The Buffalo Bills dominated the box score Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, but a cavalcade of errors left them short in the most important category: points scored.
The Bills lost, 21-19, despite running 90 plays to 39 for Miami, earning 497 yards to 212, gaining 31 first downs to 15 and generating a 40:40 time of possession to 19:20. It's the highest time of possession in a non-OT loss since 2014 (New York Jets' Week 7 defeat to the New England Patriots, 40:54).
But the Bills couldn't get out of their own way, scoring just 17 offensive points.
"This is one game. We'll learn from this one tomorrow, take it on the chin and again prepare for next week," quarterback Josh Allen said after the loss. "That's all we can do. We can move forward. Again, we're 2-1. I'd like to be 3-0, but 2-1 we can still accomplish everything we want to accomplish."
The 51-play differential for the Bills was the second-largest in a loss since 2000 (including playoffs), per NFL Research.
Allen completed 42 of 63 pass attempts for 400 yards and a touchdown. His 63 pass attempts without an interception were tied for the fourth-most pass attempts without a pick in NFL history, per Elias Sports Bureau.
"Just didn't play good situational football tonight," Allen said. "Our defense played very well. Special teams had a really good day. Offensive side of the ball, we didn't take care of business, and that starts with me."
The miscues from Buffalo were glaring. Allen skipped a potential go-ahead touchdown late in the game on fourth-and-goal in the dirt. He fumbled inside his own 10-yard-line and then mishandled the snap on a spike to end the second quarter negating a chance for a field-goal try. Kicker Tyler Bass shanked a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Matt Milano dropped a would-be pick-six. Gabe Davis couldn't hang onto a TD. And Buffalo botched the end-of-game sequence allowing the clock to expire after Isaiah McKenzie couldn't get out of bounds.
"We really beat ourselves tonight," Allen said. "Credit to them, they had a really good game plan. They came out and did what they had to do. There's obviously plays we want back, and that's going to happen over the course of every single game, this one especially."
While the Dolphins made the most of their chances to win, Buffalo wilted in the Miami heat, falling to 2-1 and second in the AFC East behind Miami (3-0). With big matchups against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on tap, Allen and the Bills will need to quickly wash away the taste of the bitter loss in South Beach.