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Three Takeaways

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Three Takeaways: Dolphins 21, Bills 17

1) Fins Find A Way To Win

It wasn’t the prettiest win you’ll ever see at Hard Rock Stadium, but the Dolphins found a way to win even after when things started to look grim late in the fourth quarter. Miami outlasted Buffalo, 21-17, and now has 16 wins in its last 22 home games. This one came down to the last seconds of the game when a Josh Allen pass was misplayed by tight end Charles Clay at the goal-line. Teams usually don’t come out victorious when you only generate 175 yards of total offense, but the Miami offense scored early and then again late to stay one step ahead of Buffalo. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was efficient, throwing three touchdowns and is now 10-1 in his last 11 starts at home. The Miami defense took advantage of three Bills turnovers and Buffalo didn’t help themselves by committing 13 penalties for 120 yards.

2) Howard’s Heroics

Xavien Howard has been a turnover machine for the Dolphin defense. His two interceptions killed Buffalo drives and now has a total of 11 interceptions in his last 17 games, which is tops in the NFL. His league leading seven interceptions is setting the tone for the secondary, and now has five career games of two or more interceptions, which is tied for third most in franchise history. Howard is playing with extreme confidence, flying around the secondary and making plays on the football that give this defense a takeaway mentality. He’ll need to continue this level of play down the stretch when every game increases in importance.

3) Parker and Stills Stand Tall

The identity of the Miami offense has changed over the season, early relying on the explosive play, and now paced by the running of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake. The emergence of wideouts Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker against the Bills couldn’t have come at a better time. On the first drive of the game, Tannehill found both Parker and Stills early in the drive to help balance the rushing attack of Gore. Parker came up huge in the red zone when he leaped in front of two Bills defenders and snagged the skinny post for a touchdown. And then in the fourth quarter, Tannehill found Stills streaking across the back of the end zone for a 13 yard game-winning touchdown. The duo combined just 80 yards on eight receptions, but it’s something this offense can build on to get opposing defenses off of the line of scrimmage. This should help Gore and Drake gain a little more space with the inside running game.

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