NFL Game Summary - Buffalo at Miami|
(Sunday, November 20th)
Final Score: Miami 35, Buffalo 8
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Fortunes certainly have changed for the Miami
Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.
The Dolphins continued to erase the memory of an 0-7 start with their third
straight win, completely dominating the struggling Bills in a 35-8 rout at Sun
Matt Moore threw for 160 yards with three touchdowns and Reggie Bush ran for a
score in the lopsided decision, while the Miami defense kept its opponent out
of the end zone for a third straight game.
"The defense was amazing today," said Bush.
The Dolphins (3-7) hadn't won three straight since capturing their last five
games of the 2008 season en route to a surprising division title. That was
Tony Sparano's first season at the helm, and despite this resurgence, this
very well could be his last year with the team.
Still, Miami has played extremely well the last three weeks. The Dolphins have
scored 86 points and yielded just 20, and the defense has not surrendered a
touchdown since the 5:58 mark of the October 30 loss to the New York Giants.
Buffalo (5-5), meanwhile, has gone in a completely opposite direction. The
Bills have been outscored 106-26 during a three-game skid and have also
dropped five of seven games after opening the campaign with three wins.
"I wish I could give you an explanation," said Bills coach Chan Gailey. "I
can't give you an explanation of how we played effectively earlier in the year
and we're not playing effectively now. We're not very good right now."
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 20-of-39 passes for 209 yards with a pair of
interceptions in defeat. Fred Jackson, who entered the contest leading the NFL
with 917 rushing yards, was held to just 17 yards on seven carries as the
Bills had to abandon the ground game after quickly falling behind. Jackson did
catch five balls for 50 yards before leaving with a leg injury in the third
The Bills managed field goals on their first and last possessions of the
opening half. Dave Rayner connected from 30 yards away just under five minutes
into the game and drilled a 56-yarder as time expired in the first 30 minutes.
In between, Miami dominated.
The Bills had five possessions between field goals -- two ending in
Fitzpatrick interceptions that led to a pair of Miami touchdowns and three
ending in threes-and out.
"They are giving us unbelievable field position," Moore said of the Miami
defense. "They are making it easy for us."
After Rayner's first kick, the Dolphins marched 87 yards in 12 plays for a
touchdown. Moore completed five passes for 70 yards during the series,
including a 19-yard strike to Brian Hartline to convert 3rd-and-12, and
finished it with a one-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony Fasano.
A 46-yard pass to fullback Charles Clay keyed the next Miami series, which
ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Bush for a 14-3 lead in the final
minute of the first quarter.
Nolan Carroll intercepted a tipped Fitzpatrick pass on the first play of the
second period and the Dolphins quickly converted with a short field. Moore
completed the five-play, 23-yard set with a 12-yard scoring strike to Clay.
Yeremiah Bell came up with Miami's second interception with just over two
minutes remaining in the half and returned the pick to the Buffalo four-yard
line. After Moore's pass to Brandon Marshall in the back of the end zone was
reversed by replay, he found Davone Bess from four yards away for a 28-3
cushion with 1:36 left in the half.
That gave Buffalo enough time to drive into Rayner's range for the long kick.
The 22-point halftime bulge was the largest for the Dolphins since December 3,
2000, when Miami built a 24-0 lead over Buffalo en route to a 33-6 win.
Miami's special teams then delivered five minutes into the third quarter when
Chris Clemons blocked a Brian Moorman punt and Lex Hilliard fell on the ball
in the end zone for a touchdown and a 35-3 advantage. It was Miami's first
blocked punt for a score since October 18, 1990 when Mark Higgs blocked and
returned one against New England.
The Bills appeared set to score with a drive to the Miami two-yard line late
in the third quarter, but the Dolphins made a goal line stand. After the
fourth-down pass fell incomplete early in the fourth quarter, the Buffalo
defense registered a safety when Miami rookie running back Daniel Thomas was
unable to get out of the end zone.
Each team went to backup quarterbacks in the fourth quarter, as former Dolphin
Tyler Thigpen replaced Fitzpatrick and former Bill J.P. Losman took over for
The Dolphins have a short week with a trip to Dallas on Thanksgiving, while
the Bills will try to keep their fading playoff hopes alive next Sunday
against the New York Jets.
Buffalo outgained Miami, 247-242, but the Bills were 0-for-12 on third down
and the Dolphins converted 5-of-12...The last two teams to start 0-7 and post
a three-game winning streak during the campaign were the 1978 Cardinals, who
finished 6-10, and the 1986 Colts, who won their last three to wind up
3-13...Moorman hadn't had a punt blocked since September of 2002 against the
New York Jets...The Dolphins rushed for 95 yards, as Thomas finished with 50
on 15 carries and Bush totaled 32 on 15 attempts...Miami kicker Dan Carpenter
was sidelined with a groin injury and Shayne Graham, just signed on Saturday,
performed his duties...Buffalo also lost receiver Donald Jones with an ankle
injury during the second quarter and cornerback Terrence McGee also left the
field with a knee injury on Bess' TD catch in the second...Miami has won five
of the last seven meetings with Buffalo. The teams will meet again on December
18 in Orchard Park.
11/20 18:39:27 ET