The Buffalo Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Miami with a last-second field goal to win 23-21. It was an all-important win for the Bills in a much-needed divisional road contest. This was was important for the Bills because they hadn’t done it in three seasons.
The last time the Bills won a division game on the road was December 19, 2010 when the Bills, then 4-10, defeated the Dolphins, then 7-7, by a score of 17-14. It was former coach Chan Gailey‘s only division win in nine chances during his head coaching tenure. The Bills have lost their last eight road games inside the division, dating back to a loss to the New York Jets in the final week of the 2010 season. Dating back to the 2008 season the Bills had been 2-14 in division games on the road, and not surprisingly they hadn’t been above 7-9 in that span.
Miami in particular had become a house of horrors for the Bills in recent years. The Bills have long had trouble going into Miami and playing in the heat, and that’s what’s most impressive about this victory. This was the earliest that they’ve won a game in Miami since 2006. They had lost by more than 14 points in Miami in three of the last four contests. The Bills finally overcame the heat and played well on both lines in the fourth quarter on Sunday and came away with a hard-earned win in the South Florida sun.
Sure, that win could be a flash in the pan or it could mean something more. Gailey won his second AFC East road game and didn’t win another one in his remaining tenure which spanned 34 games. For new head coach Doug Marrone it’s about consistency. The Bills don’t have another road game in the division until Week 17 against the New England Patriots. It’s a long way away and who knows what that game will mean to either team, but it will be an important benchmark in Marrone’s first year.