Final

Dolphins 34

(7-3, 4-2 away)

Bills 27

(1-9, 0-6 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 25, 2001

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 7 3 0 2434
BUF 7 7 7 627

Fiedler has fourth fourth-quarter rally of season

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt kept his faith in Jay Fiedler, and the young quarterback delivered.

Chris Chambers

Chris Chambers, right, celebrates with Dedric Ward after scoring the winning touchdown for the Dolphins.

Bouncing back from a dreadful performance, Fiedler threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including a 32-yarder to Chris Chambers with 48 seconds remaining, to lift Miami over Buffalo 34-27 on Sunday.

"This was a big win for our team and myself," Fielder said. "The hardest part is keeping your focus on what needs to be done and not listening to your critics.

"I've made a lot of mistakes early in the year, but I've learned."

Fiedler was under scrutiny all week after throwing three interceptions in a 24-0 loss to the New York Jets. He bounced back against the Bills, finishing 18-for-31 for 262 yards with no interceptions.

Fiedler steered the Dolphins to 24 fourth-quarter points, overcoming a 21-10 deficit. His shining moment came on the game-winning drive, lofting a perfect touch pass to Chambers, who was covered by Buffalo's Ken Irvin along the left sideline.

How important is this win for the Dolphins?
It's important because the Dolphins need to keep pace with the Jets. But more than that, the way Miami won this game is huge -- coming back from 10 points down late in the fourth quarter. And for Jay Fiedler to lead them back, after all the pressure that's been on him, is huge for him and for the Dolphins.

We also saw the emergence of wide receiver Chris Chambers today, making big plays in key situations. But what's still hurting Miami is the lack of a running game.

ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

Chambers caught the ball at the 1 and fell backward into the end zone.

"Jay Fiedler came up here with the mindset that he was going to do anything that he possibly could to help this team win," Wannstedt said. "There is a fine line of having enough confidence to make a throw but not forcing anything. I think Jay went through that today and hopefully gained some confidence."

It was Fiedler's fourth fourth-quarter comeback of the season and sixth of his career. And it came at a critical juncture for the Dolphins (7-3), who regained a share of the AFC East lead with the idle Jets.

The Bills (1-9) are off to their worst start in 17 years, have lost five straight games overall and eight in a row at home -- matching their longest home losing streak since the 1983-84 seasons.

The only thing different about this loss is that Buffalo managed to squander a rare fourth-quarter lead.

After Olindo Mare's 39-yard field goal tied the game at 27 with 1:11 left, Buffalo's Nate Clements fumbled the ensuing kickoff return. Patrick Surtain recovered at the Bills' 42, setting up the game-winning score.

Then there was Buffalo kicker Jake Arians, who put the Dolphins in a position to tie the game when he missed a point-after attempt that left the score 27-17 with 8:16 remaining.

"It's frustrating to play that hard and play well in some places and not be able to come up with a win," Bills coach Gregg Williams said. "They came up with some big plays in the end, and we didn't make the big plays to counter that."

Williams was particularly critical of Arians, brought in to replace clutch veteran Steve Christie, who was released before the season.

"Jay said that he had a tough time spinning the ball," Williams said, referring to holder Jay Riemersma. "But I don't care how you spin it, you've got to kick it through."

It was Arians' first point-after miss of the season, but he's struggled on field goals, missing nine of 21 attempts.

Bills quarterback Alex Van Pelt showed poise in his second start in place of injured Rob Johnson. Van Pelt was 21-for-34 for 309 yards, a week after a career-high 316-yard effort against Seattle.

Eric Moulds, who complained during the week about not being used enough, caught six passes for 196 yards and scored two touchdowns, including 54-yarder on a remarkable one-handed grab.

"It's not really about me, it's about wins," Moulds said. "I'm so into winning that it hurts so much sometimes that I say things I shouldn't say. But I just want to be a part of winning."

Travis Henry scored on an 8-yard run, and Sheldon Jackson added a 1-yard TD reception for the Bills.

Oronde Gadsden led the Dolphins with 118 yards receiving, while Chambers had 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Mare had a 25-yard field goal, Lamar Smith a 1-yard TD run and Jed Weaver an 8-yard TD catch for the Dolphins.

Game notes
The Dolphins have won three straight against the Bills, Miami's longest streak against Buffalo since 1984-86. ... Dolphins LG Mark Dixon broke his right leg. Miami already was without center Tim Ruddy and tackles Brent Smith and Marcus Spriggs. ... Bills FB Larry Centers had five catches, passing Andre Rison for 12th on the career list with 745. ... Matt Turk's 77-yard punt tied Reggie Roby's Dolphins franchise record, set against Buffalo in 1987.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIABUF
bufTD3:20Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 70 yds, 0:00
76
buf3:20
Drive info: 1 plays, 70 yds, 0:00
77
FOURTH QUARTERMIABUF
miaTD0:55Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 42 yds, 0:10
3327
SECOND QUARTERMIABUF
miaFG8:49Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yds, 0:43
107
FOURTH QUARTERMIABUF
mia0:55
Drive info: 3 plays, 42 yds, 0:10
3427
FIRST QUARTERMIABUF
miaTD3:51Lamar Smith, 1 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yds, 3:33
60
THIRD QUARTERMIABUF
bufTD12:16Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 88 yds, 2:34
1020
FOURTH QUARTERMIABUF
miaFG1:54Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 1:40
2727
FIRST QUARTERMIABUF
mia3:51
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yds, 3:33
70
THIRD QUARTERMIABUF
buf12:16
Drive info: 6 plays, 88 yds, 2:34
1021
FOURTH QUARTERMIABUF
miaTD15:00Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 62 yds, 13:29
1621
miaTD4:53Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yds, 2:37
2327
mia15:00
Drive info: 7 plays, 62 yds, 13:29
1721
mia4:53
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yds, 2:37
2427
SECOND QUARTERMIABUF
bufTD0:10Touchdown
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 4:00
1013
FOURTH QUARTERMIABUF
bufTD9:09Travis Henry, 8 yd run
Drive info: 13 plays, 71 yds, 5:36
1727
SECOND QUARTERMIABUF
buf0:10
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 4:00
1014