This is what it looks like when a plan comes together. The Buffalo Bills came into the 2014 season determined not to ask second-year quarterback EJ Manuel to have to carry the load himself. They’re 2 for 2 in that regard, as for the second straight week all three phases of the game contributed in a dominating 29-10 victory inside rockin’ Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. “It’s a team game, and it’s great to see when everyone is pulling their weight,” General Manager Doug Whaley said in a jubilant locker room after the game. “Where we are as a team, this is the blueprint we need to follow to be successful.” Manuel wasn’t perfect – going 16 for 26 for 202 yards and a touchdown – but again didn’t need to be. He wasn’t sacked, avoided any big mistakes and made the most of his completions by averaging 7.8 yards per attempt. That the offense left as many points as it did on the field by going 1 for 6 in the red zone speaks to how much support it got from the defense and special teams. “I think it was just a good overall team victory,” Manuel said. “Defense allowed us the opportunities even when we were having field goals. They would go out there, shut them out and get us the ball right back.” Credit also goes to the 12th Man. The 69,954 inside The Ralph were at their full-throated best from start to finish, willing the defense to stops. “Did our players feel that? Absolutely,” coach Doug Marrone said. “It’s outstanding. That’s why I think that this is one of the toughest places to play.” Miami’s offense likely concurred in the first half. The Dolphins clearly had problems hearing the snap count and were limited to 62 total yards of offense. They converted just 29 percent of their third downs (2 of 7) and lost running back Knowshon Moreno to a left elbow injury. “We didn’t have enough intensity out there,” Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said. “Those guys were fired up every single play. Every single play, you heard them screaming and yelling. They were fired up and we were quiet. You’re not going to win like that.” The Bills, though, couldn’t capitalize on the field position the defense produced. Consecutive drives that began at the Buffalo 41-yard line, Miami 31 (following a blocked punt by Anthony Dixon) and the Buffalo 47 resulted only in three Dan Carpenter field goals and a 9-0 lead. Miami’s offense came out in the second half with an up-tempo, no-huddle attack that began producing results. A 13-play, 64-drive resulted in a 34-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis to cut Buffalo’s lead to 9-3. The Bills’ special teams then took their turn starring. Running back C.J. Spiller was barely touched on a career-long 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, getting key blocks from Brandon Spikes and Frank Summers as he raced down the right sideline.
Bills’ balanced attack produces lopsided victory over Dolphins
Buffalo News | Sep 15