MIAMI, F.L.- Football, like all team sports, is a series of connected events. Part luck, part skill and comprised entirely of "what ifs."
You can question an outcome all you want, but what it comes down to is a handful of "big" plays. Fortunately for the Bills, they were on the winning side of them en route to a 23-21 victory in Miami.
Fred Jackson's touchdown run in the first quarter to give the Bills a 14-0 lead? Naw. Dolphins eventually took the lead, so it's forgotten.
Mario Williams and Kiko Alonso's back-to-back plays to get the Bills the ball late in the fourth quarter? Nope. Bills didn't turn the defensive stand into points.
So, what were the big plays?
1) Dolphins 21, Bills 20. 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Miami ball. Mario Williams sacks Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the second time in the game and forces a fumble. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams recovers and the Bills get the ball at the Miami 34-yard line. Visions of a game-winning field goal are now in sight. But, the Bills have to move the ball and milk the clock.
2) Same score. 2:37 left. 3rd and 4 for the Bills at the Miami 28. Fred Jackson gets the carry and nearly gets stopped short of the first down. Instead, he summons his inner Katy Perry and roars his way 10 yards to the Miami 18. First down Bills. With a fresh set of downs, Buffalo can milk the clock before kicking the go-ahead field goal.
3) Bills 23, Dolphins 21. 38 seconds left. Bills kicker Dan Carpenter drills a 31-yard field goal to give Buffalo the lead. The kicker (pun intended): Carpenter was released by the Dolphins in August. He made all three field goals he attempted as the Bills hang on to win.