Dolphins QB Skylar Thompson might not have grabbed the headlines like fellow seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy did in the wild-card round, but he won't soon forget Sunday's near-miss in Buffalo.
"It was really fun," Thompson told reporters after the 34-31 defeat. "This is every kid's dream to play in an atmosphere like this...and I did take some time to soak that in today," he added.
The Dolphins stormed back from a 17-0 deficit, even taking a brief lead in the third quarter before coming up just short in the end.
MORE: Bills edge past Dolphins, advance to divisional round
"Walking into this game, nobody gave us a chance at all," Thompson said.
Skylar Thompson: "This is every kid's dream to play in an atmosphere like this and have this opportunity." pic.twitter.com/ZXHSNr7seb— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 15, 2023
The Bills entered the game favored by two touchdowns but needed to scratch and claw their way to the victory over their division rival. Thompson finished 18-of-45 for 220 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
While he made his share of mistakes, including costly turnovers, Thompson was the victim of some early drops and exceeded most expectations after an ugly performance against the Jets in Week 18.
MORE: Who is Skylar Thompson? Meet the Dolphins QB replacing Tua Tagovailoa vs. Bills
Cameras caught Thompson's father celebrating the Dolphins' comeback. He drove all the way from Missouri to Buffalo to see his son make his playoff debut.
Skylar Thompson's dad after the @MiamiDolphins tied it up against the Bills ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xwRdQSJAAb— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 15, 2023
After the game, Thompson had an eye toward the future — a future he may be a part of.
"It'll be important to remember this feeling that we have right now in this offseason and get to work," Thompson said.
Where Thompson fits into the Dolphins' plans in 2023 isn't clear. In fact, the Dolphins' plans for 2023 aren't entirely clear.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Tua Tagovailoa is expected to continue on as Miami's starter next season.
The bigger question is what happens if Tagovailoa suffers another concussion after spending extended time in concussion protocol twice this season. The possibility of another head injury makes the backup role behind Tagovailoa, assuming he does return, critically important.
MORE: Tua Tagovailoa injury history: A complete timeline of injuries for Dolphins QB
Could Thompson become the direct backup to Tagovailoa in 2023? That role belonged to Teddy Bridgewater this season, but Thompson looked capable and confident in a tough environment in Buffalo on Sunday. With Tagovailoa's concussion history, however, a more proven quarterback could be the safer option.
Of course, last year's unpredictable offseason around the league tells us not to take the report of Tagovailoa's return with absolute certainty.