The Miami Dolphins had a guaranteed playoff advancement. A win against the Bills and the Jets for their last two seasonal games would have shooed them into the post-season. However, Buffalo and QB Thad Lewis had other things on their mind, shutting out the Dolphins with a 19-0 victory.
Fans cheered as QB Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins slipped all over Ralph Wilson Stadium. Tannehill finished with just 82 yards, Buffalo’s defense socking it to Miami’s offense. Here are some of the key highlights of Buffalo’s fantastic finish.
FRED JACKSON. Running back Fred Jackson has been the heart of the Bills’ offense for years, proving that against Miami with one touchdown and 111 rushing yards. Jackson plowed through Miami’s defense all day, helping Buffalo secure some needed first downs. His grind-them-down play helped set up four Dan Carpenter field goals. Playing through broken ribs, Jackson also hit a career milestone. He surpassed the 5,000 yard mark, sliding into the number three spot as the Bills’ all-time leading rushers behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson. Congratulations Fred!
JIM LEONHARD’S INTERCEPTION. After Stephon Gilmore allowed a 51-yard reception for QB Matt Moore, Jim Leonhard picked him off. That interception negated a possible Dolphins’ score and helped set up a 22-yard Dan Carpenter field goal.
9:16 THIRD QUARTER DRIVE. Buffalo has struggled with quick three-and-outs all season. Today was different, the Bills eating up 9:16 minutes of clock time on one drive in the second half. The long possession led to three points, Buffalo driving the nails even deeper into the Dolphin’s playoff coffin.
SEVEN SACKS. The Bills’ defense showed a phenomenal performance, sacking Tannehill and back-up QB Matt Moore seven times. Buffalo stuffed Miami’s offense, denying them red zone entrance. Buffalo’s defense broke their own franchise sack record. Racking up 56 season sacks, they beat their old 49 sacks in 1995 and 50 unofficial sacks in 1964 records. Kudos Bills’ defense!
NICKELL ROBEY. With a pair of Tannehill sacks and four tackles, Nickell Robey showed his prowess. Deserving of defensive player of the game, the 5 foot 7 undrafted cornerback played fierce, something he has done all season after being signed by the Bills.
Said Robey, as stated on www.democratandchronicle.com, “I could only control what I could control, so when the Bills picked me up, I was happy, I was full of joy because I had a chance to play in the NFL and that was always my dream. It wasn’t about the money, it wasn’t about the lifestyle. I said to myself, ‘You wanted to play in the NFL.’ So play in the NFL, and that’s what I’m doing and I’m grateful for it.
I am looking forward to seeing Robey and the rest of the Buffalo Bills play next week when they face the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will be vying for home field advantage in the playoffs.
Will Fred Jackson have another 100-plus yard game?
Can Buffalo’s defense hit the 60 sack mark against Tom Brady?
Tune in next Sunday for the Buffalo Bills’ season finale.