Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine didn’t mince words about Buffalo’s 19-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
“That was a pretty good beating,” Pettine said. “But to me, our guys earned it. They came out, they took the challenge. They were flying around.”
Buffalo (6-9) sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill a season-best seven times and held Miami (8-7) to 103 yards offense in posting its first shutout since 2011, and first at Ralph Wilson Stadium since a 21-0 win over Miami on Dec. 17, 2006.
“I think you’ve seen today potentially what we can do,” said defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who posted two sacks. “We’ve got a good scheme for things and we’ve got some really good players.”
The Bills’ defense now has 56 sacks, breaking its previous high of 50 during a 14-game season in 1964.
“They were getting off the ball and they just looked a step faster than Miami did all day,” Pettine said. “That was a tribute to them.”
The Bills’ defense began the game without starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Coach Doug Marrone revealed that Dareus was benched for the first quarter for violating undisclosed team rules.
Bills rookie receiver Robert Woods was then ejected in the third quarter for punching Dolphins safety Reshad Jones
The absences didn’t seem to matter as Buffalo dominated line play on both sides of the ball, running for 203 yards on 51 carries. Fred Jackson had 111 yards rushing and scored on a 9-yard run.
“Second series of that game, we knew we could run the ball on those guys and it was like blood in the water,” Jackson said. “Our offensive line was looking forward to getting out there, champing at the bit.”
The defense took the pressure off an offense run by backup Thad Lewis, who started in place of rookie EJ Manuel, out because of a swollen left knee. Lewis, who is from Miami, finished 15 of 25 for 193 yards and an interception to improve to 2-2 this season, both wins coming against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins (8-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped and are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. With the loss, Miami needs help from other teams. Miami hosts the New York Jets next weekend.
The Dolphins’ loss clinched the AFC East for New England.
Williams’ second sack knocked Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill out for a few plays because of a left knee injury early in the fourth quarter. Matt Moore took over and provided Miami a short-lived spark by completing a 50-yard pass to Brian Hartline. He followed by throwing an interception to Jim Leonhard.
Buffalo capitalized. Taking over at the Dolphins 48, backup quarterback Thad Lewis marched the Bills 44 yards to Dan Carpenter’s 22-yard field goal, making it 16-0 with 6:43 left. Carpenter hit all four field-goal attempts, including a game-opening 45-yarder, against his former team.
Tannehill returned for the next series, only to throw three straight incompletions for Miami’s seventh three-and-out. He threw another three incompletions and was sacked on the next drive before giving way to Moore for the remainder of the game.
Moore closed the game by throwing a second interception by Leodis McKelvin.
Tannehill finished 10 of 27 for 82 yards.
The Dolphins crossed midfield only three times and had four drives finish with negative yards. They were shut out for the first time since closing last season with a 28-0 loss at New England, and were swept by Buffalo.
The Bills, coming off a 27-20 win at Jacksonville, won consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 2-3 of the 2012 season.
Buffalo finished without its top three receivers. Rookie Marquise Goodwin had a right knee injury late in the first quarter. Then Woods was ejected. Veteran starter Stevie Johnson was excused to be with his family following the death of his mother.
Rookie cornerback Nickell Robey had two sacks, while Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes and safety Da’Norris Searcy also had a sack apiece.
“Today, we blitzed them and I think we found one of their weaknesses and they couldn’t pick it up,” Robey said. “We just kept putting pressure on them, kept blitzing them, kept blitzing them and I just kept getting loose.”