Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel Explains Costly Delay Of Game Penalty

'There were compounding variables'


Jan 15, 2023

The Buffalo Bills didn’t cover their historic spread against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but they barely squeaked by with a victory thanks to a costly delay of game penalty late in the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins had an opportunity to knock off the No. 2 seeded Bills, driving with under three minutes remaining, trailing 34-31. Buffalo stuffed Miami running back Salvon Ahmed on third-and-1 to force a critical fourth down with only 3:26 remaining in the game.

The Dolphins were unable to get a play in on time, despite the referees resetting the play clock to aid them, and were called for a delay of game after 58 seconds had already come off the clock. An NFL play clock only lasts 40 seconds.

It was an embarrassing display for the Dolphins, which head coach Mike McDaniel explained postgame.

“There were compounding variables,” McDaniel told reporters, per team-provided video. “There was some crowd noise that had to do with mishearing the digits on the wristband. There was some issues within the huddle about communication and getting to the line of scrimmage. … The last (delay of game) in particular had to do with — whether it was officials or coaching — some communication that we had gotten the first down. …

“It was communicated to me from upstairs from the headset, I think. I was standing by an official. I had just gotten convicted information that it was a first down. So I don’t really know exactly who it was from. It’s probably the first time all year that it happened.”

The delay of game pushed Miami back 5 yards, setting rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson up to miss a throw on fourth-and-6 to essentially seal the game for Buffalo.

As you probably noticed through McDaniel’s statement, clock management was an issue all game for the Dolphins. Somehow, that didn’t end up mattering until their final drive, which was obviously the worst possible time.

Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images
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