1) entered the game with dominant wins over the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans, beating them by an average of 27.5 points.
However, the Dolphins stood up to the challenge. Building off a historic 21-point comeback last week against the Baltimore Ravens on the road, Miami (3-0) continued to excel under first-year head coach Mike McDaniel.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passed for 186 yards and one touchdown, while running back Chase Edmonds led the Dolphins with two rushing touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle registered more than 100 yards (102) for the second straight week, too.
On the first play of the game, Miami challenged a 28-yard catch by Buffalo wide receiver Stefon Diggs after he lost possession of the football when he hit the turf, which the Dolphins recovered. Officials determined Diggs was down by contact, and the Bills finished the 75-yard drive minutes later when quarterback Josh Allen flipped it to running back Devin Singletary for a two-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal.
But the Bills next possession ended in a turnover. Safety Jevon Holland stripped Allen from behind on third down, and linebacker Melvin Ingram recovered his second fumble this season on Buffalo's six-yard line. Edmonds then scored his first touchdown as a Dolphin with a one-yard rush to tie the game at seven.
Miami responded once again after the Bills opened the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown grab by wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. Tagovailoa completed all five of his passes on the drive, getting star wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, who had catches of 17 and 11 yards on the possession, respectively. Tagovailoa eventually found wide receiver River Cracraft on an 11-yard in-breaking route in tight coverage to tie the game again at 14. Cracraft, who signed with Miami in February, caught his first career touchdown pass last week against Baltimore.
On the Bills' next possession, the Dolphins forced Buffalo to do something it had not done in the first half all season – punt.
At halftime, the game was tied 14-14.
Tagovailoa opened the second half with a 22-yard completion over the middle to Hill, which was his 500th career reception.
The Dolphins defense then prevented Allen from reaching the end zone on a 9:22 minute drive, forcing the Bills to kick a 30-yard field goal that put them up 17-14.
The fourth quarter began with an immediate shift in momentum. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass missed a 38-yard field goal before Waddle made it to the Bills' 40 on his 32-yard reception, which was met with loud cheers from the crowd.
Moments later, on third-and-22, Tagovailoa found Waddle deep over the middle of the field for a 45-yard pickup to get in the red zone. Aided by a Buffalo unnecessary roughness call, Edmonds found the end zone for the second time a few plays later to put Miami up 21-17.
Then, the Miami defense got to work, stopping Buffalo on its next two drives en route to victory.
The Dolphins return to action on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Amazon Prime Video.