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Divisional Playoff Round: Dolphins @ Bills

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Ralph Wilson Stadium

Orchard Park, NY


The Dolphins, amongst an incredible Cinderella story, had the clock strike midnight tonight in Buffalo.  Joe Montana ran out of magic for this one as the Dolphins had problems moving the ball tonight.  The run was abandoned early in this one, with Miami only running for 33 yards.  Montana was kept in check by Lonnie Young and gang for most of the game.  Buffalo started with the ball playing the ground and pound all the way inside the Miami 5.  Dexter Carter got the call up the middle and as he was hitting the line lost the football.  A mad scramble ensued as the ball bounded in and out of the end-zone, eluding both teams for what seemed like ages.  The ball was seemingly picked up by a Dolphin defender, but he lost control and the ball fell backward into the end-zone.  Another Miami player picked it up and was tackled for a controversial safety call putting Buffalo up 2-0 to start the game.  NFL films had Coach Sega mic'd up for this one and I'll tell ya kiddies that was not for family TV.  The Miami defense did step up on the next possession and forced a punt.  Montana took over and completed a nice drive including a big catch and run to a wide open Byars into Bills territory.  A few plays later Montana was able to hit Carter for a TD despite him be draped by a defender.  7-2 Miami and little did they know that would be the only points they'd score this day.  Buffalo came roaring back with a solid mix of Carter and little called on TE Mark Bavaro.  Bavaro makes the catch in traffic, eludes the defense and takes it in for a 9-7 Bills lead.  After the kick there is very little time left for Joe Cool to work with.  He drops way back for the bomb to Carter who makes the jumping catch at the Bills 20 yard line amongst a couple of defenders.  Lonnie Young had the presence of mind to keep Carter dancing in front of him long enough for the rest of the defense to catch up.  Carter is run out of bounds at the 10 with the clock expired for the half.  3rd Quarter starts with the Dolphins getting the ball.  Montana seemed to be limping slightly in the 2nd half and he faced enormous pressure from the blitzing Buffalo right away.  3 quick incompletes led to a punt, and Buffalo was back in the drivers seat.  Again Steve Young led the Bills down the field, utilizing the play action for a couple of big gainers.  However the drive stalled in the red zone and Buffalo had to settle for a short field goal and worrisome 12-7 lead.  Dolphins set up the offense again but here is where the magic finally ran out.  Montana sent the deep ball toward Hassan Jones but Lonnie Young was there to make the clutch interception.  Steve Young wastes no time getting down the field where again he was able to hit Bavaro in the end-zone to take a commanding 19-7 lead early in the 4th.  Dolphins still have life as Montana tries to rally the troops.  After a couple of quick first downs Montana gets sacked by Pat Swilling and is carted off the field, extinguishing any hope for a comeback.  In comes in Chuck Long, who hadn't taken a snap all season, to try for a miracle.  He's able to hit Carter in traffic to get to the Buffalo 20, but was unable to complete another pass and Buffalo takes over on downs.  Young calls for the victory formation as the Bills run out the clock.  Coach Tadaos and Coach Sega met at midfield for the ceremonial handshake.


Miami Dolphins 7

Buffalo Bills 19    F




J. Montana - 3/10, 134 yds, INT, 15 rush yds

G. Green - 4 rush, 17 yds

K. Byars - 1 rec, 45 yds

A. Carter - 3 rec, 145 yds, TD




S. Young - 6/10 112 yds, 2 TD, 12 rush yds

D. Carter - 13 rush, 135 yds

M. Bavaro - 2 rec, 34 yds, 2 TD

L. Young - INT

Swilling - sack

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 It was a fun run but I got too seduced by the Magic of Montana this last game.  I threw out most of the playbook for this game and just doubled down on the Joe Magic. 


GG Tadaos, will be rooting for you.

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