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Consulting With The Coaches

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Sean McDermott's 'aggressive' decisions pay off & Josh Allen shows his greatness on go-ahead TD drive


The Buffalo Bills coaching staff met with the media Monday night, fresh off their AFC East clinching win over the Dolphins.

Head coach Sean McDermott did not have any new injury updates to provide on WR Gabe Davis, RB Ty Johnson, CB Rasul Douglas or LB Tyrel Dodson but expects to know more before Wednesday's practice.

Here's what else we learned from the coaching staff's availability tonight:

Bills benefit from McDermott's pivotal coaching decisions

Sean McDermott made a couple of key decisions in the fourth quarter of the game on Sunday that paid huge dividends for Buffalo.

The first one came on the opening snap of the fourth quarter with Miami holding a 14-7 lead and driving after recovering a fumble on defense. The Dolphins had the ball at their own 42-yard line to start the fourth after a 15-yard gain to Tyreek Hill.

Following a false start to make it 1st and 15 from the 37 yard line, QB Tua Tagovailoa appeared to find Hill again for a pick up of 14 yards to set up 2nd and short. But McDermott got word from his staff upstairs in the booth that Hill may not have cleanly secured the catch. Out came the red challenge flag.

"I got a couple guys upstairs, they do a great job giving me some information there," McDermott said. 

There wasn't a replay shown overhead in the stadium, so McDermott and the staff had to make a quick decision in the moment on whether to challenge the play or not. 

"That was great communication on their part and we were able to win that one which ended up being a pivotal moment in the game," McDermott said. 

Upon review, the ruling was reversed and wiped away the big gain, marking McDermott's first successful challenge of the year. 

On 2nd and 15, Miami committed a 15-yard personal foul. Instead of 2nd and short, the Dolphins now faced 2nd and 30. Two plays later, Miami had to punt. The ensuing punt found the waiting arms of Deonte Harty and you know what happened next. 96 yards to the house and a tie game.

Then, after the Bills scored again to take a 21-14 lead, Buffalo had the ball with 6:14 to play. The drive chewed up over four minutes of clock and included decisions from McDermott to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 37 yard line, and then again from the Miami 37 yard line.

"I felt like we wanted to be aggressive there," McDermott said. "Although our defense was playing extremely well in the second half there, not giving up any points. I still felt like we wanted to be aggressive and try to end it on offense. And we were 1 for 2 there and came within a whisker of being 2 for 2."

The initial fourth quarter conversion allowed the Bills to continue to run the clock down and force Miami to burn all three of their timeouts. Even though the Bills didn't convert their next fourth down attempt coming out of the two minute warning, they still drained over minutes of clock and forced the Dolphins into hurry up mode on their final drive with no timeouts in their pocket.

Allen's perfect passing on go-ahead drive

With the game tied 14-14, the Bills had the ball starting from their own 26-yard line and 12:08 to play. Josh Allen and the offense had moved the ball well all night, though self-inflicted mistakes got the better of them earlier in the game.

Prior to that drive, 5 of Buffalo's 6 possessions had gone into Miami territory and only one of them had ended in points. But with the game on the line, Allen and the offense executed a perfect drive to take the lead.

"Just trying to play smart football, trying to play team ball," Allen said Sunday of his fourth quarter mentality.

Allen, the league leader in TDs and total yards, went 5 of 5 passing for 68 yards and the go-ahead score to Dawson Knox with 7:16 remaining. The Bills quarterback had huge completions to Dalton Kincaid (26 yards) and Khalil Shakir (28 yards) to get Buffalo down inside the Miami 5 yard line.

Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady said those types of drives are what makes Allen as clutch as any QB in the league.

"It's Josh Allen knowing that as long as he has the ball in his hands, (we have) the opportunity that good things can happen, and that I have the trust in him," he said.

"That no matter what's happening the whole game, as long as we have an opportunity and we have the ball, with Josh Allen, great things can happen."

On the night, Allen had five completions that gained 25 yards or more, Miami had zero.

Bills Mafia was in full force welcoming back the team after its 21-14 win in Miami.

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