Dolphins Beaten Down by Bills Again

Tua Tagovailoa injured during another lopsided loss against AFC East rival Buffalo

The Miami Dolphins still have a Buffalo Bills problem.

The Dolphins committed three turnovers, went 0-for-4 on fourth down and lost starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the first quarter to an injury, and it added up to yet another lopsided loss against Buffalo.

This one was a 35-0 rout in the Dolphins' home opener which was Buffalo's six consecutive victory in the series and followed the Bills' 56-26 victory in the 2020 season finale that knocked Miami out of the playoffs.

It was Miami's first shutout loss since Week 2 of the 2019 loss when the Dolphins were routed by the New England Patriots 43-0.

The start of this one was a disaster, and yet the Dolphins had plenty of chances of working their way back into the game in the first half after quickly falling behind 14-0.

But they just kept making mistake after mistake, whether it was the offensive line unable to pick up blitzer, dropped passes or turnovers — fumbles by Jakeem Grant and Jaylen Waddle, and an interception by Jacoby Brissett.

Brissett was forced into action on the Dolphins' third possession after Tagovailoa was sent to the locker room with a rib injury after he was drilled by defensive end A.J. Epenesa on a fourth-down incompletion.

X-rays were negative, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, and Tagovailoa will undergo an MRI on Monday.

It was the third time in only two drives that Tagovailoa was flattened by Buffalo pass rushers, the first two coming on blitzes on the opening possession of the game.

Brissett didn't get much better protection as Buffalo finished with six sacks on the afternoon.

There weren't a whole lot of bright spots for the Dolphins offense, but the defense did force two first-half turnovers — extending its NFL-best streak to 24 games.

Linebacker Jerome Baker knocked the ball loss from running back Zack Moss after a short reception and safety Brandon Jones recovered the fumble, lost the ball himself and rookie safety Jevon Holland completed the turnover.

Cornerback Xavien Howard later came up with his first interception of the season.

Howard's pick gave the Dolphins the ball at the Buffalo 24, but that scoring threat ended when Malcolm Brown was stopped after a 1-yard gain on a fourth-and-2 play from the 16.

On the previous drive, the Dolphins had a second-and-6 at the Bills 11, but Albert Wilson dropped a pass on second down and Grant fumbled after catching a pass just short of the first-down marker.

And so it went for the Dolphins on this day.

The game began with the Dolphins going three-and-out, with Tua getting sacked twice and Buffalo taking a 7-0 lead on its second offensive play when Devin Singletary ran through a big hole up the middle for a 46-yard touchdown.

After the Dolphins' second drive, the one that ended with Tagovailoa's injury, Buffalo got a 35-yard completion from Josh Allen to Emmanuel Sanders that set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs, and it was 14-0.

The idea of a comeback probably disappeared when Buffalo took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards, ending the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Allen to tight end Dawson Knox.

The lead moved to 28-0 when Zack Moss bounced off a couple of tacklers on an 8-yard touchdown run, and Moss scored again on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.

For the Dolphins, the loss and the injury to Tua were bad enough, but Grant and right tackle Jesse Davis also left the game with injuries.

Add it all up and it was another ugly, frustrating afternoon against the Bills.

And it ended fittingly with running back Salvon Ahmed dropping an easy fourth-down pass in the final minute to keep the shutout alive for Buffalo.