Final

Bills 16

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Dolphins 6

(0-2, 0-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 17, 2006

 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 3 0 13 016
MIA 0 0 0 66

Top Performers

Passing: D. Culpepper (MIA) - 250 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: W. McGahee (BUF) - 25 CAR, 91 YDS

Receiving: C. Chambers (MIA) - 4 REC, 55 YDS, 1 TD

Bills sack Culpepper seven times in win

MIAMI (AP) -- Shortly after kickoff, the Buffalo Bills started knocking Daunte Culpepper around. Around halftime, the quarterback's new fans in Miami started adding to his misery.

It was over when ...
Rian Lindell kicked two field goals late in the third quarter, giving the Bills a 16-0 lead.
Game ball goes to ...
The Bills' defense. Miami quarterback Daunte Culpepper passed for 250 yards, but Buffalo made the 16-0 lead stand up, holding the Dolphins off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. The Bills sacked Culpepper seven times and intercepted him once.
Scouts Inc.'s take ...
A swarming defense gave the edge to the Bills in Sunday's matchup. Buffalo posted seven sacks, most of them coming from their talented defensive ends. Dolphins QB Daunte Culpepper made some poor decisions, including one that resulted in an interception late in the first half. When Miami's run game did get going the Bills crowded the line of scrimmage with eight-man fronts to make some timely stops.

The Bills sacked Culpepper seven times -- five times in the first 15 snaps -- and they blocked a punt and survived a paltry passing effort in beating Miami 16-6 on Sunday, sending the Dolphins to 0-2 for only the second time in the last 37 seasons.

Culpepper completed 23 of 32 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown, but his regular-season home opener with the Dolphins was far from memorable. He and the offense were booed as they ran off the field at intermission and throughout the second half, as a team widely mentioned as a Super Bowl contender needed a TD grab by Chris Chambers with 1:54 left just to avoid a shutout.

"Our defense really played big today," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "Pressure when we needed it. Got him down when we needed to. That's not easy. Contained the run, too."

Rian Lindell had three field goals and Josh Reed caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from J.P. Losman, who was 11-of-18 for 83 yards. Willis McGahee had 91 yards on 25 carries for Buffalo (1-1).

"It's a game that shows that stats don't matter," Losman said. "Our defense was able to stick it to them all day."

Ronnie Brown had 70 yards on 15 carries and added a team-best six catches for 52 yards for Miami, which is 0-2 for the sixth time in team history. None of the previous five teams finished better than 6-10.

"We'd like to think we're better than this," Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas said. "But we're not."

With two-time All-Pro linebacker Takeo Spikes sidelined by a strained hamstring and two would-be starting safeties -- Troy Vincent, now on injured reserve, and Matt Bowen -- also out, Buffalo's defense figured to be facing a big test against a Miami offense that promised improvement from its Week 1 loss in Pittsburgh.

The Bills passed, and this year, didn't waste a big lead in South Florida. Last season, Buffalo led 23-3 in the fourth quarter before the Dolphins -- led by a 15-catch, 238-yard effort by Chambers -- rallied for a 24-23 win. Chambers was held largely in check this time, managing four catches for 55 yards.

Buffalo defensive end Ryan Denney had three sacks in the first 17 minutes, setting the tone for a frustrating day for Culpepper and Miami's offense.

"It was a combination of confusing them as well as the pressure we put on them," said Denney, who also forced a fumble. "If there's pressure in your face, you can't run your offense, you can't wait for your receivers to get open."

Miami managed only two real scoring chances until the game's final moments. One went awry when Olindo Mare missed a 55-yard field goal try early in the second quarter. The other ended shortly before halftime, when the Dolphins drove to the Buffalo 14 but Culpepper tried to force a pass to Randy McMichael on the right side of the end zone.

Problem was, two Buffalo defenders were in his way -- including Angelo Crowell, who intercepted the pass and sent the Bills into halftime with a 3-0 lead.

"Starting 0-2, we're in an adverse time as a team," Culpepper said. "We've got to step up and stop doing the things we're doing that put us in the position we're in."

By then, the crowd of 72,797 had seen enough and started booing. They resumed after a three-and-out following three successive running plays in the third quarter when the Dolphins were down 13-0, booed after a false-start flag in the final period -- and some even began chanting for backup Joey Harrington to take over.

"I'd like to see our crowd be supportive," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. "No one likes to get booed. I don't think players like to get booed. I think it helps the other team feel confidence."

Buffalo went up 10-0 after its opening drive of the second half, buoyed by a 50-yard pass interference flag against the Dolphins' Will Allen. Losman tried to throw a deep ball to Lee Evans, who was in the clear -- until Allen hauled him down at the Miami 4.

One play later, Losman tossed a pass to Reed for the game's first touchdown.

"We made up our minds we were coming in to get a win," McGahee said. "And we did."

Game notes


Bills punter Brian Moorman had six punts in the game; five were downed inside the Miami 20 and four inside the Miami 10. ... Miami lost 60 yards in the seven sacks against Culpepper. ... Evans, who had three TD catches in Miami last season, had only two grabs for 19 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
MIA
1st Downs1215
Passing 1st downs
510
Rushing 1st downs
65
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
4-136-15
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays5259
Total Yards171282
Yards per play3.34.8
Total Drives1111
Passing66190
Comp-Att
11-1823-32
Yards per pass
3.34.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-177-60
Rushing10592
Rushing Attempts
3220
Yards per rush
3.34.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-31-2
Penalties4-306-75
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:5929:01

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Losman11/18834.6102-17
MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Culpepper23/322507.8117-60

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
McGahee25913.6015
Losman2105.009
MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown15704.7014
Suggs3124.006

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Reed4399.8119
Evans2199.5014
MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Chambers45513.8126
Brown6528.7020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFMIA
bufFG2:40Rian Lindell 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 49 yds, 5:46
30
THIRD QUARTERBUFMIA
bufTD10:15Josh Reed, 4 yd pass from J.P. Losman
Drive info: 8 plays, 72 yds, 4:51
90
bufFG3:59Rian Lindell 37 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 29 yds, 4:47
130
bufFG0:52Rian Lindell 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, -8 yds, 1:04
160
FOURTH QUARTERBUFMIA
miaTD2:00Chris Chambers, 23 yd pass from Daunte Culpepper
Drive info: 11 plays, 93 yds, 2:53
166