Buffalo defense stifles Miami in 19-14 victory
By John Wawrow ,AP
November 17, 2012, 12:04 am TWN
ORCHARD PARK, New York -- Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills high-priced defense finally flexed its collective muscle, stifling the Miami Dolphins in a 19-14 victory Thursday.
Safety Jairus Byrd forced a fumble and had an interception, while Bryan Scott sealed the victory with the team's second interception to end the Dolphins' last-gasp drive in the final minute. Williams had one of three sacks for a Buffalo defense that limited the Dolphins to 184 yards and 16 first downs.
That more than made up for an offense that lacked finish. Rian Lindell hit four field goals, including a 42-yarder, as Buffalo failed to score an offensive touchdown despite four trips inside the Dolphins 20.
Leodis McKelvin opened the scoring after 90 seconds by returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in a game the Bills never trailed.
The Bills (4-6) snapped a three-game losing streak and won for only the second time in seven games to stay on the fringes of the American Football Conference playoff hunt. Buffalo also ended several other inglorious skids, by beating a division rival for the first time in nine meetings, and snapping an 11-game prime-time drought that dated to 2001.
“It was definitely a must win,” Williams said. “With the way things turned out earlier in the season, we've got to come out and play like it's the playoffs. And we've got to make plays and we've got to finish. It got close there at the end, but I'm glad we came out with it.”
Williams was referring to how the Dolphins cut the Bills lead to 19-14 with 8:42 left when Ryan Tannehill hit Davone Bess for a 2-yard touchdown. That was as close as they got, as their final two drives ended with the rookie throwing interceptions.
Marcus Thigpen scored on a 96-yard kickoff return and Davone Bess had a 2-yard touchdown catch for Miami (4-6), which has lost three straight.