The Buffalo Bills started fast and slowed down. The Miami Dolphins started sloppy and got sloppier.
Tight end Nick O'Leary took advantage of one of Miami's many mistakes Sunday and got the Bills started on their 22-16 victory Sunday.
Miami is the most penalized team in the NFL, averaging 8.5 penalties a game. The Dolphins helped the Bills by committing 14 penalties for 145 yards.
Here were the 10 plays that shaped the game:
1. Wide open. A good play design goaded Miami into a coverage bust on O'Leary's 26-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
Miami free safety Reshad Jones was exploited. Miami bit on a first-down play-action fake to LeSean McCoy off right tackle. Zay Jones ran a crossing route to the left side of the field, and Deonte Thompson ran a pivot route to the left sideline. Tyrod Taylor ran a mini-roll to the left, further getting all the Dolphins' eyes going in that direction.
O'Leary snuck off the line of scrimmage and ran toward the right side of the end zone. He was wide open because the Dolphins' safety got caught watching Zay Jones go the other way.
2. Rumbling. Who knew Kyle Williams had YAC ability? (That would be yards after contact.) The Bills' defensive tackle, taking the handoff from the 1-yard line as the fullback, ran through arm tackles of both defensive tackle Gabe Wright and linebacker Mike Hull on his way to the end zone midway through the third quarter.
The touchdown capped a 50-yard drive and gave the Bills a 19-3 advantage. Williams has lined up as the lead blocker on the goal line numerous times in his career. Never has he taken the handoff. Sean McDermott and the coaches deserve a medal for that play call.
3. Open deep. Thompson has been one of the Bills' unsung heroes this season. He created a big play by getting behind cornerback Cordrea Tankersley – with that name it's too bad he wasn't drafted by the Browns – on the play before Williams' TD plunge. It was a third-and-6 play, and the Bills exploited Miami's man coverage.
Thompson was open in the end zone, and Tankersley grabbed his shoulder and then his arms as the on-target pass from Taylor arrived. It was a 31-yard penalty.
4. Good hands. Thompson kept the Bills' first-half TD drive alive by making a tough catch over the middle for a 13-yard gain. It converted a third-and-8 situation. The pass from Taylor was behind him on a crossing route but Thompson reached backward and held on at the Miami 39.
5. Marcus who? The Bills' second-quarter field-goal drive was keyed by a 25-yard run by Marcus Murphy, just activated off the practice squad on Tuesday.
Capable running backs: They grow on trees. Murphy produced 1,136 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns as a senior at Missouri in 2014. He was first-team all-Southeastern Conference and had seven career kick returns for touchdowns. He has bounced around three teams this season.
Murphy had a convoy, as he followed pulling Richie Incognito, who wiped out middle linebacker Chase Allen. Fullback Patrick DiMarco took out linebacker Lawrence Timmons, and Jordan Mills pancacked Kiko Alonso downfield. The Bills got an extra 5 yards due to a facemask penalty on Reshad Jones.
6. Key facemask. A fumble late in the second quarter by Taylor was nullified thanks to a facemask penalty on Cameron Wake. The Dolphins' defensive end was chucking O'Leary at the line of scrimmage as the tight end went out for a pass. It was a clear penalty and a good break for the Bills because Taylor fumbled at the Buffalo 41 and Miami recovered with 42 seconds left in the half.
7. Sure thing. Stephen Hauschka continued his great season with a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter. Hauschka is 7 of 9 from both 40-to-49 yards and 50-plus yards this season.
8. Throw away. Williams and Jerry Hughes exploited the left side of the Miami line to get a fourth-down stop in the third quarter. Williams ran a stunt to the outside and got around left tackle Zach Sterup. Hughes came inside and got past guard Ted Larsen. Williams hurried David Foles first and forced a throwaway.
9. Another INT. Jordan Poyer sealed the win with his fifth interception of the season with 49 seconds left.
10. Lost composure. Buffalo's Ryan Davis and Miami's Kenyan Drake got into a fight at the end of Miami's 1-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Miami's players lost their cool more than the Bills' players. Both Jarvis Landry and Drake were ejected from the game.