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Bills Lose Seventh Straight Game 30-23
Game wasn't nearly as close as final score indicates.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 15
Dolphins  30
Bills  23
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions and Matt Moore threw two touchdown passes to lead the Dolphins to a 30-23 victory over the Bills. The game wasn't nearly as close as the final score as the Bills padded their stats against the prevent defense and scored 16 fourth quarter points surrounded by a 76 yard touchdown run by Reggie Bush who ran for 203 yards. C.J. Spiller ran for 91 yards and added 76 yards receiving while scoring two touchdowns. Fitzpatrick continued his free fall since signing the contract extension. He was awful while the game was still in doubt. He had one of the worst 300 yard passing game I have ever seen hitting Spiller and Derek Hagan for touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. The Bills recovered one onside kick and hit the field goal to get within seven but the second onside kick was easily recovered by Miami ending the game.

The Turning Point:
There wasn't an obvious turning point we will take the 34 yard play on the drive that led to Miami's go ahead field goal in the second quarter. It was a 28 yard run by Bush and a late hit brought it to the six yard line.

The Big Drive:
The Opening 2nd Half Drive: Miami put the game away with an 80 yard, five play drive to start the second half. Brian Hartline converted a third and 2 with a five yard completion. Two plays later Moore threw the perfect 65 yard TD pass to Marshall.

Stat I Did Like:
Spiller's Total Yards: He had 167 total yards and was the best player on the field for Buffalo.

Stat I Didn't Like:
I'll pick two, penalties and third down conversions: They had 11 penalties for 92 yards and were 0 for 11 on third downs. That made them an astonishing 0 for 23 on third downs in two games against Miami.

Quick Slants:
- Buffalo weather in December if you don't like it wait five minutes and it will change. Two hours before kickoff it was bright and sunny. The game kicked off under lake effect snow showers. They were on and off all game long.
- What does Chan Gailey have against keeping C.J. Spiller involved? After having back to back runs of 18 and 24 yards and a touchdown. He just carried the ball three more times in the first half as Gailey continued to use Choice as much as Spiller. He didn't use him that much more in the second half despite the fact he was the only thing working in this game.
- The Bills responded early to the comments made by S Yeremiah Bell saying the Bills layed down in their loss to Miami earlier in the month. They got huge holes in the running game early and some good hits including one by Lee Smith. The defense played with passion throughout even though the offense was terrible.
- Lost in the shuffle of the depressing season is that the Bills punt coverage unit is really bad. Two big returns in the first quarter alone going for 25 and 24 yards.
- I have never seen coverage blown as bad as the Bills did on the first play of the 2nd quarter when they had time to set their defense. Two guys were wide open. Moore chose Tony Fasano for the easy score.
- After Fitzpatrick threw interceptions on back to back passes the TV cameras caught Jim Kelly trying to give him words of encouragement while he was looking at pictures of the defense.
- I'm not one to complain about the refs that much but every close call went Miami's way. The Bills were called from some questionable penalties and there was at least one blatant pass interference by Miami that was not called late in the second quarter. That made the Bills punt.

My Take:
Like I've said for a few weeks now, I'm numb. It was entertaining watching them try the late comeback but nobody expected them to dig out of that huge hold and of course they didn't. I found myself getting aggravated during the game and then asked myself why should I get my blood pressure up? This team is not worth getting upset over. The most depressing part of this free fall to a 0-9 finish is the fact that it is obvious now they made a huge mistake giving Fitzpatrick that money. They may need to bite the $10 Million bullet in the offseason and let him go and cut their losses.

What's Ahead:
The Bills have their home final against the Denver Tebows on Christmas Eve. Some fans may come out just to see Tebowmania but even less will come out to see their Bills one more time this painful season.

Gameballs

  • C.J. Spiller - Ran the ball well and was used effectively as a receiver.
  • Justin Rogers - The Bills have a new kick returner.


  • Goats
  • Erik Pears - Two penalties and a sack allowed. He joins the Bills contract extension club.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - The charter member of that club continues to get worse. His passes were terribly off line.
  • Drayton Florence - He was also called for two penalties and beaten on a 65 yard bomb to Marshall.
  • Dave Rayner - Missed a chip shot 26 yard field goal that could have given the Bills the momentum before halftime.


  • Player Of The Week
  • C.J. Spiller - He was the only thing the Bills had that worked on offense in this game.


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




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