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Bills Destroy Dolphins 23-3
Total Domination From Start To Finish Puts Bills back in the thick of AFC East Race.
by Steve Saslow
Nov. 14, 1999
Jimmy Johnson summed up the Bills 23-3 rout over Miami very well, "They beat the hell out of us" the Miami coach said. The Bills defense was the story of the day holding Miami to 101 measly yard offensively and six first downs. It was the second most inept offensive game in the history of the Dolphins. Meanwhile the Bills offense got the running game going as Antowain Smith ran for 126 yards as the Bills scored the first four times they had the ball against the vaunted Miami defense to open up a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter. They would never look back.
Miami QB Damon Huard was making his first trip as a starter to Buffalo and he knew early on it was going to be a long day. His first pass bounced right off the shoulder pads of Henry Jones and right into the hands of rookie Antoine Winfield for an interception. Three creative plays, including a screen pass to Jay Riemersma and a shovel pass to Kevin Williams, left the Bills with a 4th and 1 at the 12. Figuring it was going to be a low scoring game with the November winds blowing, it was essential to put points on the board so Phillips made the right call and settled for the first of three consecutive Steve Christie field goals giving the Bills a 3-0 lead.
Miami went three and out on their next two possessions and the Bills got field goals of 48 and 47 yards from Christie to open up a 9-0 lead before the first quarter was out. A 7-play 43-yard drive set up Christie's second field goal and a pass interference penalty on Terrell Buckley set up Christie's third kick. Miami then had their fourth straight three and out which the Bills countered with their fourth straight scoring drive. This time they cashed in with seven. The 71-yard drive in 11 plays was kept alive by a nice 10-yard screen pass to Jonathan Linton on a 3rd and 9 play. That led to a 34-yard completion to a wide open Riemersma. Linton then ran behind Ruben Brown and John Fina untouched for the touchdown and an insurmountable 16-0 lead.
The Bills basically just "held serve" the rest of the way as the defense was not going to let Miami even think about getting close in this game. A late first half drive for Miami got them their only points on a 30 yard Olindo Mare field goal to make it 16-3 at the half, but Miami wouldn't even cross midfield the rest of the way. The only scoring in the second half was a 53 yard touchdown pass to a wide open Eric Moulds to give us the final score of 23-3.
The victory was the third straight for the Bills and the two game losing streak is a distant memory. They are now within a 1/2 of game of the division lead. Miami is now 7-2 with both losses coming to the Bills. The club needs to enjoy this win tonight but they must start focusing on next Sunday's division battle at the Meadowlands against the Jets. A loss next week would take a lot of the luster off of today's win.
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