NFL Nation: Bufalo Bills

Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 24, Bills 10

December, 23, 2012
12/23/12
4:26
PM ET

MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

What it means: It means Miami improved to 7-8 and avoided a season sweep against Buffalo. The Dolphins lost their chance to compete for a wild-card spot in the final week of the season after the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10. Still, Miami has a chance to finish at .500, which is an accomplishment for this rebuilding team. Meanwhile, the Bills fell to 5-10 and cemented their third consecutive double-digit loss season under head coach Chan Gailey, whose future remains uncertain. Gailey is 15-32 as coach of the Bills.

Sloppy Bills: Another bad sign for Gailey is how sloppy the Bills continue to look. Buffalo had three turnovers, 11 penalties for 93 yards and poor special teams play. Bills players must take some ownership for what happens on the field. But the Bills have looked very undisciplined. They have been outscored 74-27 the past two weeks.

Bush's trio: Miami starting tailback Reggie Bush made a strong case to return next year. The pending free agent scored three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving) and had 107 total yards. Dolphins rookie tailback Lamar Miller also rushed for 73 yards and could be Bush’s replacement if the price tag is too high.

Key injuries: Both Miami and Buffalo suffered injuries in this rivalry game. For Buffalo, starting tight end Scott Chandler and fullback Dorin Dickerson were both knocked out of the game and didn't return. Chandler and Dickerson were carted off the field and could be lost for the season. Miami lost starting cornerback Sean Smith in the third quarter with a leg injury and he didn't return.

What's next: The Bills, who will be home for the playoffs for the 13th consecutive year, will host the New York Jets to wrap up their season. The Dolphins will travel to play their regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.
The AFC East is in a four-way logjam at the top of the latest NFL Power Rankings. Obviously, the reigning AFC champion New England Patriots are still the favorites in the division. But the No. 2 team is a heated debate.

Earlier today, the AFC East blog ranked the Miami Dolphins currently as the second-best team in the division. ESPN’s Power Rankings panel agreed. Miami is the only division team on a two-game winning streak.

Here are ESPN.com’s Power Rankings in the AFC East entering Week 7:
Overall, the division didn’t get much respect this week. Three of the four teams in the AFC East are ranked in the bottom half of the league.

The Bills have a chance to pad their record and improve to 4-3 when they host the Tennessee Titans Sunday. The Patriots will host the Jets in a big division game, and the Dolphins are on a bye week.

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