Bills look to inflict more playoff misery on Tagovailoa-deprived Dolphins

By Sports Desk January 13, 2023

The Miami Dolphins are looking for a first playoff victory since 2000 when they travel to face the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's Wild Card clash, where two quarterbacks will be the talk of the town.

While the Bills will look towards Josh Allen, who has thrown just one interception in 228 career passing attempts in the postseason (0.4 interception rate, the lowest in NFL playoff history among those with a minimum 200 attempts), the Dolphins will be hoping to get by without Tua Tagovailoa.

Miami head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed ahead of the game that Tagovailoa, who has not featured since Christmas Day, remains unavailable due to concussion – an issue that has plagued a turbulent season for the Dolphins.

With Tagovailoa leading the offense, the Dolphins are 8-4 in games he has finished and 1-4 without him, while a passer rating of 105.5 leads the NFL, ahead of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, and leading MVP candidate, Patrick Mahomes.

In Tagovailoa's absence, the Dolphins face a tough test in their bid to end a streak of four consecutive losses in the playoffs and will need Tyreek Hill to step up in their first postseason appearance since the 2016 season.

Hill smashed the franchise record for receiving yards this season, tallying 1,710 yards and becoming the first Dolphins player to register 1,400 receiving yards for the season, the next closest being Mark Clayton in 1984 with 1,389 yards.

The Dolphins' big worries for Sunday's clash will be Tagovailoa's absence and a lack of playoff experience, a complete contrast to the Bills, who have seen Allen continue to grow and have reached the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.

Only Mahomes (41) has thrown more touchdown passes than Allen (35) this season, though a tally of 14 interceptions is the joint next highest in the NFL behind Davis Mills and Dak Prescott (both 15).

Allen has thrown only one interception in his playoff history, however, with 14 touchdowns in the postseason, and averaged 10.3 yards per attempt in the 2021 playoffs – something the Bills will hope he can repeat this year.

A close game could be on the cards, though, with the Bills overcoming the Dolphins by just a three-point margin less than a month ago with a 32-29 victory in Buffalo, while the reverse clash in Week 3 saw Miami victorious 21-19.

That win was a significant one for the Dolphins, preventing a fourth consecutive series streak for Buffalo and standing as only the second win for Miami in the last 12 meetings.

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