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Who has the edge? Dolphins (2-0) vs. Bills (2-0), in early showdown of AFC East unbeatens

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Here’s a look at how the Miami Dolphins (2-0) and Buffalo Bills (2-0) match up in six key areas ahead of Sunday’s Week 3 game at Hard Rock Stadium (1 p.m., CBS):

When the Dolphins run: Miami got its ground game going a little bit for 4.8 yards per carry in last Sunday’s 42-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens. It just didn’t splash more because there were limited opportunities playing from behind most of the afternoon — not to mention the Ravens ate up 11 minutes on one first-half drive they didn’t even score on.

In Week 1, it was Chase Edmonds that got the bulk of the carries against New England. Against Baltimore, it was Raheem Mostert. Who is favored in the workload will depend on matchups coaches find advantageous. Right tackle Greg Little, who will be filling in for Austin Jackson (ankle), had a great block on Edmonds’ late 28-yard run that set Miami up for the winning score vs. the Ravens.

Buffalo, however, to no one’s surprise, is the league’s top-ranked run defense through two weeks, and the Bills just shut down Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry on Monday night. With the veteran All-Pro Von Miller now in Buffalo setting one edge and Greg Rousseau, the first-round pick out of Miami in 2021, on the other, plus DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips on the interior, Buffalo is strong on the defensive line. Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano at linebacker give the Bills a stout defensive front. Edge: Bills

When the Bills run: Buffalo’s trio of South Florida running backs will be salivating at the thought of scoring a touchdown back home, especially as neither of the three have scored yet through the Bills’ two blowouts. Devin Singletary (American Heritage-Delray High, FAU) is the starting tailback, but rookie James Cook (Miami Central High) and Zack Moss (Hallandale High) split carries with him, so they all stay fresh.

Quarterback Josh Allen is always a running threat, as well, and he has 66 yards on 11 attempts plus a touchdown thus far in 2022. Veteran Rodger Saffold, the Pro Bowler in 2021 with the Titans, was brought in to play guard in a strong left side of the line next to tackle Dion Dawkins.

The Dolphins were solid in run defense in Baltimore outside of the 79-yard touchdown allowed to quarterback Lamar Jackson. Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler will be counted on at the line of scrimmage with Jaelan Phillips and Melvin Ingram setting the edge. Miami already knows it will be in for a great challenge against Allen through the air. They need to at least keep the Bills one-dimensional. Edge: Dolphins

When the Dolphins pass: Tagovailoa is coming off his all-time best performance, earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing for 469 yards and six touchdowns in leading Miami to the thrilling comeback from down 21 points. After being held in check for two touchdowns and two interceptions through three quarters, he was finally able to expose the Ravens’ banged-up secondary with the two long touchdowns to Tyreek Hill on busted coverages and another pair of drives.

The Bills are also dealing with injuries to their defensive backs. All-Pro Tre’Davious White is out on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. Fellow cornerback Dane Jackson and the elite safety tandem of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde all have their status in doubt heading into Sunday. Buffalo, nonetheless, still ranks second in the league through two weeks in pass defense, even while playing from ahead so often when opponents can pad their stats late.

You don’t want a bunch of hobbled guys in coverage tasked with keeping up with Hill, who finished with 190 receiving yards in Baltimore, and Jaylen Waddle, who had 171 and two touchdowns of his own, including the game-winner. Buffalo can still rush the passer, though, with Miller and Rousseau on the edge, among others. That will be a challenge for Miami’s offensive tackles as Terron Armstead deals with a toe injury and Greg Little continues to fill in for Austin Jackson on the right side. Edge: Even

When the Bills pass: Allen has been known to torch the Dolphins, but Miami made progress in that regard in two meetings last year, keeping him to passer ratings of 75.2 and 100.2, his lowest since his first appearance against the Dolphins as a rookie. His five outings in between all saw him post a passer rating above 110. Allen, in eight games against Miami, has 21 touchdowns to five interceptions as he enters on a seven-game win streak versus the division rival.

This season, he has completed 52-of-69 passes (75.4 percent) for 614 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. His top receiver, Stefon Diggs, is having another monster season with 20 receptions for 270 yards and four touchdowns. Gabe Davis was limited early this week with an ankle injury, and tight end Dawson Knox (foot) missed Wednesday’s practice.

It’s a bad sign for the Dolphins that cornerback Xavien Howard sat out Wednesday’s drills with a groin injury. He made it through the win over the Ravens but didn’t look like himself when he got beat for a long touchdown by Rashod Bateman and couldn’t catch up to Jackson on his touchdown scamper. The Dolphins must pressure Allen after their blitzes were ineffective against Jackson and the Ravens. Edge: Bills

Special teams: Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass is perfect on three field goals and nine extra points. Sam Martin, the punter who is rarely used because the Bills offense is so productive, is averaging 48.5 yards on his punts. Buffalo uses South Florida product Isaiah McKenzie on kick returns and Jamison Crowder on punt returns.

The Dolphins gave up a 103-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff against the Ravens, so special teams coordinator Danny Crossman has been letting his unit have it in practice. Edge: Bills

Intangibles: The Dolphins have the heat and humidity of South Florida in September on their side. They have a day and half more rest than the Bills after their last game, a Monday night win while Miami played last Sunday afternoon, plus Buffalo’s travel. The Bills are dealing with a number of injuries. All that gives the Dolphins the intangible edge for the 1 p.m. kickoff under the sun at Hard Rock Stadium.

But then you also remember that the Bills defeated their first two opponents, including the defending Super Bowl champs in their house, by a combined 55 points. And Buffalo has that pesky seven-game win streak on its side in the rivalry. Edge: Dolphins

PREDICTION: Bills 27, Dolphins 20

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Week 3 recap: Chicago Bears offense struggles but Cairo Santos’ last-second field goal gives them 23-20 win

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Week 3 Recap: Chicago Bears Offense Struggles But Cairo Santos’ Last-Second Field Goal Gives Them 23-20 Win
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Roquan Smith came up with a big play just when the Chicago Bears needed it Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

Smith jumped in front of Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills’ pass to Rex Burkhead for an interception and returned it 18 yards to the 12-yard line with just more than a minute to play.

Kicker Cairo Santos followed with a 30-yard field goal to give the Bears a 23-20 victory to improve to 2-1.

With the score tied at 20, the Texans committed a holding penalty on a punt return and got the ball at their own 17-yard line with a chance to take the lead. But three plays into the drive, Smith came up with the play on a pass that defensive lineman Angelo Blackson defended.

It helped seal a game in which the Bears rushed for 281 yards but the passing game again struggled.

Filling in for injured David Montgomery, running back Khalil Herbert had 20 carries for 157 yards. Bears quarterback Justin Fields completed 8 of 17 passes for 106 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Texans safety Jalen Pitre intercepted Fields twice, the second on a pass to Darnell Mooney with three defenders nearby in the fourth quarter.

But Bears defensive lineman Justin Jones sacked Mills for a loss of 8 yards and Nicholas Morrow stopped Phillip Dorsett for a loss of 5 yards on third down to kill the ensuing Texans drive.

Herbert’s 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter gave the Bears a 20-17 lead. Herbert, filling in for injured David Montgomery, broke for a 52-yard run, and Justin Fields hit Equanimeous St. Brown with a 20-yard pass on the drive.

Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn made field goals from 39 and 23 yards in the third quarter. Before the latter kick, Smith stopped Dameon Pierce for a loss of 3 yards on third-and-1 from the 2-yard line.

Get our free Bears alerts | Get Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Bears first | More Bears news

Here’s how Week 3 unfolded.

Inactives announced

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson will miss Sunday’s game against the Texans with a quad injury he suffered in practice Thursday.

But linebacker Roquan Smith, who missed practice all week with a hip injury, will play.

Linebacker Matt Adams, safety Dane Cruikshank and rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. all are inactive with hamstring injuries. Tight end Ryan Griffin will sit out with an Achilles injury, and offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter also is inactive.

Johnson’s absence is big for a young Bears secondary. Opposing teams largely have stayed away from targeting Johnson, instead going after rookie Kyler Gordon, who moves between outside cornerback and nickel, and Kindle Vildor. Gordon had a rough night against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 2.

For the Texans, tight end Brevin Jordan, wide receiver Tyler Johnson, defensive back Isaac Yiadom, linebacker Jake Hansen, offensive lineman Austin Deculus and defensive lineman Kurt Hinish are inactive.

Injury update

David Montgomery went down with a right leg injury midway through the first quarter. After the trainers tended to him for a few minutes, he walked off the field on his own into the medical tent. He then left the tent to go to the locker room.

The Bears announced Montgomery has a knee and ankle injury and is doubtful to return. Wide receiver Byron Pringle also is doubtful to return because of a calf injury.

Running back Khalil Herbert entered the game after Montgomery left and had carries of 8 and 11 yards and then scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to put the Bears up 10-0 midway through the first quarter.

At halftime

As the clock ran out in the second quarter with the Texans leading the Bears 14-13 some boos could be heard across Soldier Field.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields completed just 4 of 11 passes for 45 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and an 11.6 passer rating in the half, which ended with the Texans’ third sack as time ran out. The Bears had timeouts to use but didn’t to try to get in a deep shot.

Playing without David Montgomery, who left in the first quarter with right knee and ankle injuries, running back Khalil Herbert rushed for 64 yards and rookie Trestan Ebner rushed for 23 yards. Fields also had 47 yards rushing.

The Bears were threatening to retake the lead late in the second quarter but couldn’t come up with a big play.

On third-and-5, Fields hit tight end Cole Kmet with a 24-yard pass — Kmet’s first catch of the year — to get to the Texans’ 27-yard line. But the Bears offense stalled three plays later when Jerry Hughes sacked Fields for a loss of 9 yards. Bears kicker Cairo Santos made a 50-yard field instead to cut it 14-13.

Santos made a 47-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive for a 3-0 lead. And Herbert scored on an 11-yard touchdown run after Montgomery left the game to make it 10-0.

But Davis Mills’ 4-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Akins cut the Bears’ lead to 10-7. That drive included a 52-yard pass to Chris Moore.

And the Texans took a 14-10 lead on Dameon Pierce’s 1-yard touchdown run with 7:32 to play in the second quarter. Pierce had four carries for 41 yards on the drive, which started with Desmond King’s 30-yard punt return.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson forced a fumble and had an interception in the first quarter.

The Texans recovered the fumble, but the pick came at a key moment. With the Texans threatening to take a lead at the Bears’ 7-yard line, cornerback Kindle Vildor broke up Davis Mills’ pass to Brandin Cooks in the end zone. Jackson grabbed it out of the air but stepped out of the back of the end zone. The Bears got the ball on their 20.

Jackson’s pick came after Fields threw a pass to Kmet that Texans safety Jalen Pitre intercepted.

Soldier Field guide — and a weather report

There’s a slight chance of rain in Sunday’s forecast, but nowhere near the amount of precipitation fans endured in the Week 1 win over the 49ers (so, no Slip ‘N Slide celebrations this time around). The expected high is set for 69 degrees, with wind of the WNW at 19 mph.

Chicago experiences higher temperatures longer than outlying suburbs due to the heat-island effect. Its location next to Lake Michigan’s warm waters explains why the city and nearby suburbs freeze later in the year than their farther-out counterparts.

Locally, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting temperatures leaning above normal and “equal chances” of above or below precipitation from October through December.

If you’re headed to Soldier Field, here’s our guide — including where (and what) to tailgate. And no, you won’t be hearing the Bear Raid siren this year.

Latest stadium news from Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights officials rejected a petition to ban village financial incentives for Chicago Bears or any other business, stating that the petition didn’t have enough valid signatures — and warning that such a move would hurt businesses and taxpayers.

The petition calls for the village to create an “Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance” that would prohibit any financial or other incentive to a business to operate in the village. The petition was submitted by Americans for Prosperity Illinois, part of a libertarian group backed by the conservative Koch brothers. Read the full story here and read all our coverage here.

OC defends the Bears’ run-pass balance

The comparisons were all over social media this week.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has 28 pass attempts in two games this season. Every other team in the league has at least 28 completions and 52 attempts.

The Bears’ measly passing-game numbers, which total 15 completions and 191 yards, have dominated talk, with coach Matt Eberflus saying the Bears need to strive for a better balance in the running and passing games.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy understands it: “I love to throw because I’m a quarterback guy, right?”

And surely Getsy knows Fields needs to throw to develop in his second season. But Getsy also believes in following a plan tailored to what a defense is presenting them. Read the full story here.

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QB Lamar Jackson dazzles again, defense makes big plays late to lead Ravens over Patriots, 37-26

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Qb Lamar Jackson Dazzles Again, Defense Makes Big Plays Late To Lead Ravens Over Patriots, 37-26
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Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for four touchdowns and ran for the decisive score late in a wild 37-26 road win Sunday over the New England Patriots.

Jackson’s 9-yard run on third-and-1 late in the fourth quarter punctuated his dazzling day and handed the Ravens a commanding lead on a topsy-turvy, injury-filled afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Cornerback Marcus Peters’ interception on the Patriots’ subsequent drive was the Ravens’ fourth takeaway of the game, all coming in the second half.

Jackson finished 18-for-29 for 218 yards, four touchdowns and an interception and added 11 carries for 107 yards, including the late score. He’s the third player in NFL history to record four touchdown passes and 100 yards rushing in a single game, joining Cam Newton and Randall Cunningham, according to ESPN Stats and Info. All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews caught eight of his 13 targets for 89 yards and two first-half touchdowns, moving past Torrey Smith for the second most touchdown receptions in team history with 32.

One week after a fourth-quarter collapse in a home loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens (2-1) overcame another spotty day on defense. Quarterback Mac Jones finished 22-for-32 for 321 yards, an impressive day undone by his three costly interceptions. The Ravens also allowed 28 carries for 145 yards (5.2 per carry) and three touchdowns.

The Ravens took a 28-20 lead in the third quarter on back-to-back touchdown catches by tight end Josh Oliver, the first of his career, and wide receiver Devin Duvernay, who toe-tapped for a 4-yard score in the back of the end zone. After an interception by inside linebacker Josh Bynes, kicker Justin Tucker hit a 56-yard field goal — the 50th from at least 50 yards in his career — to extend the Ravens’ lead to 11.

Then the game swung in the Patriots’ favor. New England (1-2) got within single digits on a 1-yard touchdown run, their 75-yard drive helped by an improbable fourth-and-1 scramble by Jones that led to an 8-yard completion to tight end Jonnu Smith. Their 2-point-conversion attempt was ruled no good after an overturned call on another improvised pitch.

After a fumble by wide receiver Rashod Bateman (two catches for 59 yards), the Patriots started knocking on the door again. But on third-and-goal from the 10-yard line, Jones threw his second straight questionable interception, a jump ball to the corner of the end zone that cornerback Marlon Humphrey brought in like a punt return. The pick preserved the Ravens’ 31-26 lead.

Another crucial turnover helped turn back the Patriots. Safety Kyle Hamilton’s chase-down strip midway through the fourth quarter jarred the ball loose from wide receiver Nelson Agholor on a long catch-and-run, and cornerback Marcus Peters, somewhat improbably, recovered the ball before he or the ball were out of bounds.

A resurgent running game carried the Ravens for stretches Sunday. In addition to Jackson’s efforts, running backs Justice Hill and J.K. Dobbins, in his first game since January 2021, combined for 13 carries for 83 yards.

The Ravens’ pass defense, however, even with the return of Brandon Stephens and the improved health of fellow cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, struggled mightily for the second straight week. With leading Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers sidelined by a knee injury, DeVante Parker stepped up. In his first two games, Parker had one catch for 9 yards. On Sunday, he had five catches for 156 yards. Each reception was for 20 yards or more.

The Ravens’ first half was full of fits, starts and injury breaks. On their first and third drives, they went three-and-out. On their fourth drive, Jackson threw an interception into double coverage. On their second and fifth drives, though, they rolled through the Patriots’ defense like it was nothing.

Andrews ended both marches in the end zone. He took a shovel pass on third-and-1 for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead. On his second score, Andrews outjumped safety Devin McCourty for a 16-yard touchdown to help the Ravens retake a 14-10 lead.

Injuries mounted for the Ravens in the first half at hard-hit positions. In the first quarter, emergency left tackle Patrick Mekari — starting because first-stringer Ronnie Stanley (ankle) was again inactive and backup Ja’Wuan James (Achilles tendon) landed on season-ending injured reserve after Week 1 — exited the game with an ankle injury.

That left rookie tackle Daniel Faalele, who didn’t play a single snap at left tackle over his college career at Minnesota, to contend with the noise inside Gillette Stadium and the speed crashing down Jackson’s blind side. Faalele allowed two sacks in the first half. On the right side, Morgan Moses had two false-start penalties.

Early in the second quarter, the Ravens announced that outside linebacker Justin Houston had left the game with a groin injury. Houston was one of two outside linebackers on the Ravens’ 53-man roster, along with Odafe Oweh. Brandon Copeland (Gilman) had been promoted from the practice squad.

On the Patriots’ go-ahead touchdown drive midway through the second quarter, defensive tackle Michael Pierce left with an arm injury. He was carted off just minutes before Jones scrambled for a 3-yard touchdown, the first rushing score of his career giving New England a 10-7 lead.

Mekari, Pierce and Houston did not return.

This story will be updated.

Week 4

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

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Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Dolphins finally take down division-behemoth Bills in game that had it all

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Dolphins Finally Take Down Division-Behemoth Bills In Game That Had It All
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There are no division titles handed out in Week 3 — and sure, the Miami Dolphins didn’t get the Buffalo Bills at full strength.

But with everything lined up for the Dolphins to finally take down their AFC East rivals — from the myriad Bills injuries to having them swelter in early-season South Florida heat and humidity — Miami handled its business, even as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was momentarily knocked out of the game and a late safety put the outcome in doubt.

Overcoming remarkable play form Bills quarterback Josh Allen until he short-armed a late throw for a potential go-ahead touchdown and ran out of time on Buffalo’s final chance, the Dolphins topped the division behemoth Bills, 21-19, on Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.

And Miami, off to its first 3-0 start since 2018, is in first place in the AFC East through three weeks.

The Dolphins snapped a seven-game losing streak to the division-rival Bills (2-1). Miami also extended its home winning streak to eight games, the franchise’s longest since a 10-game stretch from Dec. 17, 1984 to Sept. 14, 1986 at the Orange Bowl.

Allen, who was 42 of 63 for 400 yards and two touchdowns, plus 47 yards rushing, bounced a pass to Isaiah McKenzie in the end zone on fourth down with his team trailing by 4, 21-17.

It proved to be far from over for the Dolphins, though. Having to punt backed up after the turnover on downs, Thomas Morstead’s boot went into the back of upback Trent Sherfield, going out of bounds for a safety.

With both teams out of timeouts, Allen completed a pass over the middle to McKenzie, who could not get out of bounds vying for extra yardage. Time ran out on the Bills.

Tagovailoa, who left momentarily in the first half after a late hit that resulted in a roughing-the-passer penalty, returned to action for the second half and finished 13 of 18 for 186 yards and a touchdown in a game where Buffalo dominated time of possession.

Tagovailoa made his throw of the day early in the fourth quarter on third-and-22, hitting an open Waddle deep over the middle for 45 yards. After two timeouts, two plays and an unnecessary roughness by Bills safety Jaquan Johnson on a pass to running back Chase Edmonds, Edmonds ran in a 3-yard score to give Miami a lead, 21-17, with 10:05 remaining.

Tagovailoa escaped pressure on a third-and-3 play right before the two-minute warning, threw a pass that was completed to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, and was pushed to the ground after the throw by linebacker Matt Milano. The back of Tagovailoa’s head banged against the ground in a whiplash effect.

Tagovailoa was walked off the field and into the locker room, under his own power, with trainers alongside him. He was originally questionable to return with the head injury, but Tagovailoa cleared concussion protocol at halftime, according to the CBS broadcast.

The Dolphins and Bills were tied at 14 at the time of the injury and going into halftime. Tagovailoa was 8 of 10 for 76 yards with a touchdown pass when he exited. Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater then entered for Miami’s third-year signal-caller to finish off Miami’s final series of the first half. Tagovailoa then entered for the opening drive of the second half, completing his first pass for 22 yards to Tyreek Hill.

It’s the third consecutive time Tagovailoa has gotten hurt in a meeting with the Bills. In last year’s Week 2 meeting in Miami Gardens, an A.J. Epenesa hit sidelined Tagovailoa with fractured ribs and put him on short-term injured reserve to miss the ensuing three weeks. In the 2021 Oct. 31 game in Orchard Park, Tagovailoa finished the game but came away with a finger injury on his throwing hand that cost him the next one and a half games.

With the teams tied at 14 at the half, Buffalo ate up 9:22 on one third-quarter drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Tyler Bass. The Bills went up, 17-14, covering 87 yards on 20 plays as Allen connected on a series and short passes and scrambled for a 19-yard gain.

The Bills missed an opportunity to extend the lead with their defense as Milano dropped an interception he could’ve scored on. Then, Bass missed a low field-goal attempt wide left to start the fourth quarter.

The Bills struck first on their opening drive Sunday that was capped by a fourth-down 1-yard pass from Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen to an open Devin Singletary in the end zone. Allen was 6 of 6 for 70 yards on the opening series after his first completion, a 28-yard strike over the middle to Stefon Diggs, was nearly a fumble lost with Diggs losing the back. It was ruled that cornerback Xavien Howard barely contacted the receiver.

The Dolphins defense set the offense up to tie later in the first quarter. Jevon Holland broke free on a safety blitz for a strip-sack on Allen, and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram recovered the fumble at the Buffalo 6-yard line. Miami scored on a Chase Edmonds plunge from a yard away after a pass to Trent Sherfield got the team to the 1-yard line.

Buffalo responded early in the second quarter with Allen again finding another South Florida product, Isaiah McKenzie, wide open for a short touchdown pass. The Bills picked up the Dolphins blitz on third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, with Singletary blocking Holland in the backfield.

Tagovailoa responded with a nine-play, 83-yard drive yard that was capped by a touchdown pass to practice-squad elevation River Cracraft, his second touchdown in as many weeks up from the practice squad. Tagovailoa threw a dart to Cracraft for the 11-yard scoring strike after also completing chunk plays to Waddle and Hill earlier in the drive.

The Dolphins have a quick turnaround for Thursday Night Football, facing the Bengals on the road in Cincinnati.

This story will be updated.

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Instant Analysis: Miami Dolphins 21, Buffalo Bills 19

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Instant Analysis: Miami Dolphins 21, Buffalo Bills 19
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Chris Perkins, Dolphins Columnist

The Dolphins answered the call in a big way and now they’re the top dog in the AFC East with Sunday’s victory over Buffalo. It was an excellent performance all the way around even if it was ideal in some ways. The Dolphins showed guts, grit and talent. They’re now the team to beat in the AFC East and one of the teams to beat in the AFC.

Keven Lerner, Assistant Sports Editor

The defense bailed out the Dolphins over and over again, and Miami escaped with an incredible win and a perch atop the AFC East…and the conference itself?

Steve Svekis, Sports Senior Content Editor

And, we thought last week was earth-shaking? The Dolphins, propelled by a truly great defensive performance.against a monster quarterback, got the two greatest consecutive regular-season wins in my memory. A legitimate AFC favorite.

This will be updated.

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Hyde10: Dramatic ending, Tua’s return, defense’s stand — 10 thoughts on Dolphins 21-19 win over Bills

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Hyde10: Dramatic Ending, Tua’s Return, Defense’s Stand — 10 Thoughts On Dolphins 21-19 Win Over Bills
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Big game. Big finish. Big statement by the Miami Dolphins, too.

The Dolphins beat the Bills, 21-19, in another dramatic finish to go 3-0 and – yes, it’s early – take first place in the AFC East.

Here are 10 thoughts on Sunday’s game.

1. Play of the game I: Fourth-and-goal at the 2. A minute, 49 seconds to play. Josh Allen has Isaiah McKenzie open in the corner and throws short – and this Dolphins defense completes another goal-line stand to go with their work at Baltimore. This one gives the Dolphins the ball at their 2 and …

Play of the Game II: Punter Thomas Morstead is at the back of the end zone with the ball on the 1-yard line and punts into the back of blocker Trent Sherfield. Safety. It’s now Miami 21-19 and a field goal can win it. Buffalo got the ball with 1:25 left, Allen getting a second chance and …

Play of the Game III: Allen, running to get his offense under center at the at the Dolphins 44-yard line, can’t do it quickly enough and time runs out. You had to wait for the ref to say, “That’s the end of the game,” to be sure.

2. Tua Tagovailoa eluded a blitz, completed a nice third-down pass in the second quarter and then got a shove from Bills linebacker Matt Milano that warranted a roughing penalty. In falling, Tua’s head bounced hard off the turf and he came up woozy. He immediately was taken out of the game and went to the locker room. The upshot? He was listed as questionable, didn’t return for the half, but then passed concussion protocol and returned to start the second half. His first pass was a he day, he completed eight of 10 passes for 76 yards an an 11-yard touchdown to River Cracraft. For the day, Tagovailoa completed 13 of 18 passes for 186 yards and the touchdown.

3. Stat of the game: Buffalo ran 88 plays to the Dolphins 39. That’s nuts. It’s reflected in the time of possession, too, as the Dolphins only had the ball for 19:20. The game began with injury issues especially to the Bills defense. As it went on both sides lost players to the heat. On a 20-play, 87-yard drive in the third quarter, the Bills ate up 9:22 and players from both sides dropped out (Xavien Howard was suffering from cramping for the Dolphins). But the number of plays and time of possession

4. Give this Dolphins defense full credit. Buffalo had scored 31 and 41 points its first two games. It was up against the quarterback in Josh Allen that looks like he’s the best in the game right now. Allen threw 63 passes and had 400 yards passing and two touchdowns Sunday. He ran for another 47 yards. This defense not only effectively got a turnover off Allen to make it a 7-7 game, but made him earn everything. Everything. The Buffalo scoring drives were 10, 14, 20 and 15 plays. Sure, they didn’t come away with the win and give Buffalo and Allen credit for going 10-for-16 on third downs. But this defense held up to perhaps the league’s best offense early this year and that’s a good mark for what’s coming.

5. Buffalo was without its entire starting secondary Sunday. The two rookie cornerbacks and two safeties who began the game had a total of three starts between them. So it’s no wonder the question was how this Dolphins passing game would attack them. And? Well, for much of three quarters the Bills had to be happy in only really giving up one touchdown drive (the second came after the defense got the ball at the Bills’ 6). But then in the fourth quarter Tua and the deep passing game went to work. He threw 32 yards to an open Jaylen Hill to start the drive. Then, on third-and-22, Jaylen Waddle got behind the Bills defense for a 45-yard gain to the Buffalo 6-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown at 21-17. Buffalo was pay special attention to Tyreek Hill as he only had four targets and two receptions midway through the fourth quarter. That left Waddle to work deep.

6. Left tackle Terron Armstead keeps showing his worth. Von Miller had two sacks in the first two games and disrupted play in each of the Bills wins. Miller wasn’t heard from Sunday. He lined up opposite Armstead all day. And all day Armstead stymied him. Midway through the fourth quarter, Miller had no tackles, no quarterback pressures and was only on the stat sheet because of a pass defensed. That’s what a star left tackle does.

7. Jevon Holland blitzed off the left side of the Bills line, sidestepped a block attempt by Devin Singletary and created the latest game-changing play by the defense. In the opener, it was a Brandon Jones sack against New England’s Mac Jones that caused a fumble which bounced into Melvin Ingram’s hands for a touchdown. This time it was Holland’s blindside hit of Josh Allen that allowed Ingram to recover the fumble at the Bills’ 6-yard line. Three players later, it was a 7-7 game.

8. Second-year player Jaelan Phillips became a target of question and pass-rush concerns this week when it should have been an issue for the whole defense. There hadn’t been many Emmanuel Ogbah or Melvin Ingram sightings, either. Well Ingram changed that Sunday. He stopped a scrambling Allen short of the goal line to be credited with one sack, and then sacked him again in the first half to cause a fumble that the Bills recovered. Throw in that fumble recovery on Holland’s sack and Ingram had an impactful first half. As for Phillips, you need more from him, but let’s remember it’s not a straight-line progression for most pass rushers or edge players. In his third year, Jason Taylor had a half-sack through eight games. If that doesn’t tell you to turn down the volume on the second-year Phillips, nothing will.

9. Quick hits:

A. What was Buffalo doing just before halftime? With six seconds left at the Dolphins 34-yard line, Josh Allen looked like he could have spiked the ball and let Tyler Bass attempt a 51-yard field goal (his long the last two years was 58 and 57 yards). Instead, Allen threw a short pass to Stefon Diggs and the clock ran out. Why? Allen bobbled the snap and there’s a rule if you bobble a snap you can’t spike the ball. So he had to go through with the play.

B. Cornerback Keion Crossen knocked the ball loose of Bills receiver Gabe Allen to turn a touchdown into an incompletion. The Bills had to take a third-quarter field goal.

C. Ingram can expect a fine for kicking/leg-whipping Allen in the groin.

10. Next game: Dolphins at Cincinnati. The dreaded Thursday night away game. Actually, there’s no statistical evidence showing any undue bias for records on Thursday night, home or away (though Dolphins did lose, 22-7, on Thursday in Cincinnat in the 2016 season). Cincinnati might have had a Super Bowl hangover in starting 0-2. Or maybe it was Joe Burrow missing the preseason with appendix surgery. Or maybe they were just fortunate to make the Super Bowl? They played the New York Jets on Sunday.

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Instant analysis from Ravens’ 37-26 win over New England Patriots

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Instant Analysis From Ravens’ 37-26 Win Over New England Patriots
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Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 37-26 win over the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Week 3 game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens pulled out a tense road win thanks to a strong all-around performance from their offense, a pair of timely interceptions from Josh Bynes and Marlon Humphrey and a huge forced fumble by rookie Kyle Hamilton. They got their running game on track with J.K. Dobbins in the lineup, Justice Hill making the most of his opportunities and Lamar Jackson dazzling as usual. Mark Andrews delivered his typical big day, and Devin Duvernay showed what a valuable player he has become with a 43-yard punt return and a tough touchdown catch in the corner.

All of that said, this was another alarming day for the Ravens defense against an offense that hardly set the world on fire in Weeks 1 and 2. They avoided the catastrophic communication lapses we saw against the Miami Dolphins, but their cornerbacks could not cover DeVante Parker, and they struggled to bring down running back Rhamondre Stevenson once he cleared the line of scrimmage. Their run defense, so stout last season, has become a problem right along with their coverage.

They’re also in danger of losing the war even when they win battles. Can they go even one week without suffering a significant injury? Rookie Daniel Faalele had to step in for Patrick Mekari at left tackle, a position he looked unprepared to play until he settled down in the second half. Nose tackle Michael Pierce and edge rusher Justin Houston, both effective through the first two weeks, left before halftime. We saw how this played out last season; they can’t keep taking these blows.

Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens were able to hang on for the victory, but this was a battle between teams that aren’t very good. They both have a lot of holes, but the Ravens have quarterback Lamar Jackson, who makes up for a lot of the team’s shortcomings. It’s good that it’s early in the season and both teams have time to improve, but will they? The Ravens’ weaknesses on the offensive line and at the linebacker positions are glaring.

Ryan McFadden, reporter: The Ravens’ defense redeemed itself after getting torched by the Dolphins last week. Baltimore forced four turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter. At one point, the Ravens appeared to be letting the lead slip away, but Lamar Jackson made sure his team didn’t repeat the past.

C.J. Doon, editor: The Ravens learned their lesson. With the Patriots threatening to erase another big fourth-quarter lead, cornerback Marlon Humphrey’s interception in the end zone and rookie safety Kyle Hamilton’s forced fumble on a big catch-and-run by Nelson Agholor kept the lead intact, and Lamar Jackson added the exclamation point with a 73-yard drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown run with three minutes left. With four touchdown passes and another 100 rushing yards, Jackson continued to build his MVP case while giving the Ravens’ defense some breathing room as it figures itself out.

Tim Schwartz, editor: Take a second and imagine what this team would be without Lamar Jackson under center. It seems like every week he is breaking team or NFL records and yet the Ravens still struggle to put teams away. Four timely second-half turnovers, thanks to several poor decisions by Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and a key forced fumble by rookie Kyle Hamilton, helped prevent a second straight devastating loss. But this is the Lamar Jackson show, and we’re all just witnesses. He is dominating defenses — he ran for 107 yards, surpassing 100 for the second straight week, and jumped right to the front of the MVP conversation while accounting for five touchdowns — and has put the Ravens on his back for a 2-1 start. With the mighty Buffalo Bills coming to town next week, this was a must-win.

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