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Reggie Bush has come a long way during his first season with the Dolphins. After leaving New Orleans he just wanted to prove that he can be an every down back in this league.
Safe to say that a career high 206 yard rushing performance in a 30-23 victory over the Bills in snowy, windy Orchard Park on Sunday didn’t hurt his efforts even one bit.
“It feels good. It means a lot,” said Bush. “It means that hey, I’m doing everything that I expect I was going to be doing. It’s not so much as me being surprised that this happened today or that I could rush for 100 yards. It’s more of the fact that this is something I expected.”
Although things certainly didn’t start out the way Bush envisioned them. A fumble on Miami’s second possession had to be discouraging as it was his fourth of the season.
However, he stood the course and before he knew it he regained his confidence after breaking out a nifty little spin move that led to a 28 yard run in the second. That carry would set the tone for his huge day which would end with a 76 yard touchdown run late in the fourth, leaving Buffalo with little hope.
After being knocked out of last week’s game with head and neck injuries, Matt Moore returned to the lineup and also played well in the inclement weather. Moore completed just 10 of 20 passes but did not turn the ball over while throwing for two touchdowns and 217 yards.
The Bills had a different offensive game plan. C.J. Spiller was effective out of the backfield with 91 yards and one touchdown, but Buffalo only allowed him to carry the ball 12 times. The strategy was to attack through the air and in the end that proved to cost them the game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s three interceptions heavily outweighed the 316 yards and two touchdowns he accumulated while going 31-47 on the day.
The Bills liked their chances of ending a six game losing streak after the early fumble by Bush at the Miami 42. An 18 yard run by Spiller was quickly followed by his 24 yard touchdown run to give Buffalo an early 7-0 advantage.
It was only the first touchdown surrendered in the first quarter by the Dolphins in their last nine games.
Miami would respond on the first play of the second quarter when Moore threw a wide open 22 yard touchdown to tight end Anthony Fasano. The drive went 52 yards and was set up by a 23 yard punt return by Davone Bess and long pass play to fullback Charles Clay.
Vontae Davis had a huge impact as well. During that same quarter the Miami cornerback recorded the first of his two interceptions and returned the ball to the Buffalo 25 after a field goal gave the Dolphins their first lead at 10-7. The pick would lead to another field goal, extending the lead to 13-7.
Davis’ third quarter interception was also his fourth of the season.
With a lead the Dolphins decided to take their shots downfield in the third quarter. This worked out perfectly when Moore opened the second half with an 80 yard drive that was highlighted by a perfect 65 yard touchdown throw to Brandon Marshall down the right sideline.
The catch was not only Marshall’s fifth touchdown of the season, but it also sealed his fifth consecutive 1,000 yard season.
The Bills kept trying to fight back but waited too long. By the time they scored their first down to make the score 23-13 the fourth quarter was already more than halfway over.
All the credit needed to be given to the Miami defense. They held Buffalo to no third down conversions, going a remarkable 0-11 throughout the entire 60 minutes.
An unsuccessful onside kick left Buffalo with almost no chance after cutting Miami’s 30-13 lead down to 7. They would force a punt and leave Fitzpatrick and the offense with one last chance. Unfortunately they needed a miraculous 80 yards in 16 seconds.
Miami wouldn’t let that happen with a tackle after the first lateral ending the game.
Tony Sparano may have been fired earlier in the week, but the Dolphins still took care of business and won their fifth game out of seven.
“Coach Bowles did a good job of keeping everybody together,” said Moore. “It was a sad day, but we’ve got to keep moving.”