Buffalo Bills safety Dean Marlowe played a big role in his team’s 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins in their January 15 playoff game, snagging an interception that put the Bills in position to score and extend an early lead.
The Bills were leading 7-0 at the time, and after the turnover marched down a shortened field to score a second touchdown. The cushion turned out to be critical later on, as the Dolphins erased a 17-0 deficit and the Bills hung on to win by a field goal.
But as Marlowe admitted to reporters after the game, the interception would have never happened if he had been in the right place on the play.
Dean Marlowe Admits ‘Mistake’ on Key Play for Bills
Marlowe’s interception came halfway through the first quarter, with the Dolphins facing a 2nd-and-8 from their own 27-yard line. Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson ran a play-action and rolled out, throwing toward the sideline. Marlowe stepped in front of the pass, intercepting the ball and returning it to the 20-yard line.
Thompson appeared to be surprised that Marlowe was in the passing lane, and the Bills safety admitted after the game that he wasn’t supposed to be there.
“Schematically, I wasn’t in the right position, to be honest,” Marlowe told reporters after the game. “I knew I messed up, but I can only try to make the best out of the situation and think my instincts kinda kicked in to get back where I needed to be. You know, I quickly seen him throw the ball and I just put my hands up and grabbed it.”
Marlowe admitted that he didn’t get in too much trouble with his coaches for missing his assignment, as they were mostly just grateful for the big play.
“Man, they just say, ‘you see ball, you get ball,’” Marlow said laughing. “I’m living right, gotta be living right. Just for me to be schematically not in the right position but for me to kinda have a panic mode and get back and make a play, you know hey, if you’re not in the right position you better make a play. You better make it and I made it.”
Marlowe Stepping into Big Role for the Bills
Marlowe, who played for the Bills between 2018 and 2020, returned to the team at this season’s trade deadline in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. He has been pressed into duty after second-year safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest in the team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was hospitalized for nine days, landing on injured reserve.
After Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, Marlowe said he believes Buffalo’s defense will be the key to advancing in the playoffs.
“It starts during the week, man,” Marlowe said. “We make sure we play as one heartbeat and when things go wrong… we say in the defensive room that our team is led by our defense. Any team that has a strong defense, gives themselves a chance to win a ballgame. So, we just told each other we’ve got to get as many takeaways as possible and you know we did a good job.”