Bills hold on for playoff win as Damar Hamlin cheers on home team

Bills hold on for playoff win as Damar Hamlin cheers on home team

Bills hold on for playoff win as Damar Hamlin cheers on home team

The Buffalo Bills edged the Miami Dolphins 34-31 in Sunday’s AFC wildcard game between the division foes, setting up a potential rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks after the cancellation of the last game between the two teams following the collapse on the field of Bills safety Damar Hamlin.

Hamlin, who was discharged from a hospital in Buffalo Wednesday after being transferred from Cincinnati Hospital where he was being treated after suffering a mid-game cardiac arrest on January 2, tweeted that he was watching the game from home.

“My heart is with my guys as they compete today!” Hamling wrote. “Support from home as I focus on my recovery. I want nothing more than to be out there with them! LFG #BillsMafia.”

A person with direct knowledge of the player’s schedule 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 his teammates at Bills Stadium on Saturday but has not been seen in public since being evacuated from the field in Cincinnati in an ambulance on January 2. He spent more than a week in hospital, most of the time in critical condition.

On Sunday, Cole Beasley scored the 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 a 17-0 lead.

The Bills defense, which forced six punts and two turnovers, then held on to secure the victory when Miami turned the ball over on its final possession.

Rookie Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson’s pass to fourth-and-six went right at the fingertips of tight end Mike Gesicki with 2:22 left.

Buffalo managed to run out of time when Devin Singletary blasted his way in for a 7-yard gain to convert a third-and-7.

It was a sloppy game played between two division rivals, and the result came after Miami and Buffalo split their regular-season series into games decided by a combined five points. The Dolphins beat Buffalo 21-19 in Miami in September, with the Bills rallying to beat Miami 32-29 last month.

Buffalo’s Josh Allen was 23 of 39 for 352 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions, giving the Dolphins 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 all,” Allen said. “All that matters is to survive and move on.”

As the AFC’s second seed, Buffalo advances to host either the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals or the fourth-seeded Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round. Their matchup will be determined after the Bengals host Baltimore on Sunday night.

Hamlin was with the team in spirit, live tweeting during the game from his home, where he continues to recover.

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