With the Bills' offensive woes continuing and the unit gaining just 163 yards, the defense again served as the lone bright spot for the Bills. Holding their sixth opponent this season to under 17 points, Buffalo's defense did what they could on a day where support from the other side of the ball was minimal.
The inefficiency of the offense frequently kept the defense of the field with the unit defending the Dolphins' offense for 37:31, or almost two thirds of the game. Buffalo's defense was on the field longer in just one other game this season when New England held the ball for 37:40 in week 10.
"Whatever criticism the offense gets, its well deserved," Bills wide receiver Lee Evans said. "We are what we are, and right now, were not good. We have no rhythm offensively."
Holding the Dolphins to just one touchdown on their second possession and 16 total points, the defense received no help as the offense could manage just three points for the second straight game.
But Buffalo's defenders were more focused on their own shortcomings than that of their offense.
"The points allowed is good that we're doing that, but we're stressing trying to get some turnovers and scoring on defense," said Terrence McGee. "It's really hard as a defense, just trying to get some turnovers and give the offense some good field position so they can score some points."
Linebacker Kawika Mitchell said the defense gets motivated by knowing it may have to carry the team when the offense is struggling.
"We get in certain situations where obviously we are down 16-3," he said. "We are trying to cause a fumble or an interception or something just to spark the team or try to put points on the board somehow, some way. If something is slacking we definitely try to pick it up out there."
If the defense was the team's bright spot, linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Bryan Scott had starring roles, with Posluszny providing 11 tackles (eight solo) and Scott coming up with 10 (nine solo).
Posluszny stuffed the middle of the field, helping the Bills' defense hold Miami running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and the rest of the Dolphins' wildcat offense to just 3.4 yards per carry with the longest play of the day covering just 22 yards.
Ranked fifth in red zone touchdown percentage coming into the game, Buffalo's defense held them to a pair of field goals as the Dolphins went 0-2.
As much credit as the offensive players gave the Bills' defensive efforts, defensive tackles Marcus Stroud said they just weren't good enough.
"No, not at all," he said. "We lost. There's been teams where when the offense wasn't doing good, the defense did enough to let them win."
Mitchell refused to picks sides of the ball, electing to focus on the collective success of the team, which he believes comes down to one thing.
"It really is an attitude," he said. "If you want to win you have to go out and get it. If your mindset is not right you're not going to get it done."