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The Miami Dolphins couldn’t have started their season any worse when they lost their first seven games. The Buffalo Bills couldn’t have started any better when they were sitting atop the AFC East. It all changed on Sunday. The Dolphins laid a beat down on the reeling Bills 35-8 to win their third straight game, handing Buffalo their third loss in a row.
The turnaround for the Dolphins, who are now 3-7, was been due to their improved defensive play. “You can see how good we can be,” said safety Yeremiah Bell. “This is where we expected to be at the beginning of the season. It just took us a while.”
The Dolphins were able to turn two interceptions into touchdowns, along with a blocked punt, which was recovered for a touchdown. The defense also made a goal line stand midway through the second half. The Bills were stuffed four times in a row after having first down at the Dolphins second yard line.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Moore torched the Bills’ defense. He finished the day 14 of 20 for 160 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 133.3. The Dolphins punched it in on their first three possessions and Moore wasn’t called upon to throw much after that. “Guys around me are making big plays and making it easy for the quarterback,” Moore said. “It’s such a good feeling.”
The Bills didn’t have any good feelings in this game. With their once-promising season in a tailspin, the Bills have been outscored 106-26 during their losing streak, a far cry from the team that was scoring 30 points a game earlier this season. “We’re baffled as to what has happened,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said.
“For the past three weeks, it has not been fun to play, and I’m sure it has not been fun to watch.” They have only managed two touchdowns in the past three weeks. One of those touchdowns was during the end of the game. To add to their problems, the Bills lost three of their key players. Wide receiver Donald Jones and cornerback Terrence McGee were both carted off the field in the second quarter.
The NFL’s leading rusher, running back Fred Jackson, left in the third quarter with a bruised right calf. Since signing his big, six-year, $59 million contract, Fitzpatrick has failed to win a game and has turned the ball over 12 times in the past six games. On Sunday, he was 20 of 39 for 209 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. His passer rating was a mere 45.8.
Fred Jackson was held to 17 yards on seven carries. The Bills fumbled the ball four times (though all were recovered), and went zero for 14 on third and fourth down. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been through that before, ever,” coach Chan Gailey said. “When you’re that bad, you’re having a pitiful day.”
The Bills try to bounce back and save their season as they head to MetLife Stadium to face the struggling New York Jets in a must-win for both teams if they wish to make the playoffs. The Dolphins have a short week as they look to continue their recent success and continue to play spoiler as they travel to Jerry World to face the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
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