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Dolphins lose to Bills on controversial first down ruling in Wild Card round

We discuss the controversial ruling that ended the Dolphins and Bills Wild Card game.

Skylar Thompson #19 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The No. 2 Buffalo Bills are heading to the NFL Divisional round of the playoffs, while the No. 7 Miami Dolphins’ season is done. The Bills came in as huge favorites but watched an early 17-0 lead wither away and ended up having to mount a late comeback to secure the victory. The Dolphins suffered from horrible clock management of their own on their last possession, but an argument could have been made they deserved one final drive.

Buffalo was trying to run out the clock with Miami not having any timeouts left. There was enough game clock left, though, that the Bills still needed one more first down to ice the game. On third and seven, running back Devin Singletary took the ball left and pushed the pile toward the first down marker. Initially, the announcers were reacting that Buffalo had a fourth down decision to either punt or go for it in their own territory. The referees signaled a first down, and the play was reviewed. It didn’t look like Singletary ended up getting to the first down marker, but the play stood as the officials didn’t see enough evidence to overturn the call. Quarterback Josh Allen then took a knee on the ensuing first down play, and the game was over.