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McGahee impressive in win over Dolphins

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Running back Willis McGahee showed
he's capable of being a starter. Linebacker Takeo Spikes showed he
could deliver on his victory vow.

Together, they sparked the Buffalo Bills' 20-13 victory over the
Miami Dolphins on Sunday in a game between the NFL's winless teams.

"Now we can get off that low horse we were on," said McGahee.
"It was a long time coming."

It was long time for McGahee, the 2003 first-round draft pick
who had 26 carries for 111 yards rushing in his first career start,
filling in for injured Travis Henry.

It was the former University of Miami star's first significant
contribution since reconstructive surgery on his left knee forced
him to miss his entire rookie season.

And it was a long time coming for the Bills (1-4), who ended a
seven-game losing streak dating back to last year.

Spikes, who ran back an interception 11 yards for a touchdown to
open the scoring, was happy because he saw this victory coming.

"It was a promise," Spikes said, referring to a vow he made
Wednesday that the Bills would provide their fans something to
cheer about. "I knew what we had. ... You couldn't have drawn this
up any better."

The win provided rookie coach Mike Mularkey his first career
victory, and came at the expense of a banged-up Dolphins team that
has lost six straight and is off to its worst start in franchise
history.

The mood was dour in the Miami locker room.

"The frustrating part is that we're the worst team in the NFL.
We are the jokes on Jay Leno," linebacker Zach Thomas said. "It's
a humbling game."

Miami's offense can take the blame, still in disarray after
Ricky Williams' abrupt departure on the eve of training camp. The
Dolphins have yet to score more than 13 points in a game. And
they've generated as many offensive touchdowns, four, as defenses
have scored against them.

Spikes' interception, stepping in front of a screen pass
intended for Rob Konrad, was the fourth time an opponent turned a
Dolphins turnover into a touchdown this season.

Jay Fiedler finished 12-of-23 for 136 yards and a 24-yard
touchdown pass to Derrius Thompson late in the second quarter.

It didn't even matter that Sammy Morris had a career day with 91
yards rushing, the best performance by a Dolphins running back this
season.

"To me it's almost pointless," said former Bills player
Morris, the fourth player to start at running back for Miami this
season. "The only stat I'm concerned about is the win-loss column.
We don't have any in the win column and it's pretty frustrating."

The Dolphins were held to 212 yards of offense, a mere 36 in the
second half.

With the game tied at 10, the Bills went ahead for good on Mark
Campbell's 5-yard reception midway through the third quarter.

The Dolphins appeared ready to answer on the ensuing possession,
when they had first-and-goal at the Bills 1. Miami instead went
backward. The drive ended when Fiedler was sacked for a second
straight time, forcing Miami to settle for Matt Bryant's 28-yard
field goal.

The Dolphins got the ball back once more, and the Bills closed
out the game with an 11-play, 93-yard drive that ran out the final
6:22.

This was the type of effort -- stout defense combined with an
efficient offense -- the Bills had been lacking in their previous
outings: three losses determined by three points or less, and three
times squandering fourth-quarter leads.

Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe finished 15-of-28 for 212 yards
passing, and was sacked only once.

"Winning is your best incentive, and the feeling in that locker
room is big," coach Mularkey said. "We have to continue on. We
have to claw our way out of a hole we've created. And this is a
good way to start."

Game notes
The win pleased Bills owner Ralph Wilson, coming on his
86th birthday and a week after he criticized the team's ball
control offense as boring. "Am I happy with smashmouth football?
Today, yes," Wilson said. ... A 30 mph wind out of the west was a
major factor. All the scoring through three quarters took place at
the east end of the field, and the wind knocked down Buffalo kicker
Rian Lindell's 43-yard field goal attempt, which barely even made
it to the goal line. Lindell hit a 43-yarder with the wind, and a
20-yarder into it. ... O.J. Simpson was spotted watching the game
inside a private suite.