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Bills jump Dolphins early for 24-16 win

Posted Dec 17, 2017

The Bills put up points early en route to a 24-16 win over the Dolphins.

Location: New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY

Regular season records: Buffalo (8-6), Miami (6-8)

In a nutshell:
For the first time this season the Bills scored a touchdown on their opening drive. The early lead helped propel Buffalo to a 15-point halftime advantage in a game in which they would never trail. The offense reached the end zone on their first three red zone possessions, and the defense got a pair of interceptions in the third quarter off Jay Cutler. The combination proved more than enough as the Bills won without any major threat from Miami, 24-16.

LeSean McCoy again carried the offense with almost 100 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns, one rushing, one receiving. He went over 10-thousand rushing yards for his career in the first half.

Tyrod Taylor chipped in with a rushing and passing touchdown as he continued his string of personal success against the Dolphins. He went 17-29 passing for 224 yards. He also ran for 43 on five carries.

The Dolphins scored a late field goal with under a minute to play to make it a one-score game, and recovered the ensuing onsides kick. But on the first play after getting the onsides kick, Jay Cutler’s pass was picked off by Tre’Davious White to seal the victory.  

Buffalo improved to 8-6 and remains in the AFC playoff hunt for a Wild Card berth.

How it went down:
-For the first time this season the Bills put a touchdown on the board on their opening possession driving 81 yards on 10 plays before LeSean McCoy took a four-yard run into the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the opening quarter.

-Miami cut the lead to four with a field goal drive late in the first quarter. Cody Parkey hit from 28 yards away to make it a 7-3 ball game.

-The Dolphins would tack on another field goal drive with Parkey hitting from 41 yards out to cut the Bills lead to one (7-6) with nine minutes left in the half.

-The Bills would respond with an eight-play 75-yard touchdown culminating in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to LeSean McCoy to make it 14-6 Buffalo with six minutes to play in the second quarter.

-Buffalo got one more touchdown on the board before the half when Tyrod Taylor ran one in from nine yards out to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive for a 21-6 advantage with 40 seconds left in the half.

-Stephen Hauschka pushed Buffalo’s lead to 24-6 with a 34-yard field goal to finish a five-play drive that was provided by a Shareece Wright interception with five minutes left in the third quarter.

-After getting a fresh set of downs on the one-yard line after an Adolphus Washington unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Kenyan Drake lunged into the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run to make it an 11-point game with eight minutes left in the game.

-Miami staged a late scoring drive, but could only manage a field goal with under a minute to go. The 26-yard field goal was Parkey’s third successful kick of the game and made it a once-score game.

Subplots:
-With 165 passing yards in the first half, Tyrod Taylor now has the third-most passing yards for a Bills quarterback in his first three seasons with the team, passing Ryan Fitzpatrick (8,254). He only trails Drew Bledsoe (10, 151) and Jim Kelly (9,771).

-LeSean McCoy went over the 10-thousand-yard rushing mark for his career in the game. He also reached 80 career touchdowns as he had a rushing and receiving touchdown in the victory. McCoy is the second active player with 80 touchdowns, 9,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards joining Frank Gore.

-With his nine-yard touchdown run, Tyrod Taylor recorded his 10th game with a rushing and passing touchdown. He’s the third quarterback in the NFL to achieve the feat in 10 games since 2015 joining Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins.

-With his 16-yard touchdown pass to LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor became the sixth Bills quarterback to throw 50 touchdown passes for the franchise joining Jim Kelly, Joe Ferguson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jack Kemp and Drew Bledsoe.

-For the first time this season the Bills scored a touchdown on their opening possession. The last time they did it was Nov. 20th, 2016 against Cincinnati. That drive was also the first time this season in which they scored a touchdown on a drive that began inside their own 20-yard line. They had gone 0-for-31 on such opportunities this season prior to that scoring drive.

-Kelvin Benjamin was active for Sunday’s game, but had little in the way of production. It was clear that Benjamin was not 100 percent as he limped off the field after one play in the first half.

-Buffalo’s defense made three second-half interceptions off Jay Cutler, with Jordan Poyer and Shareece Wright posting takeaways in the third quarter and Tre’Davious White getting one at the end to seal the game. For White it was his third interception in his last four games.   

-E.J. Gaines suffered a knee injury in the third quarter and did not return.

-Inactive for Buffalo on Sunday were John Miller, Breon Borders, Conor McDermott, Mike Tolbert, Nate Peterman, Khari Lee and Brandon Reilly.

Up next:
The Bills travel to New England to take on the Patriots on Christmas Eve. Kickoff is set for 1 pm. 


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