Final

Bills 8

(5-5, 1-4 away)

Dolphins 35

(3-7, 2-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 20, 2011

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 3 3 0 28
MIA 14 14 7 035

Top Performers

Passing: R. Fitzpatrick (BUF) - 209 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Thomas (MIA) - 15 CAR, 50 YDS

Receiving: S. Chandler (BUF) - 5 REC, 71 YDS

Streaking Dolphins bury limping Bills as Fred Jackson leaves with leg injury

Associated Press

MIAMI -- The fiercest hits by Miami Dolphins defenders sent opposing helmets flying. The ball squirted loose a few times too, further evidence of the Buffalo Bills' once-promising season slipping away.

The Dolphins set up two touchdowns with interceptions and mounted a goal-line stand as their improbable midseason surge gained momentum Sunday when they drubbed Buffalo 35-8. Matt Moore threw for three scores.

After losing their first seven games, the Dolphins (3-7) have three consecutive victories for the first time since 2008, winning by a combined score of 86-20. An improving defense has led the turnaround by keeping the opposition out of the end zone for three straight games.

"You can see how good we can be," said safety Yeremiah Bell, who made an interception. "This is where we expected to be at the beginning of the season. It just took us awhile."

Heading the other direction are the Bills (5-5), who have been outscored 106-26 while losing three in a row.

"We're baffled as to what has happened," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "For the past three weeks, it has not been fun to play, and I'm sure it has not been fun to watch."

To make matters worse for the injury-riddled Bills, they lost NFL rushing leader Fred Jackson in the third quarter when he bruised his right calf. Receiver Donald Jones (left ankle) and cornerback Terrence McGee (left leg) were carted off the field in the second period.

The Dolphins, who came into the game tied for last in the league with four interceptions, twice picked off passes that deflected off receivers. Both turnovers led to touchdowns.

"I wouldn't want to play against our defense," Miami receiver Brandon Marshall said. "It seems like every time the ball was in the air, there was a big hit."

The fifth and final TD came on a blocked punt by Chris Clemons, which Lex Hilliard recovered on the goal line for a 35-6 lead. The score on a blocked punt was Miami's first since 1990.

The goal-line stand came midway through the second half, when Miami stopped the Bills four times after they had a first down at the 2.

The Dolphins scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and led 21-3 after 18 minutes. Moore threw little after that and finished 14 for 20 for 160 yards, with a passer rating of 133.3.

"Guys around me are making big plays and making it easy for the quarterback," Moore said. "It's such a good feeling."

Fitzpatrick, who has yet to win a game since signing a $59 million, six-year contract last month, was sacked twice and had a rating of 45.8. He has 12 turnovers in the past six games.

Jackson was held to 17 yards on seven carries. The Bills fumbled four times, and while they recovered them all, they went 0 for 14 on third- and fourth-down conversions.

"I don't know if I've ever been through that before, ever," coach Chan Gailey said. "When you're that bad, you're having a pitiful day."

By the third quarter, the Bills' ineptitude had become farcical. On one play, the wet ball slipped out of Fitzpatrick's hand as he prepared to pass, so he caught it and tried again, throwing a short completion.

The past three weeks, the Bills have totaled two touchdowns, and one came during garbage time.

Buffalo took the opening kickoff and drove for a field goal, then went 25 minutes without a first down. Bad field position hurt the Bills, who started eight possessions inside their 20.

Miami mounted an 87-yard drive on its first possession, capped by Moore's 1-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano.

The Dolphins forced a punt, then struck again. Moore's 46-yard pass to Charles Clay set up a 5-yard scoring run by Reggie Bush.

When Nolan Carroll intercepted a pass that slipped through the hands of Buffalo's Brad Smith, Miami was in business again at the Bills 23. Moore then threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Clay for the rookie's first career TD.

Late in the first half, Bell intercepted a pass that deflected off David Nelson and returned it to the Buffalo 4. Moore then hit Davone Bess with a 4-yard scoring pass for a 28-3 lead. The halftime point total was Miami's largest since 2002.

"This is nice for the guys," said coach Tony Sparano, whose team was a league laughingstock not long ago. "They're just worried about doing their job and trying to prove people wrong. They make me smile a little bit. I don't know that I want to show that, though. They'll think I'm getting soft."

Game notes


The Dolphins are the third NFL team to win three consecutive games at any point after starting a season 0-7. ... A streak of 735 punts without block by Buffalo's Brian Moorman ended. It was the third-longest such streak in NFL history. ... The Bills' Dave Rayner kicked a career-long 56-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
MIA
1st Downs1416
Passing 1st downs
108
Rushing 1st downs
27
1st downs from Penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
0-125-12
4th down efficiency
0-20-0
Total Plays6556
Total Yards247242
Yards per play3.84.3
Total Drives1412
Passing206147
Comp - Att
21-4414-20
Yards per pass
4.77.4
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks - Yards Lost
2-91-13
Rushing4195
Rushing Attempts
1935
Yards per rush
2.22.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-34-4
Penalties3-274-50
Turnovers20
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession28:5431:06

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpat...20/392095.4022-9
Thigpen1/561.2000-0
MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Moore14/201608.0301-13

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson7172.406
Fitzpat...7162.308
MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas15503.3012
Bush15322.1111

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Chandler57114.20316
Jackson55010.00265
MIARECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Clay46917.31464
Bush4348.50195

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
bufFG10:13Dave Rayner 30 Yd 30
miaTD03:28Anthony Fasano 1 Yd Pass From Matt Moore (Shayne Graham Kick) 37
miaTD00:58Reggie Bush 5 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 314
SECOND QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD12:45Charles Clay 12 Yd Pass From Matt Moore (Shayne Graham Kick) 321
miaTD01:36Davone Bess 4 Yd Pass From Matt Moore (Shayne Graham Kick) 328
bufFG00:00Dave Rayner 56 Yd 628
THIRD QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD10:08Lex Hilliard Recovered Blocked Punt In End Zone (Shayne Graham Kick) 635
FOURTH QUARTERBUFMIA
bufSF13:25Daniel Thomas Tackled By Kelvin Sheppard In End Zone 835

Research Notes

Lex Hillard blocked a punt for a TD for the Dolphins, he is the 5th player in franchise history to block a punt for a TD and the first since Mark Higgs in 1990.
NEXT LEVEL: Ryan Fitzpatrick completed only 42.9 percent of his passes and threw both of his interceptions when facing five or more pass rushers Sunday against the Dolphins. Entering Sunday, Fitzpatrick threw just two of his 12 interceptions against such pressure and completed 60.5 percent of his passes (6th best in the NFL).

ESPN Stats & Information