Week 10: Bills Escape Miami With A 13-10 Win
Lindell's last minute field goal caps comeback.
by Steve Saslow
It wasn't pretty, it was downright ugly but the Bills leave South Florida narrowly avoiding the embarrassment of giving the Dolphins their first win of the year. The Bills rallied from eight points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Dolphins 13-10. Rian Lindell hit a 34 yard field goal with :46 left for the winning points. It was the first time in 18 games the team came back from more than a touchdown down.
They did it all in the fourth quarter. They didn't convert a third down play until the final drive. They did it despite going three and out on their first four possessions. They did it because of a defense that played very well and did not whither too much down the stretch despite being on the field twice as long as the offense in the first three quarters.
So how did they do it? First of all, Miami is winless for a reason, they dominated the first three quarters but only had an eight point lead. A better team would have been blowing out a Bills team that saw it's worst offensive half of football in years. It didn't get much better in the second half until Miami scored their only touchdown of the game on the final play of the third quarter. Cleo Lemon's five yard scramble gave Miami the 10-2 lead as the quarter expired.
Miami dominated the first half but led only 3-0 as they drove nine plays to a 38 yard field goal on the opening possession. It stayed that way until Chris Kelsay sacked Lemon in the end zone for a safety early in the third quarter to make it 3-2. The way it was going it appeared the defense would be the only unit to score in this game.
J.P. Losman was very inconsistent as the so called "bad" J.P. was inaccurate until the final quarter. He threw an interception in the end zone on the only decent drive of the first half. The offense got moving as they seemed to wake up when they fell behind by 8. They traveled 66 yards on 10 plays after the Miami touchdown. Lee Evans caught a 20 yard pass to get the drive started and then Marshawn Lynch pounded it at the Dolphins defense as they moved down the field. Michael Gaines had a big 19 yard reception to setup Lynch for a three yard touchdown. The Bills then converted their first two point conversion in five years as Lynch seemed headed for the goal line when he got knocked back. He then twisted his body and reached forward with the ball for the conversion to tie the game. The drive was barely kept going when Losman's 2nd QB sneak in a row on 4th and 1 barely got him the first down by less then a chain link. If he fails to get the first down there the team probably loses the game.
Special teams would make the next big play, Roscoe Parrish ran back a 39 yard punt, 40 yards to set the Bills up at midfield with 4:37 to go in the tie game. Losman would hook up with Lynch to convert a 3rd and 8 for the Bills first third down conversion of the game. Lynch would convert a 3rd and 2 later in the drive but would get hurt on the play. The Bills couldn't get another first down with Lynch out but ran enough time off the clock to make Lindell's field goal stand.
Losman really struggled but Dick Jauron said he never thought of going to Trent Edwards. I wonder if Edwards would have come in if he was 100% but he clearly isn't. Losman did play better in the fourth quarter and did lead them to two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Would that be enough to keep his job? Nobody knows right now, but what we do know is that an ugly win is a win all the same, and the Bills are now over .500 with the Patriots on the horizon. Who would have thought that a month ago?
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Dolphins: