The Miami Dolphins created four turnovers into 17 points and defeated AFC East rival Buffalo Bills 24-10 to close out the home schedule at Sun Life Stadium.
The Dolphins posted an overall 5-3 record at home in 2012, and hope to finish the schedule on a three-game winning streak by defeating the first place New England Patriots this Sunday in Foxboro.
Miami counted on their playmakers to make game changing plays and also had plenty of new faces to count on against the Bills. Here are some of the keys to victory from yesterday’s win:
- Takeaways Equal Points: Coming into the Bills game, the Dolphins had only three fumble recoveries the entire season, and on Sunday, they equaled that output! The Dolphins defense created four turnovers on the afternoon, and corner back Sean Smith started the fireworks. Smith striped wide receiver Stevie Johnson that set up a nine play, 62-yard touchdown drive that ended on a Ryan Tannehill pass 17-yard pass to Reggie Bush. The second takeaway also led directly to points when Bills tight end Dorin Dickerson lost control of the football courtesy of linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Chris Clemons pounced on the turnover. It set up another Tannehill to Bush touchdown pass (a 12 yard reception) to push the lead to 21-3. The final forced fumble started up front with a sack from Cam Wake (his 15th of the year) of Ryan Fitzpatrick and safety Reshad Jones, who also had an interception on the afternoon, cleaned up from there! It led to a Nate Kaeding 45-yard field goal and the final score, 24-3.
- Reggie and Friends: After rushing for 73 yards on 19 carries, Reggie Bush is only 40 yards shy of reaching the 1,000-yard plateau in back to back seasons. It would be a rather large statement to all who questioned his durability and toughness before last season. Bush also led all Dolphins in receiving with four receptions for 42 yards (115 total yards). In my opinion, this team is most dangerous when Bush gets involved in the passing game because it allows Tannehill low risk throws with the potential of explosive results. Rookie running back Lamar Miller showed flashes of why his future is so bright in this offense. His 7.3 yards per carry and 28 yard run gave fans a taste of what Miller provides to this backfield. Some help was provided at wide receiver with newcomer Armon Binns adding three receptions for 27 yards and using his size over the middle. Also, Rishard Matthews stretched the field vertically with a 30-seam route that led to a Bush one-yard touchdown run.
- Players Step Up: Injuries happen all of the time in the NFL and your hope is that you can have players on your roster that can fill the void left by the starters. On Sunday the Dolphins were exposed at multiple positions, especially on defense, and held the Bills to only 10 points! Corner back Dimitri Patterson filled in nicely for Nolan Carroll, and his play didn’t miss a beat. Patterson tied for fourth on the team in total tackles with Brian McCann, who also played a major role in the secondary. Also on special teams, place kicker Nate Kaeding booted a 45-yard field goal replacing Dan Carpenter who was placed on injured reserve before the game.