The Buffalo Bills edged out the Miami Dolphins 34-31 in Sunday’s AFC wild-card matchup between division foes, setting up a rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks after the last game between the two teams was canceled following the on-field collapse of Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
Hamlin, who was discharged from a Buffalo hospital Wednesday after being transferred from the Cincinnati hospital where he was being treated after suffering cardiac arrest mid-game on Jan. 2, tweeted that he was watching the game from home.
“My heart is with my guys as they compete today!” Hamling wrote. “Supporting from home as I focus on my recovery. Nothing I want more than to be out there with them! LFG #BillsMafia.”
A person with direct knowledge of the player’s schedule had told The Associated Press on Sunday that Hamlin planned to attend the game in person. He later said those “plans may have changed.”
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because Hamlin has kept his schedule and recovery private since being released from a Buffalo hospital.
Hamlin visited teammates at the Bills’ stadium on Saturday but has not been seen in public since being rushed off the field in Cincinnati in an ambulance on Jan. 2. He spent more than a week in the hospital, much of the time in critical condition.
On Sunday, Cole Beasley scored the go-ahead touchdown with a 6-yard catch, and Gabe Davis extended the lead to 34-24 with a 23-yard TD reception in a game where Buffalo squandered an early 17-0 lead.
The Bills defense, which forced six punts and two turnovers, then held on to secure the win when Miami turned the ball over on downs on its final possession.
Rookie Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson’s pass on fourth-and-6 went just off the fingertips of tight end Mike Gesicki with 2: 22 remaining.
Buffalo was able to run out the clock when Devin Singletary bulled his way for a 7-yard gain to convert a third-and-7.
It was a sloppy game played between two division rivals, and the outcome fitting after Miami and Buffalo split their regular-season series in games decided by a combined five points. The Dolphins beat Buffalo 21-19 at Miami in September, with the Bills rallying to beat Miami 32-29 last month.
Buffalo’s Josh Allen finished 23 of 39 for 352 yards and three TDs, but also threw two interceptions, which resulted in the Dolphins scoring 10 points. He also lost a fumble while being sacked by Eric Rowe, with Zach Sieler recovering the ball and returning it 5 yards for a touchdown to put Miami ahead 24-20, just 61 seconds into the third quarter.
“It’s a one-week season, that’s it,” Allen said. “All that matters is surviving and advancing.”
As the AFC’s second seed, Buffalo advances to host either the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals following their victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.
Hamlin was with the team in spirit, live-tweeting during the game from home, where he continues to recover.
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