Grading the Miami Dolphins for their 34-31 victory over Buffalo (all or nothing edition)

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) records another 200-yard day against the Buffalo Bills. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) records another 200-yard day against the Buffalo Bills. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Quarterback

A week after his player of the week performance, Matt Moore came back to Earth, but were miracles really expected? Moore took a poor risk with that last-second interception in the end zone to end the first half. A field goal would have looked very good then — and even better when it was Bills 31, Dolphins 28.

Grade: C

Running backs

Can there be any doubt about the grade here? Jay Ajayi not only had 206 yards — his second 200-yard rushing day against the Bills — but was a workhorse of 32-carry proportions. We’ll assume the Jay Train was inspired by that train horn the Bills inexplicably kept blaring over the P.A. system.

Kenyan Drake made a beautiful adjustment that you might not expect of a rookie to produce his 45-yard TD run.

Damien Williams saw the fun Ajayi and Drake were having and got into the act with a 44-yard catch and run that further punctuated the nightmare the Bills were having with tackling and adjusting to backs changing direction. Williams nearly cost Miami a win by not getting out of bounds just before Andrew Franks’ 55-yard field goal.

Grade: A-plus

Receivers

A surprisingly quiet day by the wideouts considering the team amassed 494 yards. DeVante Parker went all Jarvis Landry on us to open the second half, bouncing off a tackle for a 56-yard touchdown reception to go up 21-7. Parker, Landry and Kenny Stills combined for 149 yards.

Grade: C

Offensive line

The Dolphins rushed for 261 yards and Matt Moore was not sacked. Could you want much more?

Grade: A

Defensive line

Tyrod Taylor had all day to survey the field on a flea flicker to the Miami 7 with 1:50 left that typified the day. Taylor threw for 329 yards and three TDs and rushed for 60 more. In addition, LeSean McCoy ran for 128 yards as the Bills chalked up 589 yards. In short, the Bills had their way with Vance Joseph’s crew.

Cameron Wake recorded a sack to total 11 1/2 for the season. Interesting fact: Wake’s 81 1/2 sacks move him past Jason Taylor for most sacks by a Dolphin through the first eight seasons with the team.

Grade: D

Linebackers

The Bills sliced through the heart of Miami’s defense for 272 rushing yards. There were flashes, including Neville Hewitt dropping Tyrod Taylor for a 6-yard loss in the red zone and containing Reggie Bush in OT thanks to contain by Andre Branch. But those plays were far too rare.

Grade: D

Defensive backs

Bills tight end Charles Clay scores his first TD against the Dolphins. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Bills tight end Charles Clay scores his first TD against the Dolphins. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Bad, bad day all the way around. S Michael Thomas was beaten one-on-one by ex-Dolphin Charles Clay for the 7-yard TD with 1:25 left, putting the Bills up 30-28. Xavien Howard gave up the TD from Tyron Taylor to Sammy Watkins, who gives the Dolphins fits all the time, but especially Sunday (seven catches, 154 yards). Bacarri Rambo appeared to be the one toasted by Watkins on a 53-yard reception. Then, Howard collided with Isa Abdul-Quddus — normally a sure tackler — as they both failed to corral Clay on an 18-yard TD reception.

Grade: D-minus

Special teams

Andrew Franks has been used so sparingly that when he is called upon, every kick is magnified. But none more so than that career-best 55-yarder to force overtime. (Unless you count that 27-yard chip shot to win it in OT, of course.) How unexpected was the 55-yarder after Franks had just doinked a 46-yard try that would have made it 31-21?

Matt Darr had a late 40-yard punt downed on the Buffalo 11 and another punt downed on the 4 as Bobby McCain went airborne to prevent a touchback.

Rookie Jakeem Grant had an important 38-yard kickoff return to set up Miami at its 46 after the Bills cut the deficit to 28-24 with 5:44

Grade: A-plus

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