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Miami at Buffalo

Dolphins stuff Bills in Toronto, in first-place tie in AFC East

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

TORONTO -- This was a lot better for safety Yeremiah Bell and the Miami Dolphins than dodging snowballs at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

And maybe, it's the Dolphins -- because it certainly wasn't the unraveling Buffalo Bills -- who can lay claim to being Toronto's team this weekend.

Taking advantage of an indifferent Bills "home" crowd and an inept Buffalo offense, the resurgent Dolphins continued their remarkable turnaround from last year's 1-15 finish by scoring a decisive 16-3 victory on Sunday. In winning for the sixth time in seven games, the Dolphins (8-5) moved into a three-way tie for the AFC East lead with New York and New England.

"The story does keep getting better," Bell said. "This is something that's definitely sweet, going from one win to being in every game this year and having a legitimate chance to win. It's a great feeling."

The Bills might be benefiting from getting nearly $10 million a game -- nearly double what they bring in at Orchard Park -- for the eight-game series that runs through 2012. But they lost a decided home-field advantage.

The warm-weather Dolphins, 2-7 at Orchard Park in games played after Dec. 1, took advantage of the opportunity to play indoors at the Rogers Centre, where it was 68 degrees, as opposed to 15 outdoors. And in the stands, there was a large contingent of Dolphins fans wearing orange and aqua.

"It definitely didn't feel like an away game for us," Bell said. "The way we played up here today and just to look out in the stands, I think we did win over some fans."

The Bills (6-7), by comparison, made a terrible first impression in playing their first of five annual regular-season games in Toronto.

In falling all but mathematically out of playoff contention, Buffalo has lost six of seven, failed to score a touchdown in back-to-back games, and the meltdown has put coach Dick Jauron squarely on the hot seat.

Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon declined to discuss Jauron's status directly, but did refer to the team's slide as "unacceptable."

"We're extremely disappointed. It's unacceptable to be in this position after a 5-1 start," Brandon said. "This was a season in which we had to take the next step and nobody in this organization is happy."

Jauron is in the final year of his contract and coming off back-to-back 7-9 seasons. The team's in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season.

Chad Pennington efficiently picked apart the Bills, going 23-for-29 for 181 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Anthony Fasano. Pennington became the third Dolphin to reach 3,000 yards passing in a season and first since Jay Fiedler in 2001.

Dan Carpenter rounded out the scoring by hitting three of four field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder.

The Dolphins' defense did the rest in limiting the Bills to 163 yards offense while also holding an opponent without a touchdown for the second successive game following a 16-12 victory at St. Louis.

Then again, at the rate Buffalo's offense is stalling, it's a surprise it wasn't stopped at the border.

"It can't get much worse," receiver Lee Evans said. "We had no rhythm. It's definitely frustrating because we had opportunities. It's really hard to put into words."

J.P. Losman, starting in place of injured Trent Edwards (groin), was wildly inconsistent, finishing 13-for-27 for 123 yards and a costly interception that ended Buffalo's best scoring drive. It happened late in the third quarter when, facing first-and-goal from the 3, Losman underthrew a fade to Evans, and the pass was intercepted by Will Allen.

Rian Lindell hit a 40-yard field goal for Buffalo.

Miami running back Ricky Williams was happy to return to Toronto after he spent the 2006 season with the CFL Argonauts.

"It wasn't clear who the home team was, but that's nice for us," said Williams, who had 40 yards rushing, and had a touchdown run negated by a penalty. "I got kind of emotional during the national anthem. It's a beautiful song and I hadn't heard it for a while."

Notes

  • Dolphins LB Joey Porter had two sacks, upping his total to 16, two short of matching the team's single-season record.
  • Bills CB Leodis McKelvin had 56 kickoff return yards, giving him 1,233 on the season, surpassing Eric Moulds in 1996 for the most by a Buffalo rookie.
  • The Dolphins have won three consecutive road games for the first time since 2005, and are three games above .500 for the first time since going 10-6 to finish the 2001 season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Dolphins and Bills play at Toronto's Rogers Centre in the NFL's first regular season game in Canada.
 
The Dolphins and Bills play at Toronto's Rogers Centre in the NFL's first regular season game in Canada. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Sun. Dec. 7Final
Miami
(8-5)
760316
Buffalo
(6-7)
30003
MIA - Pass: C. Pennington (23-29, 181), Rec: D. Bess (9-74)
BUF - Pass: J. Losman (13-27, 123), Rec: J. Reed (5-58)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDAnthony Fasano, 20 Yd pass from Chad Pennington (Dan Carpenter kick is good), 6:48. Drive: 7 plays, 54 yards in 3:33.
FGRian Lindell 40 Yd, 2:41. Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in 4:07.
2ND QUARTER
FGDan Carpenter 50 Yd, 12:13. Drive: 8 plays, 38 yards in 5:28.
FGDan Carpenter 35 Yd, 0:21. Drive: 15 plays, 51 yards in 7:35.
3RD QUARTER
None
4TH QUARTER
FGDan Carpenter 27 Yd, 8:10. Drive: 9 plays, 30 yards in 5:10.
Players of the Game

J. Reed
Rec 5
Yds 58
Avg 11.6
TD 0

C. Pennington
Att 29
Comp 23
Yds 181
TD 1
 
Miami
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
C. Pennington23/2918110
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Brown1670011
R. Williams1140022
L. Polite3704
C. Pennington3002
T. Ginn Jr.1-20-2
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Bess974015
A. Fasano336120
D. Martin220018
R. Brown218015
T. Ginn Jr.118018
E. Wilford21008
L. Polite2304
R. Williams2203
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Losman13/2712301
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Losman553017
M. Lynch133107
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Reed558023
L. Evans32309
R. Parrish219011
S. Johnson114014
D. Schouman1505
M. Lynch1404
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
TB 23 Final
CAR 38
NE 24 Final
SEA 21
DAL 13 Final
PIT 20
STL 10 Final
ARI 34
NYJ 14 Final
SF 24
KC 17 Final
DEN 24
CLE 9 Final
TEN 28
PHI 20 Final
NYG 14
ATL 25 Final
NO 29
CIN 3 Final
IND 35
HOU 24 Final
GB 21
MIN 20 Final
DET 16
JAC 10 Final
CHI 23
WAS 10 Final
BAL 24
OAK 7 Final
SD 34