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Dolphins Beat Lifeless Bills 24-10
Emotionless effort leads to another embarrassing loss.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 16
Bills  10
Dolphins  24
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
If this is how the Bills play to save their coach's job that I would hate to see how they would have played if they didn't like Chan Gailey. The Bills put together an unemotional, flat, sloppy, and all around pathetic effort in a 24-10 loss to the Dolphins down in South Florida. The loss clinches at least a share of last place as the Bills will spend another season in the cellar of the AFC East. Reggie Bush scored all three touchdowns for the Dolphins as they took control of the game with a touchdown just before halftime and early in the third quarter. C.J. Spiller was one of the few players to get off the beach and actually play in the game. He finished with 138 yards rushing on 22 carries. Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Brad Smith for a two yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. He then led a last minute drive before throwing an interception on the goal line for a fitting end to another terrible loss.

The Turning Point:
The Non-TD Call: Stevie Johnson appeared to catch a sideline pass and get over the goal line with possession of the ball before the ball came out as he went down in the end zone. They called it an incomplete pass and the Bills were visibly frustrated after that. They settled for a field goal and never really recovered.

The Big Drive:
Miami's 2nd TD: The Bills defense was playing better after a slow start but that ended with Miami's final possession of the first half. They went 65 yards in just five plays to Reggie Bush's one yard touchdown run with :46 to go in the half to give Miami a 14-3 lead. The key play in the drive was when Miami used the read option that Seattle used so successfully last week. Ryan Tannenhill went 31 yards down the sideline to setup the score. That run followed a 30 yard pass completion to Rishard Matthews.

Stat I Did Like:
Spiller's Stats: He had 173 total yards with 138 on the ground and 35 receiving. He touched the ball 26 times with 22 carries and four catches. That is more than six yards a carry.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Fumbles Lost: The Bills lost three fumbles in the game. Two killed drives and led to Miami touchdowns the third led to a field goal.

Quick Slants:
- The Bills won the toss and deferred to get the ball in the second half.
- Alex Carrington sure has a knack for blocking kicks. His block of a 46 yard field goal attempt on Miami's opening possession was his fourth of the year.
- Miami got help from the refs on their first touchdown. Bush stepped out of bounds at the 4 but they called it a TD so they can get a 2nd look. He was obviously out of bounds but they felt the replay was inconclusive and let it stand. Not how replay was meant to be used.
- Miami also got help from the refs to take a TD away from the Bills. Stevie Johnson caught a pass down the sidelines and lost it after diving into the end zone. It was called incomplete. The Bills should have challenged it but didn't. Why did they automatically call Bush's a TD and not Johnson's catch? Same premise here, call it a score than look at it.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB C.J. Spiller vs. MLB Karlos Dansby: Winner: Spiller. He had a very big game.
DE Mario Williams vs. RT Jonathan Martin: Winner: Martin. Williams had one pressure but didn't do much damage at all.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Richard Marshall: Winner: Marshall. Johnson had his worst game of the year.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Show Some Fight: Failure! An epic failure at that. They showed no heart, no emotion, and it looked like they rather would have been at the beach.
2. Play The Gaps: Failure! Miami ran very well with huge holes in the middle of the Bills defense.
3. Red Zone Efficiency: Failure! Miami was three for three in the red zone while the Bills didn't were 1 of 2 including an interception to end the game.

My Take:
You can blame very questionable call by the officials, you can talk about how many stupid rules are in the NFL rule book. The bottom line is the officials and the NFL are not nearly the joke that the Bills are. Nothing that happened mattered since the Bills played so poorly, and they were so disinterested, that they got blown out again. It's one thing to get beaten badly by Seattle, quite another to get blown out by the Dolphins. If Ralph Wilson is still in charge and still watching these games than he has to know that this game did make a statement. It proved without a shadow of a doubt that Chan Gailey has to go as the head coach of this team. The players talked about winning to help save his job and then they didn't even show up. That is the statement that Wilson and Buddy Nix need to take out of another embarrassing loss.

What's Ahead:
The Bills finish out another disappointing season against another team in turmoil when the Jets come to town on Sunday. A loss will secure sole possession of last place in the AFC East a win will put the Jets in the cellar with them. How exciting.

Gameballs
  • C.J. Spiller - Was the workhorse and had a huge game but it didn't help at all.
  • Marcell Dareus - Had two sacks.


  • Goats
  • Stevie Johnson - Fumbles and drops not a way to help save the coach's job who you dearly love.
  • Chan Gailey - His team has quit on him.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Now he knows he's not a starting QB let along a franchise guy.
  • George Wilson - He hasn't lost a step, he's lost many steps.


  • Player Of The Week
  • C.J. Spiller - He was the lone guy to really show up to play.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Dolphins Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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