Dolphin Coach – Thought we had 1st before delay flag on 4th and 1st

ORCHARD PARK, NY — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel offered an explanation for a critical game penalty delay his team took on the final offensive possession in a 34-31 playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Facing fourth and first from their own 48-yard line with 2:28 left in the game, the Dolphins failed to get a playoff in time and were flagged for game delay. The penalty pushed them back to fourth and sixth, and they were unable to convert a Skylar Thompson pass attempt to tight end Mike Gesicki.

McDaniel later said that he was informed that the Dolphins picked up a first down on the previous play, and that he didn’t have a fourth down call ready right away.

“There was some communication that we would have gotten first,” he said. “So then we put a group of players in for the first and tenth calls. Then it was made clear that, no, it was the fourth down… I had been given conflicting information that it was a first down; I’m not really sure about who it was. It’s probably the first time this year that’s happened. You’re trying to do your best. As it was, I thought we had a fourth and sixth chance that we couldn’t think of.

“You just have to adjust for all the variables out there, and I thought we had a shot at fourth and sixth as well.”

The Dolphins entered Sunday’s game as 14-point underdogs, but held a one-score lead midway through the third quarter. The Bills answered with 14 consecutive points for a 10-point lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Miami cut the deficit to three points on a Jeff Wilson Jr. touchdown run. with 11 minutes left and got the ball back with four minutes left with a chance to tie the ball or take the lead.

Thompson completed a 14-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle on second and fifteen to score third and first, but Salvon Ahmed’s rushing effort failed to result in a first down. McDaniel said he believed someone on his headset told him Ahmed had converted, and the coach said he called a play to reflect that before realizing the actual down and distance.

The Dolphins ran out of timeouts and couldn’t stop the clock after the Bills took over on downs.

Sunday’s game marked the Dolphins’ first playoff appearance since the 2016 season. The five-year playoff drought was the third-longest in franchise history.

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