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Bills Get Big Home Win Over Dolphins 24-16
Win keeps playoff hopes very much alive.
by Steve Saslow
Week 15
Dolphins  16
Bills  24
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
The Bills playoff hopes are very much alive thanks to their solid 24-16 win over division rival Miami. The Bills finished 6-2 at home for the first time since 1999. They are now 8-6 for only the third time in the drought. They are now assured of being alive for a playoff spot entering the final week of the regular season for the first time since the drought. LeSean McCoy ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, and went over 10,000 career yards in the win. Tyrod Taylor continued his mastery of the Dolphins as he ran for a score and threw for 224 yards in the win.

The Turning Point:
Wright Interception: Yes the Bills were already up 21-6 when Shareece Wright picked off a fourth down pass by Jay Cutler and returned it 48 yards deep into Miami territory. The pick ended a Miami threat and setup three more points that allowed the Bills to continue to control the game in third quarter.

The Big Drive:
The Opening Drive: The Bills took 10 plays to go 81 yards for their first TD on opening drive all year. It was also their first TD drive that started inside the 20. The Bills converted two third downs on the drive with a completion to Charles Clay and a 12 yard run by McCoy. Nick O'Leary caught passes of 8 and 25 yards on the drive that ended in a four yard touchdown run by Shady.

The Big Drive II:
The 2nd TD: The Bills went 75 yards in 10 plays in just 3:10 after Miami pulled within a point to recapture control of the game. In that drive McCoy had runs of 13 and 14 yards to put him over the 10,000 yard mark for his career. Clay had a beautiful 21 yard catch and run as well. Shady ended the drive with a 16 yard touchdown reception on a third down play when he lined up wide right and was wide open. Stat I Did Like:
Penalties: They only had three accepted penalties against them for 28 yards.

Stat I Didn't Like:
None: Couldn't find anything, they played very well.

Scene Setters:
- Fred Jackson was the leader of the charge for the Bills in their home finale. He received a warm welcome from the fans and Kyle Williams went over after running on the field to give him a big hug.
- The Bills wore their usual home blue jerseys with white pants.
- Shady McCoy entered the game needing 39 yards to get to 10,000 in his career. He got it on his 8th carry making him the fifth quickiest to get to that mark in NFL history.
- Organizers held a nondenominational Christian service before the game in the Ad Pro Sports Training Center.
- The inactives for the game were Mike Tolbert, Khari Lee, Breon Borders, John Miller, Nathan Peterman, Brandon Reilly, and Conor McDermott.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RT Jordan Mills vs. DE Cameron Wake: Winner: Mills. I don't know if I heard Wake's name at all in this game.
C Eric Wood vs. DT Ndamukong Suh: Winner: Suh. He was constantly in the Bills backfield.
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Kiko Alonso: Winner: McCoy. There were struggles in the running game but McCoy made his plays.
DT Kyle Williams vs. RB Kenyan Drake: Winner: Williams. Drake made his plays but Williams was very busy and constantly in the backfield.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Takeaways: Success! They forced two Cutler interceptions in the second half.
2. Good Gap Containment: Failure! Drake had some very impressive runs when Miami was still capable of running the football.
3. Keep Taylor Clean: Success! Taylor seemed to have time to throw on many dropbacks.

My Take:
The biggest home game since the drought and they dominated most of the game before holding on late in the fourth quarter. The win keeps them alive through week 17 and who would have thought that would happen this year as some people were talking about a tank.

What's Ahead:
The Bills head to New England for a very tall task against the dreaded Patriots.

  • LeSean McCoy - Made a major milestone and scored two touchdowns.
  • Tyrod Taylor - Continued his mastery of Miami as he played a solid game coming back from injury.
  • Charles Clay - Loves playing his former team and made some big plays in this one.
  • Kyle Williams - It may have been his last game in Buffalo but he made it count as he was very busy in the Miami backfield.

  • Goats
  • Adolphus Washington - His penalty was very stupid and it gave Miami a touchdown.

  • Player Of The Week
  • LeSean McCoy - Congratulation on getting to 10,000 career rushing yards.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Dolphins Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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