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McGahee hangs tough Blast to head doesn't stop Willis; Clements gets another INT

Running back Willis McGahee threw up last week against the New York Jets. He almost got knocked out by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

A helmet-to-helmet collision with Miami middle linebacker Zach Thomas separated McGahee from the ball and, at least temporarily, his senses.

"That was the hardest hit I have taken since I have been in the NFL," McGahee said. "I was driving and [Thomas] got a good hit, right along the side of my head, and everything went still for a minute. He gave me a little ringing."

McGahee was down on the Bills' first possession, but he wasn't out for long. He returned and put in a solid effort in the 21-0 win over the Dolphins, finishing with 79 yards on 28 carries.

While his average of 2.8 yards per carry wasn't overly impressive, he gained the hard, tough yards when the Bills needed them. With the Bills trying to muscle down the clock, McGahee produced 40 of his yards on 10 fourth-quarter carries.

McGahee is making a habit of playing through physical ailments. He went into last week's Jets game with a very sore ankle, then he vomited and was feeling lightheaded after scoring on a 57-yard run. But he came back to finish with 125 yards.

McGahee sat out two games with three broken ribs but has been able to play with the injury the last four weeks. He's also dealt with a variety of other bumps and bruises this season.

"When you play running back you always have something," tight end Robert Royal said. "Willis is a tough guy. Obviously, the injury he had coming into the NFL [three torn knee ligaments] was tough, so I think that Willis could play through anything. If he can play through that, he can play through a wrist or a little rib or something like that.

"He's a tough guy, and we respect him when he's in the game, and obviously when he's in the game the whole offensive scheme changes for us."

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It should be obvious to the Dolphins by now that throwing in Nate Clements' direction is not a good thing. The Bills cornerback recorded his ninth interception against Miami. His 23 career picks ties him with Booker Edgerson and Steve Freeman for seventh place on the Bills' all-time list.

Clements is at a loss to explain his success against the Dolphins.

"It just seems that throughout my career it has worked out that way," he said. "I don't do anything different. I just go out there and prepare myself early, practice hard, and I'm ready to play by Sunday."

Clements was especially ready considering what Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers has done to the Bills in the past. His 15-catch, 238-yard performance propelled Miami to a 24-23 comeback win over Buffalo late last season.

But with Clements shadowing him all day, Chambers was held without a catch for the first time since the final game in 2002, a span of 61 games.

"We as a secondary did a good job," Clements said. "We played hard and played fast. The times I was on Chambers I just tried to make sure he wasn't going to catch the ball, especially down the stretch because the time was running down and I knew they were trying to get him the ball. I didn't want him to get a cheap one on me."

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Defensive end Aaron Schobel established a personal best by recording a sack in his fifth consecutive game. His 13.5 sacks (12.5 in the last 10 games) are tied for the second most in Bills history for a single season, matching Bruce Smith's total in 1996. Smith owns the team record with 19 in 1990.

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Fullback Daimon Shelton suffered an undisclosed injury but appeared fine after the game. . . . Inactive were Shaud Williams, John DiGiorgio, Tutan Reyes, Matt Murphy, Eric Powell, Roy Manning and Jason Jefferson.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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