Four Lindell field goals helps Bills beat Fish, 19-14
By John Wawrow The Associated Press
ORCHARD PARK —
Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Rian Lindell added four field goals as the Buffalo Bills held on Thursday night to beat the Miami Dolphins, 19-14.
McKelvin went untouched up a seam down the left sideline after the Bills forced Miami to a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. He has had two of the three longest punt returns in the NFL this season, also scoring on an 88-yard return in Buffalo's victory over Kansas City in Week 2.
Lindell connected from 32, 34, 42, and 19 yards as the Bills (4-6) settled for three points on all four of their trips into the red zone. Buffalo snaps a two-game losing streak to the Dolphins, and also has dropped 11 straight prime-time games.
The Dolphins were throttled on offense throughout by a Buffalo defense that came in ranked 31st in the NFL. Miami didn't cross midfield until their eighth drive of the game, which occurred with under 4 minutes to go in the third quarter. That march ultimately stalled at Buffalo's 32-yard line, with Dan Carpenter's 50-yard field-goal attempt glancing off the right upright.
The Dolphins had just two first downs in the first half.
Bills defensive end Mario Williams recorded a sack, and the oft-maligned Buffalo defense allowed only 75 yards through three quarters.
Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller, meanwhile, gained 116 combined yards. Playing full-time for the injured Fred Jackson, Spiller has 79 rushing yards on 16 carries. He has never had 20 or more carries in a game.
After Miami receiver Brian Hartline fumbled following a 17-yard reception, the Bills capitalized by taking a 10-0 lead on Lindell's 32-yard field goal with 5:07 left in the first quarter.
The Dolphins (4-6) responded on the ensuing kickoff when Marcus Thigpen returned it 96 yards to cut the deficit to 10-7. It was Thigpen's second return for a touchdown this season, with the other coming on a punt return in Miami's season opener against Houston.
Thigpen became the first player in Dolphins history to return a punt and kickoff for touchdowns in the same season.
The last time there was a punt return touchdown by one team and a kickoff return touchdown by the opposing team in the same quarter was December 1999 in a game between the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions according to STATS LLC. Washington's James Thrash had a 95-yard kickoff return for a score and Detroit's Desmond Howard had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Jackson missed his first game since sustaining a concussion in Buffalo's loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.