There was a feeling brewing in Buffalo that something special was starting. The Bills started 1-0, have a cancer-free Jim Kelly, new owners and football had come home for Week 2 to see an emotional ceremonial ring presented to Mary Wilson by Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, in which Ralph Wilson’s name on the Wall of Fame was turned gold in honor of our long time owner. This was a game that everyone needed to show up for, starting early with a scuffle between Dan Carpenter and his former team on the way back in from warming up, the team didn’t disappoint.
The Bills got the ball first and wasted no time in establishing a rhythm. After a few runs from Fred Jackson, a blown coverage allowed Sammy Watkins to be wide open for a 28 yard gain. The next play, EJ went right back to Watkins deep down the right sideline. It took a fantastic play by Brent Grimes to stop the rookie getting his first NFL touchdown. The Bills drive stalled and they were forced to punt.
On the Dolphins first possession, it didn’t take long to start getting pressure on Ryan Tannehill. The first play, Tannehill managed to throw for a first down despite Kyle Williams pushing RG Shelley Smith right under his chin. On the third, Kyle was disruptive again and forced Tannehill to step up into the waiting arms of Mario. It was the start of ‘Free Hug Day’ in Buffalo and Miami had to punt.
The next Bills drive started slowly, forcing a 3rd and 6. Cameron Wake looped around both of his DT’s and had a free shot at EJ. In stepped Fred Jackson who blasted Wake off his feet, allowing EJ to extend the play. A short throw to Jackson went for 26 yards. The Bills worked their way up the field but the drive ended with a poor pass from EJ at the feet of an open Robert Woods. The throw was rushed because of pressure given up by Erik Pears. Dan Carpenter made it 3-0.
Disaster struck for Miami on the next series. After picking up a first down, Knowshon Moreno suffered a gruesome dislocated elbow and left the game. He’s likely to be out for 4-8 weeks. To make things even worse for the Dolphins, they had a punt blocked by a Flying Boobie! The Bills would start their next drive in enemy territory.
While the Bills didn’t capitalize on the great field position, the drive did have a ‘WOW’ moment when Scott Chandler made an outrageous catch down the left sideline and, for a second week, made it almost impossible for me to say a bad thing about him. He’s a selfish bastard! Another Carpenter FG made it 6-0 Bills.
Once again, the Dolphins went nowhere. After an 18 yard gain to Mike Wallace, they had plays that netted minus 5 (pass to Clay, blown up by Aaron Williams), minus 10 (Kyle Williams sack) and minus 11 (Jerry Hughes sack). They had to punt again on a hilarious 4th and 36.
By this time, EJ and Sammy started getting in sync. Watkins came across the formation and a relatively easy throw took them 30 yards downfield. A couple of plays later, they should’ve combined for a touchdown. Hard to apportion blame without knowing exactly how the play is supposed to go but once again, the Bills had to settle for a field goal. 9-0 Bills.
The rest of the first half was fairly uneventful with both teams trading punts and Joe Philbin seemingly content to waste the last 2 minutes of the half despite being 2 scores down.
At the start of the second half, Miami came out a lot more positively. Tannehill looked more decisive with the football and managed to get on the scoreboard with a Caleb Sturgis FG. 9-3 Bills.
Whatever good feeling the scoring drive did for the Dolphins lasted about 12 seconds. That’s how long it took CJ Spiller to go 102 yards from the kickoff to the endzone. That’s why he’s returning kicks, you idiots. Never doubt the Power of Doug! 16-3 Bills.
To give credit to the Dolphins they didn’t give up, despite the hammer blow of the Spiller TD. Although they did get incredibly lucky. The Bills managed to force a 4th down at their own 41 yard line and, after a timeout, Miami went for it. The pass was completed to Jarvis Landry but the officials missed an obvious false start on rookie RT Ju’Wuan James. They made the most of their good fortune thanks to an astonishing one-handed catch by Mike Wallace. 16-10 Bills.
The game had gone from a bit of a mismatch to a heavyweight fight, both teams standing in and trading punches. It was the Bills turn to start throwing again, sensing that one more big shot might end it.
The big play on the drive came from that man Spiller again. A 48 yard run that was set up thanks to a HUGE block from Seantrel Henderson on Cam Wake. Jason Trusnik couldn’t get near him at the second level and he was gone.
The knockout blow was delivered by Sammy Watkins. Watkins came across the field, caught the ball in stride at the 11 and headed to the endzone. He bobbled the ball before the goal line, regained it and managed to get the ball across the line before it came loose again. Hopefully that is the first of many for the rookie WR from Clemson. 23-10 Bills.
The Dolphins spirit was broken and they couldn’t find another answer. Yet another drive never got out of first gear and they had to punt again. It was another poor one from Fields and the Bills next drive started at the Miami 48. It only ended in a field goal but the damage had already been done. 26-10 Bills.
Miami took to the field again and got into Bills territory. They went for it on a 4th a 1 with Tannehill keeping the ball on a zone read. Da’Norris Searcy read it all the way, slipped past a futile block and floored Tannehill for a loss of 4 yards and the turnover.
Buffalo didn’t make the most of it and had to punt. This led to the Dolphins day getting even worse. Colton Schmidt punted to Jarvis Landry and he tried to catch it with his face. The ball was recovered by backup linebacker Randall Johnson. After running the ball to kill the clock a bit, Dan Carpenter missed from 31 yards.
On their next possession, Miami turned the ball over on downs again, this time at their own 27 yard line. The same protocol from the Bills and this time Carpenter nailed it from 38 yards. 29-10 Bills.
The Bills went to a prevent defense for the last 2 minutes and Miami got to pad their stats a bit. Tannehill made easy throws against soft coverage and got all the way down to the 20 yard line before forcing a 4th down pass to a covered Landry. Leodis McKelvin pulled in the interception and the Bills ended the game in the victory formation.
That’s right, the Buffalo Bills are 2-0. No luck, no flukes, just talent. If our red zone execution was better, this would have been an absolute massacre. We will face better teams than Miami and scoring 3 points consistently will not keep us in games against the likes of Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers later in the season.