Parker, Special Teams the Highlights in Miami’s Loss

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Miami Dolphins' WR/KR Jakeem Grant returns a kickoff 101 yards to the house in Miami's loss at home against Buffalo. PC: ESPN

The Miami Dolphins’ rematch against the Buffalo Bills didn’t go to plan, as the Bills put an end to their two-game win streak. The Dolphins suffered a 17-point loss at home, due to Josh Allen’s four touchdowns on the day, 37-20.

Career-high for Parker

About the only player on the Dolphins’ (2-8) side of the ball with a good game was wide receiver DeVante Parker. He hauled in seven passes (10 targets) for a career-high 135 yards. The yardage brings Parker’s season totals to 33 receptions for 469 yards, giving him an average of 14.2 yards per reception. After averaging just 52.1 yards and 3 ⅔ receptions per game, the huge game made him the team’s leading receiver on the season. 

“I mean, I still have a lot left in me and I can still make plays when we need it. Whatever helps the team,” Parker said. “It means a lot to me if we win. That’s it. If we don’t win, I don’t really care about it. It doesn’t matter.”

Allen, Brown lead Bills to victory

Allen and the Bills (7-3) were everywhere on the field Sunday against Brian Flores’ Dolphins, erupting for 424 total yards. Allen hit on 21 of his 33 passes, going for 256 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. He also carried the ball seven times for 56 yards and recorded a rushing touchdown. 

“When you’ve got a guy that can move around back there in the pocket, extending plays for the offense, it definitely makes it – as a defender – it definitely makes it that much harder to defend guys,” safety Reshad Jones said.

Buffalo WR John Brown also had a field day. He hauled in nine passes for 137 yards and two TDs. Running back Devin Singletary was the Bills’ leading rusher with 75 yards on 15 carries. He did fumble the ball twice on the day, but Buffalo was able to pounce on both of the miscues and finish the day with zero turnovers.

“We just had miscommunication on defense whether it was somebody not in the gap, and they just hit it. Like I said, it was just a bad defensive game for all of us,” defensive tackle Davon Godchaux said. “We have to turn it back fast. We have six games left and the Cleveland Browns just won two games, so I’ll watch the film and my focus will be on Cleveland.”

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How does Ballage still own a Dolphins uniform?

Looking back at Miami, the Dolphins’ run game had zero pep in its step (again). The team combined for 23 yards on 13 carries for the day, making it nothing shy of a miracle that they ran it into the end zone twice. The biggest problem has to be Kalen Ballage. Until his three yard score he had negative yards in the game. When he got the rushing TD, he had six carries for zero yards and one TD. He finished the day with nine carries for nine yards plus that score.

Offensive line fails QB Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick did end up throwing for 323 yards on the day, with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. The big reason the Dolphins’ pass attack failed was due to Fitzpatrick being sacked seven times for a collective loss of 43 yards. There wasn’t much less the offensive line could’ve done for their team today besides not showing up. 

Dolphins return kick-return, recover onside kick

However, likely the most exciting plays of the day came from the Dolphins’ special teams. Miami elected to kick an onside kick after its first TD of the day, and kicker Jason Sanders recovered his own kick himself. Additionally kick return specialist Jakeem Grant, who signed a four-year extension in the offseason, duked and dazzled on a 101-yard kickoff return to make it a nine-point game before the half.

“Once I broke through the second level, and it was just me and the kicker, I was like ‘no way is he going to tackle me,’ because if he tackles me my teammates will never let me live that down and then I have to pay a fine,” Grant said.

Miami fans also likely will not be pleased with the team’s play as it ended the game with three straight drives of turning it over on downs. It also lost the turnover battle once again, bringing the Dolphins’ turnover ratio on the season to minus-12. With the loss, the team is likely out of playoff contention as they fall to 2-8 on the season. They’ll next travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in week 12.

– Christian Chappell is a Sports Contributor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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