Bills vs. Miami third-down D
Miami had allowed opponents to convert just 1 of 24 third-down situations the past two weeks. Miami ranked sixth overall on third-down defense, allowing only 34 percent conversions. The Bills snapped the Dolphin hot streak. Buffalo converted 7 of 15 plays, 47 percent.
Tyrod Taylor, Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy made the Dolphins pay on third down. Clay caught a quick slant for the first conversion. Taylor threw to McCoy for the second. Taylor beat a blitz and Clay broke a tackle attempt for the third. Taylor's 16-yard TD pass to McCoy was the fourth conversion. Taylor beat the blitz by scrambling for two more conversions.
"I think it boiled down to matchups," Taylor said. "It's a very good team, a bunch of talented guys. . . . They still did a lot of the things we saw on film, that's their identity. We were just able to execute."
Bills D vs. Kenyan Drake
The Dolphins' talented rookie running back rushed for 234 yards the previous two weeks and was averaging 5.1 yards a carry since Miami traded away lead running back Jay Ajayi on Oct. 31.
The Bills held the third-round pick from Alabama to 78 yards, thanks to the fact he only got 16 carries. He averaged 4.9 yards an attempt. Miami dropped back to pass 53 times and called 20 running plays.
"We started having negative plays and we were putting ourselves in third and long," explained Miami coach Adam Gase. "That kind of caused us some problems there in the second quarter. We had some success early. Really, it was all on him, as far as the reason why were getting a lot of those yards. We were kind of losing some blocks and then bouncing them outside. We were trying to avoid standing at third and long."
Tyrod Taylor vs. Jay Cutler
In a contest of who can protect the ball better, the result was predictable. The Bills' QB did not make a turnover. The Dolphins' QB threw three interceptions. He also fumbled four times, although he recovered all four of his own fumbles.
The knock on Cutler throughout his 12-year career is he has a knack for undisciplined throws. This season he has 18 touchdown passes and 14 INTs. Taylor has 13 TDs and four INTs. Cutler's first pickoff was a heave down the right sideline for Kenny Stills. It wasn't Cutler's fault that Stills got slowed by a good jam from Tre White. But Cutler pulled the trigger too soon. He looked panicky on the play. Ditto for the second INT, an overthrown that Shareece Wright picked off. The pocket was clean. Culter was hurried by Lorenzo Alexander on the third INT in the final minute.