Final

Bills 42

(6-6, 2-4 away)

Dolphins 32

(2-10, 1-5 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 5, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 14 7 7 1442
MIA 21 3 0 832

Bills force seven turnovers in victory over Miami

MIAMI (AP) -- Rookie Lee Evans made the biggest catch for the Buffalo Bills, and defensive tackle Pat Williams came up with a nice grab, too.

Evans' 69-yard touchdown reception capped a comeback Sunday by the Bills, who forced seven turnovers, including Williams' lumbering interception return for a touchdown to clinch a 42-32 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Bills at Dolphins: Is the Bills' recent success a sign that Mike Mularkey's offense is finally working?

Mularkey has an offensive philosophy that he wants to get out there, but like all coaches he needs the right players to institute that philosophy. He's only recently gotten a solid running game, which was lacking in the beginning of the season. That running game has enabled the rest of his offense to start to play well as the Bills have been able to do a much better job with play action against defenses focused on stopping the run. Also he's getting solid play from WRs Lee Evans and Eric Moulds, while QB Drew Bledsoe has stopped making as many mistakes and has shown more mobility. Those are the reasons why Mularkey's offense is now starting to click.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

In a shootout worthy of Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, Drew Bledsoe threw four touchdown passes, including two to Evans.

"Sometimes you get in a street fight," Evans said. "They came out swinging, and so did we."

Miami's A.J. Feeley threw three touchdowns passes, all in the first 12½ minutes. He also had a hand in six turnovers, including the interception returned 20 yards for the game's final score by the 317-pound Williams with 1:55 left.

"Turnovers killed us," Miami interim coach Jim Bates said. "It's lucky we didn't get beat by 35."

The Bills (6-6) have scored 117 points while winning their past three games, and they're in playoff contention despite an 0-4 start. They completed a season sweep of the Dolphins (2-10), who fell to 0-8 against AFC opponents.

"We found a way to lose," defensive end Jason Taylor said.

Willis McGahee, playing in South Florida for the first time since a standout college career with the Miami Hurricanes, carried 23 times for 91 yards. He lost a fumble to end a scoring threat and had a 66-yard gain on a screen pass negated by a holding penalty on Trey Teague.

Terrence McGee opened the game scoring on a 104-yard kickoff return, the longest in Bills' history, but Miami came from behind twice early and led 24-14 less than 17 minutes into the game. The productivity was astounding from a team that totaled 23 points in its first three games this season.

The Bills sputtered early before Bledsoe warmed up. He finished 19-for-30 for a season-high 277 yards and no interceptions.

"It didn't go the way anybody envisioned, with the high score," Bledsoe said. "You've got to do what it takes to win."

Feeley went 25-for-51 for 303 yards but threw five interceptions. Miami also lost two fumbles, including one on a botched handoff, and increased their turnover total this season to 35.

"Bad things are happening right now," Feeley said. "A lot of it's on me."

But the pivotal play didn't involve Feeley. Busted coverage by the Dolphins left Evans wide open deep, and Bledsoe hit him in stride for the score to put Buffalo ahead 28-24. The 69-yard play was the Bills' longest this season.

"When the ball left my hand, I thought I had overthrown it," Bledsoe said. "Lee turned on the jets and got it."

"I had to dig a little bit," Evans said with a smile.

The Bills scored again less than three minutes later. Rashad Baker intercepted a tipped pass for their fifth takeaway, and Eric Moulds caught a short pass and weaved through the secondary for a 30-yard score.

Miami again tried to rally, scoring on a 15-play drive to cut the Bills' lead to 35-32. Travis Minor ran 3 yards for a touchdown, and Feeley hit Chris Chambers with a 2-point conversion.

The Dolphins got the ball back at their 2 with 3:06 left, but after one first down, Williams intercepted Feeley and slowly made his way to the goal line.

"I didn't know what was happening," Williams said. "All of a sudden the ball was near me and I wound up with it, and I took off for the end zone. I was laughing on the way to the goal line."

It was the eighth Miami turnover returned for a touchdown this season, including six involving Feeley. The costly mistakes left cornerback Patrick Surtain shaking his head.

"I think we're cursed," he said. "Every week -- it's unbelievable."

Game notes


Bills tight end Mark Campbell hurt his knee in the first quarter and missed the rest of the game. ... The Dolphins' season-long ineptitude spread to the national anthem. It was marred by a faulty sound system and a profanity picked up on the public address system when uttered by a stadium worker. ... Mike Mularkey became the first first-year Bills coach to sweep the Dolphins since Joe Collier in 1966. ... The game was announced as a sellout, but Pro Player Stadium was at least half empty, as it has been since Miami started 0-6.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
buf15:00
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
70
THIRD QUARTERBUFMIA
bufTD0:10Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 69 yds, 0:00
2724
FOURTH QUARTERBUFMIA
bufTD2:10Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
4132
FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
bufTD15:00Touchdown60
THIRD QUARTERBUFMIA
buf0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 69 yds, 0:00
2824
FOURTH QUARTERBUFMIA
buf2:10
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
4232
bufTD12:50Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 34 yds, 0:40
3424
buf12:41
Drive info: 3 plays, 34 yds, 0:40
3524
FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD12:20Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:20
76
bufTD8:00Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 41 yds, 2:20
137
miaTD2:40Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:00
1420
SECOND QUARTERBUFMIA
bufTD8:40Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 78 yds, 2:10
2024
FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
mia12:16
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:20
77
buf7:53
Drive info: 5 plays, 41 yds, 2:20
147
mia2:35
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:00
1421
SECOND QUARTERBUFMIA
buf8:39
Drive info: 6 plays, 78 yds, 2:10
2124
miaFG14:30Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 23 yds, 1:10
1424
FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD5:59Touchdown
Drive info: 4 plays, 96 yds, 1:41
1413
mia5:54
Drive info: 4 plays, 96 yds, 1:41
1414
FOURTH QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD7:20Travis Minor, 3 yd run(A.J. Feeley pass to Chris Chambers for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 15 plays, 58 yds, 5:20
3532