–PR/CB Leodis McKelvin started things quickly for the Buffalo Bills by returning a punt 79 yards for a score just over a minute into the game and then the defense took control of things the rest of the way, as the Bills edged the Miami Dolphins 19-14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in prime time on Thursday Night Football. With McKelvin’s second punt return touchdown of the season and four K Rian Lindell field goals accounting for all of the Bills’ scoring, the Dolphins had two chances to win the game late in the fourth quarter down five points. Both Miami drives resulted in interceptions, as FS Jairus Byrd ended the first drive with a pick and then LB Bryan Scott put the finishing touches on the affair with another interception. Along with sealing the victory, the Bills defense spent plenty of time in the Dolphins backfield throughout the contest. Led by DE Mario Williams, the Bills defense racked up five quarterback hits, three sacks and seven tackles for loss. Williams accounted for one sack, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hit, while fellow defensive ends Kyle Moore and Shawne Merriman also tallied sacks.
Offensively, the Bills struggled to convert third downs yet still managed to possess the ball for 35:30 and move the ball on the Dolphins defense to the tune of 281 net yards. RB C.J. Spiller led the Bills ground attack by utilizing a season high 22 carries to tally 91 yards. Spiller was also a threat for the Bills through the air, grabbing three passes for 39 yards. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with seven different receivers throughout the game, completing 17-of-27 passes for 168 yards and an 80.5 QB rating. WR Stevie Johnson was Fitzpatrick’s primary target, catching six balls for 79 yards. The Bills victory is the team’s first win in prime time since 2001 when Buffalo downed Jacksonville 13-10 in another Thursday night game.
–Bills 2012 1st round draft choice, rookie CB Stephon Gilmore is teaming up with zero calorie Pepsi MAX and Tops Friendly Markets to celebrate the Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie Program. Gilmore joins seven other NFL rookies from across the league to encourage fans to vote for the Pepsi MAX Rookie of the Week. Gilmore will be meeting fans and signing autographs at Tops in Hamburg, NY today from 5:15-7:00 PM.
Dan Patrick Show
QUOTES FROM THE GAME
Head Coach Chan Gailey
Before you all start with the negatives, there are some positives. The defense played outstanding. Did an unbelievable job. One score, I think they did not have many yards—they just did a super job, especially special teams. We gave up a touchdown and that is not good, but the punting, keeping them pinned down and making them go the wrong way. That was good too. So there were some positives.
I know the negatives. Third down. We were bad (in the) red zone. We did not get touchdowns. If we had gotten touchdowns it would not have been that close but we did not. We are kind of hot and cold. One week we are good in red zone, the next week we are not. We have to get more consistent there. It was a great effort by our football team. They played hard. I thought it was something we can build on.
Q: At the end of the first half, was RB C.J. Spiller hurt?
A: I think I said it earlier in the week that (Tashard) Choice would play because (Spiller) gets winded and then when we are trying to throw the football sometimes we would rather have Choice in there to protect when we know we are going to throw it. So we will stick Choice in there some plays. It just happened that it worked that way. It was not an injury.
Q: What do you think it means to your defense to step up on a national stage like that?
A: It is huge for them to do that. All of the pro football world is watching this game. They watch this game. There is three prime time games a week and this is one of them. For them to do that and play the way they played tonight…again I believe that is something we can build on. We need to be able to build on that.
Q: Coaches do not love these Thursday games, but I guess after you win one you love it with nine or ten days off.
A: Yeah, you do. That is the positive of this thing. Getting ready for it is tough. It is tough on the players—really more than coaches it is really tough on players. They get a good rest now and we get the opportunity to prepare very well for our next opponent.
Q: What held the offense back tonight?
A: Missing the third downs is the killer. I think we missed three third-and-ones. Didn’t we? It was at least three third-and-ones and a couple third-and-twos and third-and-threes. We cannot do that. We have been really pretty good league-wide on third down coming into this ball game. We have been. It has just been a hot and cold thing. We cannot do that. We have to be more physical and be better. I think third downs were part of it and that cost us in the red zone. Those cost us in the red zone not being able to convert a third down in the red zone. Then the second half I was conservative. The defense was playing good and I was, I was conservative. I will be the first one to admit it. When it got tight you look back on it and hindsight is 20-20. Maybe a little bit too much.
Q: How does FS Jairus Byrd always seem to be in the right place? This is not the first time. What is it pure instinct?
A: Yeah, it is. He has great football knowledge. He has great football knowledge. He has instincts—that is probably another word for instincts, great football knowledge. He anticipates where the ball is going very well. He is around the ball a lot. He makes a lot of football plays.
Q: Run defense was maybe as solid as it has been for four quarters all year?
A: The best it has been for four quarters all year. By far the best. I think we are capable of maybe not doing that but being close to that. And if we can be close to that, we will be in great shape.
Q: Can you talk about the value of the division wins?
A: Yeah. They are always two-fers. It is what we call them. They are two for one. Not only does it give you a win, it gives someone else in the division a loss. They are not one of the division leaders, but at the same time they were ahead of us. So it helps. Right now you are just trying to climb and find a way to get the opportunity to play in late January. That is what you are trying to get the opportunity to do. If we can build on this, we have a bunch of games left with an opportunity.
Q: You took some shots down the field and got some penalties. Is that a matchup you thought you could take advantage of?
A: Yeah we did. We thought we had a chance to get a couple. And in hindsight I probably should have thrown it up to Stevie a couple of more times. We were able to get some balls down the field on them.
Q: You mentioned a couple times about the short week of preparation but your defense seemed ahead of the game the whole time. How do you explain that?
A: I cannot explain it. I have no clue. If I had that clue we would practice three days a week every week. Call it a week.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Q: First off there were some third-and-shorts you failed to convert.
A: Yeah, we struggled on third-and-short all day today. That is something that cannot happen. We have to be able to extend those drives. Four field goals in the first half. That is a game that we could have blown wide open early I felt like and we did not. We let them hang around, hang around. Then there in the second half really put it on our defense. They were playing great. Just wanted to make sure we took care of the ball. Continue to allow our defense to go out there and shine. And they did. They did a great job. We have to be able to help them out a little more in the second half. We did not do a good enough job of that. It was a good team victory today. I thought the defense played great.
Q: On some of those plays it looked like a matter of inches. Is it just improving tiny things there?
A: Yeah it was small things. That was something…it was a short week, I do not know if that affected it or not. I think a lot of the plays that we had going were plays that we were comfortable with and had done in the past. So it is just a matter of it not happening. I do not know. We will look at the film and see. It is something we obviously have to correct.
Q: Did they bring more pressure in the second half?
A: Yeah. I think after the first quarter, the second quarter on they brought more pressure. We knew that is their defense, especially on third down they bring a lot of pressure. They have got a good scheme. I talked earlier in the week about it being a team you wanted a few extra days of practice against a team like this because there are some unorthodox, exotic blitzes and things that they do. That was tough for us but that was probably part of our struggle. I thought in terms of picking guys up we did a fairly decent job. Just were not able to get the conversions.
Q: Can you talk about just getting the win after losing the last three?
A: Yeah, I thought the biggest thing for us is just getting this winning feeling back. Football is such an interesting sport. Last week, the offense played better but you come out of the game feeling like crap. This week, the second half we did not really do much but you come out of the game feeling great. We got a victory and now we have to stack them together. We have to pile them up here. I think this will be a good moment for us just kind of coming together as a team. Hopefully getting some momentum for the second half here.
Q: Coach Gailey talked about playing a little bit conservative in the second half. With the way the defense was playing, did that impact how you played or your mindset?
A: The play calling sometimes in terms of throwing screens, running the ball and doing different things was part of it. I think my mindset in the second half there was just making sure we protected the ball whether it was through the air or running the ball. Just making sure that we held onto it because we thought our defense was doing a great job.
Q: What do you think it means to your defensive teammates to have a game like this?
A: It is huge. Those guys, they have been working. They have been working so hard. There has been criticism on them, there has been a lot of criticism on us an offense and as a team in general. For them to step up and play the way they did today, I thought it was a dominant performance. Something we can build on.
S Jairus Byrd
Q: What made the run defense so effective?
A: Honestly, everybody was in their gaps. I’ve talked about it in games where the runs have gotten out of there, people just weren’t in their gaps or not doing the little things and today we were swarming to the ball. I mean there weren’t lanes and if there were they closed quick. So everyone just did a great job.
Q: Some people were talking about using this game to spark the team, would you say this did?
A: Yeah it does, we dug this hole for ourselves so every game is a must win and we are approaching it as we’re kind of forgetting what was behind and saying it is a seven game season, whatever it is. We are just focusing on what is ahead not behind.
Q: Talk about the fumble recovery? Did you see the ball come out at the last second there?
A: Yeah, I saw Stephon [Gilmore] hit the ball so it kind of came out a little and then once I saw it come out, I tried to swipe the ball away. I guess on the replay, it was already falling out and I tried to get it away and pick it up and that is kind of how that one went.
Q: Defense look energized, talk about the energy of the team playing on such a short week?
A: I mean a Thursday night prime time game, you’re going to have natural adrenaline to be up for this game. To play on such short notice you have rely on your adrenaline to get you over the top because you are tired. I know I am going to feel it tomorrow. Seeing the predicament we are in, it was a must win. We had no choice but to go out and play hard.
Q: On the last drive, is it based off assignments?
A: It was more based on assignment. They were kind of hurrying up kind of like muddle huddling so we really didn’t have time to say anything. We just had to do what we had to do and tackle them in bounds. One tackle in bounds because they were out of timeouts would do it. We just focused on making sure, we corralled them in bounds.
NOTES AND NUMBERS FROM THE GAME
CB/KR Leodis McKelvin
–Scored TD on 79-yd. punt return in 1st qtr. … 3rd PR TD of career (also: 80 yds., 12/24/11 vs. Den.; 88 yds., 9/16/12 vs. K.C.), tying Bills record, joining Keith Moody and Roscoe Parrish (3 each)
–1st Bill ever with 2 PR TDs in one season … this is 4th time Bills as team have scored 2 PR TDs in one season, but previous occasions have featured different players (Ed Rutkowski & George “Butch” Byrd in 1966, Keith Moody & John Kimbrough in 1977, and Jonathan Smith & Nate Clements in 2004)
–6th player in Bills history to have 5+ return TDs (by any method) … has also scored on INT return (11/23/08 at K.C.) and on kickoff return (11/17/08 vs. Cle.)
–23rd PR TD in Bills history … club is now 10-13 with a PR TD
–79-yd. return was 8th longest PR in team history
–Along with 96-yd. kickoff return by Miam’s Marcus Thigpen later in 1st qtr., tonight marked first time 2 NFL teams combined for PR & KOR TDs in same qtr. since 12/5/99, when Washington (James Thrash, 95-yd. KOR) & Detroit (Desmond Howard, 68-yd. PR) did it in the 2nd qtr. of their contest (credit: STATS LLC)
–98 total PR yds. tonight tied as 4th most in club records (see list, left) … 31.67 average tied for 2nd highest in club history (also by Kevin Williams vs. Oak. 12/13/98 & McKelvin vs. K.C. 9/16/12), behind only McKelvin’s 45.00 (3-135) vs. Den. 12/24/11
–Tonight qualified as club’s all-time leader in single-season punt return average (min. 15 ret.) with 21.94, taking top spot from Roscoe Parrish in 2007 (16.30, 27-440)
–Remains club’s all-time leader in punt return average (min. 20 ret.) with 17.41 … 2nd place belongs to current Bill C.J. Spiller (12.08, 25-302)
–557 career PR yds. now ranks 9th on Bills career yardage list … tonight passed Clifford Hicks (492) and Ed Rutkowski (514) … 26 behind #8 Hagood Clarke (583), 37 behind #7 Donnie Walker (594), 43 behind #6 George “Butch” Byrd (600), and 60 behind #5 Nate Clements (617)
–351 PR yds. this season now ranks 5th on Bills single-season yardage list … tonight overtook Hagood Clarke (317 in 1964), Keith Moody (318 in 1979), Roscoe Parrish (322 in 2008), Nate Clements (327 in 2004), Kevin Williams (331 in 1999), and Jeff Burris (332 in 1994) … 13 behind #4 Roscoe Parrish (364 in 2006), 18 behind #3 Kevin Williams (369 in 1998), 33 behind #2 Donnie Walker (384 in 1974), and 89 behind club record holder Roscoe Parrish (440 in 2007)
–Also has 2 fair catches as punt returner … career total of 24 now ranks 6th on Bills’ all-time list … tonight surpassed Ron Pitts (23) … with next FC, will tie #5 Nate Clements (25)
–Has kickoff return in 8 straight games for first time since 17-game stretch between game 2, 2008 and game 2, 2009
– 89 career KOR now tied for 4th on Bills all-time list … tonight tied Kevin Williams (89) … 6 behind #3 Eric Moulds (95)
–2,350 career KOR yds. remains 2nd on club all-time chart, trailing only club record-holder Terrence McGee (5,450)
–26.40 career KOR avg. remains 4th on Bills list, trailing O.J. Simpson (30.00), Wallace Francis (27.23), and Mike Mosley (26.78)
–Tonight qualified as 3rd highest single-season kickoff return average in team history (min. 15 ret.) with 28.31, behind Terrence McGee in 2005 (30.24, 46-1,391) and Wallace Francis in 1973 (29.87, 23-687)
SS Jairus Byrd
–Recorded interception in 4th qtr. … INT was 17th of career, 4th of season … tied Dwight Harrison and Terrence McGee (17 each) for 15th on Bills career INT list … with next INT, will tie co-#13s Henry Jones and Mike Stratton (18 each)
–Bills are 8-5 in games featuring Byrd INT (3-1 with 2 INTs)
–Fumble recovery in 1st qtr. was 5th of career, 2nd of 2012 (also had one vs. N.E. 9/30)
–Tonight’s FR led to FG which gave Bills 10-0 lead … all 5 FRs have resulted in Bills points (2 TD, 3 FG)
–Bills are now 2-3 when he recovers fumble
–First Bill with INT & FR in same game since Drayton Florence, 11/21/10 at Cin. … last Bill with INT & FR in home game: Troy Vincent, 10/9/05 vs. Mia.
–Now has 22 takeaways in NFL career
RB C.J. Spiller
–Game-high 91 rushing yds. increased season total to team-leading 723
–Has averaged club-record 5.40 yds. per rushing attempt in career (290-1,567) (min. 200 att.) … 2nd highest average was posted by O.J. Simpson (4.80 – 2,123-10,183), with #3 position held by current Bill Fred Jackson (4.58 – 892-4,092)
–Averaging 6.63 yds. per attempt in 2012 (109-723), a new club single-season record … previous mark was held by O.J. Simpson in 1973 (6.03 – 332-2,003)
–6.63 avg. through 10 games is 4th highest in NFL since 1960 among players with at least 100 att. through 10 games … others with 6.50 or better: Miami RB Mercury Morris in 1973 (7.18, 117-840) & Cleveland RB Jim Brown in 1963 (7.09, 204-1,447), and Chicago QB Bobby Douglass in 1972 (6.89, 102-703)
–3 rec. tonight … Has had 2+ rec. in last 19 games with a catch
–130 scrimmage yds. (91 rush, 39 rec.) … Along with 110 yds. at Ari. 10/14, 102 vs. Ten. 10/21, 102 at Hou., and 131 at N.E. last week, has 100+ scrimmage yds. in 5 straight games … streak is 2nd of career (other streak was 5-gamer between game 14, 2011 and game 2, 2012) … now has 11 games in career with 100+ scrimmage yds.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
–Remains 4th on Bills all-time passing yardage list with 10,433 (see list, left) … 4,705 behind #3 Jack Kemp (15,138)
–62.96% completion rate tonight … 37th game in NFL career with 60% comp. rate (min. 20 att.) … Fitzpatrick’s teams are 16-20-1 when completing 60% or better
–60.06% career completion rate with Bills remains 4th on Bills’ all-time list, behind 60.93% by Trent Edwards (535-878), 60.48% by Rob Johnson (401-663), and 60.13% by Jim Kelly (2,874-4,780)
–Remains 4th on Bills all-time completion list with 937 (see list, left) … 103 behind #3 Jack Kemp (1,040)
–1,560 career pass att. with Bills remains 4th on club all-time list … 680 behind #3 Jack Kemp (2,240)
–Did not throw TD pass tonight … 4th time in 2012 without TD (also in games 5, 6 and 8) … has thrown TD in 37 of 49 games played as Bill
–73 career TDs with Bills remains 4th on club all-time chart (see list, left) … 4 behind #3 Jack Kemp (77)
–7-of-14 for 106 yds. on 4 FG drives
–Had 80.5 passer rating tonight … 31st time in career with rating of 80+ (min. 20 att.), 26th time with Bills … Fitzpatrick’s teams are 17-13-1 with 80+ rating; Bills are 14-12
–80.1 rating in Bills career remains 5th on Bills’ all-time list (min. 250 att.), behind 85.5 by Rob Johnson, 84.4 by Jim Kelly, 81.9 by Frank Reich, and 81.7 by Doug Flutie
–87.0 rating this season ranks 6th on Bills’ single-season chart, trailing only 102.9 by Rob Johnson in 1998, 101.2 by Jim Kelly in 1990, 97.6 by Kelly in 1991, 90.0 by Joe Ferguson in 1976, and 87.4 by Doug Flutie in 1998
K Rian Lindell
–4-4 on FG today … 10th career game with 4+ FGs (all with Bills) … Bills are 8-2 when he converts 4+ FG … 30th time in Bills history a kicker has had 4+ FG
–37th time in career with 3+ FG, 32nd with Bills … Lindell’s teams are 24-13 (Bills are now 20-12) when he converts 3+ FG … 32 games with 3+ FG ties club record previously held by Steve Christie
–217 FGs in Bills career remains 2nd on club all-time (see list, left) … needs 17 to tie club record-holder Steve Christie (234)
–Has made 23 of last 25 FG attempts
–217-260 (83.46%) on FGs in Bills career, best rate on club all-time (min. 50 att.; 2nd: Steve Christie – 78.26%)
–275 FGs in NFL career now ranks 29th on NFL all-time list … tonight passed Pete Stoyanovich (272) … 7 behind co-#27s Jim Bakken and Fred Cox (282 each)
–13 pts. today … 34th game with 10+ pts. as Bill … only Steve Christie (35) has more 10-pt. games in club history … 40th career 10-pt. game (1 in 2000, 3 in 2001, 2 in 2002, 1 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 5 in 2005, 3 in 2006, 3 in 2007, 6 in 2008, 4 in 2009, 3 in 2010, 3 in 2011, 2 in 2012)
P Shawn Powell
–Tied Bills record with 5 punts tonight giving Dolphins possession inside their own 20-yard line … 10th time a Bills punter has had 5 in a game; prior to tonight, it was most recently done by Brian Moorman at St.L., 9/28/08 … last time a Bills punter had 5 “in-the-20’s” in a home game was by John Kidd, 10/29/89 vs. Mia.
–Has had at least one “in-the-20” in 5 of 7 games in NFL career … 13 of 34 punts (38.2%) have given opponent the ball inside the 20
–34 punts in 2012 are 5th most by Bills rookie in season, behind John Kidd (88 in 1984), Brian Moorman (80 in 2001), Greg Cater (73 in 1980), and Daryle Lamonica (52 in 1963)
–7 punts tonight were 2nd most in career (had 8 at Ari. 10/14)
–45.29 average tonight ranks 9th highest by Bills rookie in single game … Powell now owns 3 of top 9 single game rookie averages (also had 49.40 at Hou. 11/4 and 47.67 at S.F. 10/7)
–4 punts tonight covered 50 yds. … has had 50+ punt in 6 of 7 games of NFL career
LB Bryan Scott
–Recorded interception in 4th qtr. to seal win … INT was 10th INT of career (6th with Bills) and 3rd of season
–3 INTs in season are new personal season high (old high: 2 as rookie with Atl. in 2003 and with Bills in 2011)
–2nd consecutive season that Bills LB has 3+ INTs in season (Nick Barnett, 3 in 2011) … last time Bills had back-to-back seasons with LBs having 3+ INTs: 1972-73 (Ken Lee, 6 in ‘72; Jim Cheyunski, 3 in ’73)
–Scott’s teams are 7-3 (Bills are 4-2) when he records INT
–Last 2 INTs (also 9/23/12 at Cle.) have enabled Bills to run out clock in victory
DE Mario Williams
–Recorded sack in 2nd qtr. … raised career sack total to 58.5 … now leads Bills this season with 5.5 sacks
–Williams’ teams are 25-16 when participating in a sack, 12-4 with 2+
–Ryan Tannehill is 4th different Miami QB to be sacked by Williams (most QBs of any team; has taken down 3 QBs each on Ten. & Oak.) … Tannehill also became 31st different NFL QB sacked by Williams
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
S Jairus Byrd had a strong night on defense recording his fourth interception of the year with under two minutes remaining in the game to help seal the win for the Bills. Byrd also had two tackles, two pass defense, and a fumble recovery that led to a field goal drive in the first quarter.
Rookie P Shawn Powell tied a Bills mark with his performance last night recording five of his seven punts inside the Dolphins 20-yard line including one late in the fourth quarter that went out of bounds at the Miami one-yard line. Powell had a net punting average of 40.9 yards.
RB C.J. Spiller rushed for 91 yards on 22 attempts Thursday night and 39 yards receiving. Spiller matched a personal-best of five consecutive games and his 11th game with 100-yards plus from scrimmage.
Buffalo News-For Bills fans, difference between night and day
Buffalo News-Bills’ defense slams door on Dolphins
Buffalo News-Bills’ run defense gets back to basics
Buffalo News-Win has the feel of mission regained
Buffalo News-McKelvin’s return gets The Ralph rocking
Buffalo News-Quarterly Report: Bills 19, Dolphins 14
Buffalo News-Turnovers, punt return TD enable Bills to fry Fish
Rochester D&C-Buffalo Bills return to winning ways
Rochester D&C-Buffalo Bills’ C.J. Spiller shines in spotlight
Rochester D&C-Kudos to the Buffalo Bills’ defense
Associated Press-Bills’ D finally shows in 19-14 win over Dolphins
Auburn Citizen-Buffalo Bills Week 11 Report Card
Dunkirk Observer-Plenty of locals at ‘The Ralph’ for primetime
Toronto Sun-Bills beat Dolphins with special teams
BuffaloBills.com-Late takeaways seal Bills win over Dolphins
BuffaloBills.com-Byrd’s big plays give Bills big lift
BuffaloBills.com-Chan Gailey: ”I thought this was something to build on”
BuffaloBills.com-Ryan Fitzpatrick: ”We let them hang around”
BuffaloBills.com-C.J. Spiller: ”We were able to get some flow going”
BuffaloBills.com-Jairus Byrd: ”It was a must-win”
Bills Roundup: Defense Comes Up Big In 19-14 Win
C.J. Spiller Postgame Press Conference
Jairus Byrd Postgame Press Conference
Ryan Fitzpatrick Postgame Press Conference
Chan Gailey Postgame Press Conference
Fans travel from Albany for Buffalo tailgating
Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller steps on the set after win
Dolphins vs. Bills highlights
Nothing bad from me
Sideline Reactions: Bills 19 – Dolphins 14
11/16 Paul Hamilton gives his take on how well the Bills played last night
11/16 Jerry Sullivan shares his feelings on a much needed win
Inside The Bills
Powell ties Bills mark, C.J.’s numbers still ground breaking, Spiller on the radio, Kyle Williams hoping elbow is minor, McKelvin hitting all-time marks
Press Coverage (Buffalo News)
Bills defense rises to occasion
C.J. Spiller answers his ‘critics,’ whoever they may be
Game ball: Bills 19, Dolphins 14
Video: Replay [BN]TheHuddle postgame show
Points after: Bills 19, Dolphins 14
Around the League (NFL.com)
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills’ defense stall Miami Dolphins
Reggie Bush could learn something from C.J. Spiller
Three-point Stance (Rochester D&C)
The Sports Network
Buffalo 19, Miami 14
Immediate Reactions: Buffalo Bills 19, Miami Dolphins 14
Bills/Dolphins: Recap and Awards
Bills 19, Dolphins 14: Impending Buffalo Free Agents Key Bills Win
Bills 19, Dolphins 14: C.J. Spiller Is Great, But Is The Defense, Too?
Bills 19, Dolphins 14: Buffalo’s Special Teams Win It
Pro Football Weekly
Bills defense stuffs Dolphins in 19-14 win
AFC East Daily
Bills’ defense shows up, Dolphins’ offense doesn’t
Posted in Bills Daily Charge, Inside the Bills