Marcel Louis-Jacques, ESPN 63d

Bills' offense wakes up, keeps playoff hopes on track

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- If there's ever a defense to help your offense break out of a slump, it's the one the Buffalo Bills faced in Miami on Sunday.

After failing to break 300 total yards in two of their past three games, the Bills collected a season-high 424 yards of offense in their 37-20 victory against the Dolphins, reaching a season high in scoring, as well. The win gave the Bills their fourth road win of the season after winning just five such games over the previous two seasons combined.

It also improved their record to 7-3, which keeps them in the driver's seat for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots, one game ahead of a crowded field. It was a much-needed win for Buffalo, which will face Denver's fourth-ranked defense next week before matching up with the NFL's top two offenses -- Dallas and Baltimore -- in the following weeks.

Describe the game in two words: Efficient offense. Sean McDermott said the Bills need to score more, and score they did. Six of Buffalo's first eight drives ended in points.

Pivotal play: The Bills held a 23-14 lead at halftime, but the Dolphins had built a decent amount of momentum in the second quarter, scoring on a 68-yard drive before recovering an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. But the onside recovery was not the pivotal play; on the first play of the drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Allen Hurns on a 20-yard catch-and-run, in which Hurns took several steps before fumbling the ball. The play was originally ruled an incomplete pass, but that was overturned after a successful challenge by McDermott. Buffalo drove 75 yards in six plays after recovering the fumble, eventually scoring on a 23-yard pass from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox.

QB breakdown: No, he didn't throw for 300 yards, but Allen did lead a Bills offense that played perhaps its best game of the season. For the fifth consecutive game, the second-year quarterback played risk-averse football but this time with an added element -- fearlessness. His 40-yard touchdown pass to John Brown was rifled into the soft spot of Miami's Cover 2 zone, and he threaded the needle again on a 9-yard touchdown pass in which Brown had under 2 yards of separation from the nearest defender, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Allen also added 57 yards and another score on the ground. The four-touchdown performance was Allen's best game of the season and arguably the best of his career.

Sell on a breakout performance: Buffalo racked up a season-high seven sacks Sunday, including one by each of its interior defensive linemen -- Jordan Phillips, Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver and newcomer Corey Liuget. That being said, the Dolphins had given up the third-most sacks in the NFL and Buffalo's defense ranked 20th in sacks entering Week 11. The Bills could repeat the performance next week against the Broncos (eighth most sacks allowed) but might have trouble applying pressure in the following weeks against the Cowboys (32nd), Ravens (22nd), Steelers (30th) and Patriots (28th).

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