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Bills never trail in workmanlike 29-10 win over Dolphins


Final Score: **Bills 29 – Dolphins 10

Location: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

W-L records: Buffalo (2-0); Miami (1-1)

In a Nutshell:
On a day when Bills' founder and Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson's name was rededicated in gold on the Wall of Fame, Buffalo turned in a performance that was near letter perfect in a 19-point win over Miami.

The Bills couldn't find the end zone early, but it didn't matter as Buffalo's stifled the Miami offense in the first half and the offense posted field goals on three of their first four possessions for a 9-0 lead at the half. Miami's offense had trouble finding traction in the first half as their first five possessions went nowhere with the Dolphins going 0-for-5 on third down.

It wasn't until the first drive of the second half that Miami put points on the board thanks to a 34-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis (9-3).

But Buffalo's kick return unit then busted a big play as C.J. Spiller with some help from his blockers went 102 yards for a touchdown to put the Bills up by 13 (16-3). Though the Dolphins responded with a touchdown drive of their own to make 16-10 midway through the third quarter, it was as close as they would come.

The Bills scored the last 13 points of the game with Sammy Watkins scoring his first touchdown as a Bill on a 12-yard catch and run (23-10), and Dan Carpenter capped the scoring with his fourth and fifth field goals of the day to cap the scoring in the fourth quarter (29-10) giving the Bills a 2-0 start to the season for the first time since 2011.

How it went down:
--After punting away their opening possession the Bills went on a 10-play drive that stalled in the red zone. It led to a short 27-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter with four minutes left in the opening quarter

--Buffalo staged another field goal drive before the first quarter was over. Following a blocked punt by Boobie Dixon, the Bills had a drive start at the Miami 31. Scott Chandler's 22-yard catch setting up 1st-and-goal, but again the drive could not find the end zone. Carpenter again hit from 27 yards away (6-0).

--A third straight field goal drive gave Buffalo a nine-point lead as Carpenter hit from 31 yards out to cap a six-play 40-yard drive with 10 minutes left in the half.

Photos of the week 2 matchup between the Bills and the Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

--Miami's offense had trouble moving the ball for most of the first half. The Dolphins managed just 33 total net yards on their first five possessions.

--The Dolphins didn't get on the scoreboard until 9:35 left in the third quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis.

--C.J. Spiller boosted Buffalo's lead to 13 with a 102-yard kick return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

--Miami responded with their first touchdown of the day when Ryan Tannehill got help on a one-handed grab by Mike Wallace for a seven-yard scoring play with 3:15 left in the third (16-10).

 --Sammy Watkins on his sixth catch of the day converted a 3rd-and-6 from the Miami 12 into a touchdown on a crossing route. Watkins stretched for the pylon as he was shoved out of bounds to score at the end of the third quarter (23-10).

--Dan Carpenter hit his fourth field goal of the game with 10 minutes left and followed with his fifth of the game with under two minutes to cap the scoring.

Stat lines
--In the first half of Sunday's game the Bills took Miami QB Ryan Tannehill down three times for sacks. Tannehill was sacked a total of four times in the game.

--EJ Manuel finished the day 16 for 26 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown good for a passer rating of 98.6.  

--Sammy Watkins had eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. He became the first rookie receiver for the Bills to post a 100-yard receiving day since Lee Evans did it against Cincinnati on Dec. 19, 2004.

--Corey Graham turned in another strong day at cornerback with 10 tackles and three pass breakups.

--Preston Brown led the team with 12 tackles.

--The Bills made it a point to get Sammy Watkins involved early. By halftime he had five catches for 89 yards, but it was clear his ailing ribs were still very tender as he stepped out for plays here and there.

--Boobie Dixon blocked a first quarter punt marking the first blocked punt for the Bills since Sept. 17, 2003 when Coy Wire blocked a punt against the Dolphins.

--Corey Graham and Stephon Gilmore were the starting cornerbacks Sunday, but Leodis McKelvin rotated in during the game, replacing both Gilmore and Graham for series. McKelvin recorded his first interception of the season with 10 seconds left in the game.

--Buffalo's defensive linemen had three batted passes in the game for incompletions.

--Miami RB Knowshon Moreno left the game after his first carry with an elbow injury and did not return.

--Dan Carpenter, coming off an 11-point day in Week 1, had 17 points in the victory with five field goals and a pair of extra points.

CB Ross Cockrell, RB Bryce Brown, S Jonathan Meeks, LB Keith Rivers, G Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, TE Lee Smith.

Up Next:
The Bills will host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Sept. 21 at 1 p.m.

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