Dolphins at Bills: Highlights, score and recap

Oct 23, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the Buffalo Bills 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the Buffalo Bills 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills 34-31 after overtime on Christmas Eve. Here are highlights and star players from the game.

Andrew Franks kicked a 27-yard field goal deep into overtime to help the Miami Dolphins beat AFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in Week 16. Franks had earlier converted from 55 yards as time expired to send the game into sudden death.

His clutch kicking has given the Dolphins a 10th win this season. Miami now controls its playoff fate ahead of Week 17. In fact, the Dolphins will clinch a postseason berth if the Denver Broncos lose to the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, the Bills have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Stopping the run was a problem for both the Dolphins and Bills at New Era Field in Week 16. Running backs Jay Ajayi and LeSean McCoy both went over 100 yards.

A game littered with big plays saw the Dolphins build a 14-0 lead thanks to touchdown runs from Ajayi and his backup Kenyan Drake. The latter reversed field to scamper around the outside on a 45-yard sprint to the end zone.

Buffalo’s answer was a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Not to be outdone by the Bills’ aerial pyrotechnics, Dolphins passer Matt Moore turned to in-form DeVante Parker.

The receiver took a short throw 56 yards to the house to restore Miami’s 14-point cushion. McCoy helped the Bills hit back with a 19-yard TD run, before Kenny Stills and ex-Dolphins tight end Charles Clay traded touchdown catches. The fourth quarter belonged to the Bills, with Dan Carpenter kicking a 28-yard field goal to bring them to within four before Clay struck again to snatch what looked like being the winning score from seven yards out.

But there was still time for Franks’ last-gasp clutch kick from distance. He set the stage for his own heroics in overtime.

Highlights

Three Stars

1. LeSean McCoy

The Dolphins have had trouble stuffing the run all season, despite owning a star-studded front four. Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, and the Dolphins defense were always going to struggle to keep McCoy under wraps. So it proved as No. 25 scampered his way to 128 yards on 24 carries. His best attempt led to his 19-yard, bob-and-weave masterpiece for six in the third quarter. It was the signature play of a vintage performance by McCoy.

2. Tyrod Taylor

For most of the season, it’s been McCoy or bust for the Bills offense. But Taylor deserves some love after throwing three touchdowns to rally his team. He got more than a little help from his receivers, with Watkins and Clay particularly outstanding. However, credit where it’s due, Taylor made the key throws when he had to.

3. Jay Ajayi

It’s not like the Bills didn’t know Ajayi was coming. After all, he rushed for 214 yards when the two teams last met in Week 7. This time he settled for “just” 206 on 32 carries. Ajayi scored from two yards out to start the scoring but saved his biggest play for overtime. It was his 57-yard burst inside the final four minutes of sudden death that gave Franks the chance to boot the winner. Ajayi spent the whole game expertly reading his blocks, making decisive cuts and showcasing the vision to always spot the right crease in the defense. There’s no doubt he’s benefitting from running behind a dominant offensive line, but Ajayi also deserves credit for the intelligent and aggressive way he’s running the football.

Next: Every NFL Team's Best Draft Pick Of All-Time

Next Week

Buffalo takes on the New York Jets while the Dolphins play the New England Patriots.