ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel offered an explanation for his team’s significant delay of game penalty on their final offensive possession in a 34-31 playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Facing fourth-and-1 from their 48-yard line with 2:28 remaining in the game, the Dolphins failed to play on time and were flagged for delay of game. The penalty pushed them back on fourth down and sixth, and they were unable to convert Skylar Thompson’s pass attempt to tight end Mike Gesicki.
McDaniel said he was later told that the Dolphins picked up a first down on the first play, and did not have a fourth-down play ready immediately.
“There was some communication that we would get earlier,” he said. “So then we were deploying a bunch of players for first and 10 calls. Then it was clarified that no, it was fourth down … I had conflicting information that it was first down; I actually I don’t know exactly who it was. It was probably the first time in a whole year. You try to do your best. As it was, I thought we had fourth and sixth chances we were unable to come up with. were.
“You just have to adjust to any number of variables, and I thought we had a chance in fourth and sixth as well.”
The Dolphins entered Sunday’s contest as 14-point underdogs, but held a one-score lead through the third quarter. The Bills answered with 14 straight points and took a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Miami cut their deficit to three points after a Jeff Wilson Jr. touchdown run with 11 minutes left in the game and got the ball back with four minutes left to tie or take the lead.
Thompson completed a 14-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle on second down and 15 to bring up third and 1, but Salwan Ahmed’s rushing attempt did not result in a first down. McDaniel said he believed someone over his headset informed him that Ahmed had converted, and the coach said he made a play to reflect this before realizing the actual down and distance. Called.
The Dolphins had no timeouts remaining and could not stop the clock after Bill’s down.
Sunday’s contest was the Dolphins’ first playoff appearance since the 2016 season. The five-year playoff drought marked the third longest in franchise history.