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Dolphins Bills Football

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones, right, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a 26-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Kyle Williams' last big play with the Buffalo Bills was his first NFL reception. 

Williams caught a nine-yard pass late in the fourth quarter to cap off the Bills' 42-17 win Sunday over the Miami Dolphins. 

Josh Allen accounted for five touchdowns — three passing, two rushing — and LeSean McCoy ran for a touchdown in the win. Zay Jones had 93 receiving yards and two scores to lead the Bills' receivers. 

While other players made plays, it was all about Williams, the Bills' longest-tenured player and a 2006 draft pick. He has been a mainstay along the defensive line. Against the Dolphins, he lined up in the backfield as a decoy on one of Allen's rushing touchdowns. On his usual side of the ball, he finished with three tackles (three solo) and a tackle for a loss. 

And then came the reception. He lined up as a fullback late in the game. Allen connected with him in the flat for a nine-yard gain. After the catch, Williams' teammates mobbed him on the sideline. 

The Bills finish the 2018 season with a 6-10 record. The Dolphins concluded the season with a 7-9 mark. 

Here is the Buffalo Bills Week 17 report card: 

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen showcased his dual threat ability in this blowout win over the Dolphins. He threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns and added 95 rushing yards and two more scores on the ground. One of his best plays came when he avoided a sack, scrambled to his right and found a wide open Chris Ivory for a 46-yard gain. That play set up the first of his two rushing touchdowns. He added a 30-yard touchdown run later in the game. 

Allen has a lot of promise. He showed why against the Dolphins. He was consistent with his arm and picked up big gains with his legs. If the Bills can bolster their offensive line heading into 2019, the offense could be dangerous with Allen at the helm. 

GradeA+

Running backs

LeSean McCoy had a forgettable 2018 campaign, but he scored a touchdown in the season finale. Ivory had the 46-yard reception and chipped in with 45 rushing yards. Most of the Bills' rushing production came from Allen. The offensive line woes had a major impact on the team's rushing attack this season. That's an area they need to improve on in 2019. 

Grade: C-

Wide receivers

Zay Jones led the Bills with six catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. He had a team-high nine targets in the victory. Robert Foster had four catches for 21 yards and a touchdown. With Foster and Jones, the Bills have a good one-two punch at receiver. Jason Croom has raw talent and could be a good tight end. He had two receptions for 32 yards, including a 26-yard gain. The Bills could use additional receiving threats, though. The lack of receiving depth hurt this team for much of the season. 

Grade: A

Offensive line

The Bills' pass blocking was OK. Allen was sacked once, but a lot of that is due to his ability to evade pass rushers. The run blocking was mediocre at best. There are some good pieces along the line to build off of, most notably Dion Dawkins at left tackle. But this unit needs a makeover heading into next year. 

Grade: C

Offensive MVPJosh Allen. Allen did it all Sunday. He threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 95 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. The season is over for the Bills, but fans have a lot to look forward next season. Allen has a lot of potential, especially with the right pieces around him. 


DEFENSE

Defensive line

A great performance by Kyle Williams and the defensive line. The Bills' pass rush was active against a weak Miami offensive line. Shaq Lawson was a force on the outside and inside. He had two sacks in the win. Jerry Hughes added a sack of his own. Williams, who has been a presence in the middle of the defensive line for more than a decade, had three tackles (three solo) and a tackle for a loss. The Bills will miss his leadership and his abilities as a run stuffer and pass rusher. Trent Murphy and Jordan Phillips had fumble recoveries for the Bills. 

Grade: A-

Linebackers

 
Grade: A

Defensive backs

Tre'Davious White had an interception before leaving the game with a head injury. Jordan Poyer was the team's second-leading tackler with nine tackles (eight solo) and a pass defended. Cornerback Levi Wallace had eight tackles (seven solo) and a pass defended. It was an OK year for the Bills' secondary. The team needs to solidify the cornerback position in the offseason. White is the team's unquestioned No. 1 corner. But who's No. 2? Once that question is settled, passing against this team will be even more difficult. 

Grade: A-

Defensive MVPKyle Williams. Tremaine Edmunds and Shaq Lawson deserve special shout-outs for their performances against the Dolphins. But it's Williams who gets the nod here for his outstanding career and contributions to the Bills. His presence will be missed. 


SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicking and punting

Steven Hauschka kicked six extra points and missed a field goal. He had a productive season for the Bills. Hopefully he gets more opportunities in 2019. 
 
Matt Darr won't be the Bills' long-term answer at punter. He averaged only 37 yards per punt and his longest was a 44-yarder. That's not going to cut it for the Bills. 

Grade: C+

Kick coverage and returns

The Bills' kick coverage and return unit will be an area worthy of attention in the offseason. Containing opposing returners and finding a reliable returner must be a priority. 

Grade: D

Special teams MVPNone. 


OTHER GRADES AND FACTS

Overall team performance

Win for Kyle, and the Bills did the job. Josh Allen had a big game, the defense forced a few turnovers and the Bills beat a division rival in the final game of the 2018 season. 

Grade: A+

Stats of the game

5. The number of total touchdowns scored by Josh Allen (three passing and two rushing) against the Dolphins. His dual-threat skills create problems for opposing defenses. 

4. The Bills forced four turnovers in the win over the Dolphins. Trent Murphy and Jordan Phillips had fumble recoveries. Tremaine Edmunds and Tre'Davious White chipped in with interceptions. 

7. Zay Jones finished his sophomore season with seven touchdown receptions, including five in December. Four of those touchdown catches came against the Dolphins. 

Hot take

Shaq Lawson could be a force for the Bills in 2019. McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are finding ways to get Lawson involved in the pass rush. He's made the most of those opportunities. He should be able to have more success with an expanded role next season. 

Next game

The Bills conclude the 2018 season with a 6-10 record. The 2019 season will kick off in September. 

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