ORCHARD PARK — Notes and quotes from the Bills’ 31-21 win over the Dolphins Sunday afternoon at New Era Field before 68,340 sun-soaked witnesses:
— The Bills are 5-1 for the first time since 2008.
— When Miami took a 7-6 lead on the first play of the second quarter via Kalen Ballage’s 3-yard run, it marked only the second time the Dolphins were ahead this season. They also went up 7-3 in the opening period of a 30-10 loss to the Chargers. Late in Sunday’s game Miami also led, 14-9.
— Rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the Bills first-round draft choice, got his initial sack when he dumped Miami wide receiver Albert Wilson who was trying to throw off a flea-flicker. Later tackle Jordan Phillips logged his team-leading fifth sack when he dumped QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“That’s great (for him) but I’m even more excited that we won the game,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Oliver’s first sack. “But it’s nice for Ed to contribute in that way. He works hard and he’ll continue to work at it. Good things come to people who work hard ... everything in this league is earned.”
Bills quarterback Josh Allen added, “I know he’s not the type of guy who cares about stats and just wants to do a good job but d-tackles are not usually the ones who get sacks, it’s the outside guys. He’s a young guy who’s still learning, but he’s got a lot of juice to him, a lot of energy. I appreciate how hard he works and he’s going to be really good in this league for a long time.”
— The Bills got the game’s first takeaway when cornerback Tre’ Davious White picked off Fitzpatrick, his team-leading third of the season. Later White forced his initial fumble of the year, separating Miami wideout Preston Williams from the ball with defensive end Jerry Hughes recovering, his first of the season.
— Fitzpatrick, who has played for eight NFL teams and has thrown a touchdown pass for all of them was 23-of-35 passing for 282 yards which made him the 46th quarterback in league history to throw for 30,000 career yards.
— Miami’s first sack of Allen was recorded by linebacker Vince Biegel, his second of the year. Later, tackle Taco Charlton got his team-leading third.
— When Allen ran for the two-point conversion after throwing the touchdown pass to John Brown that let Buffalo retake the lead for good, he fired the ball into the second level of the end zone stands, just a few rows short of the former administration building.
“It was one of those moments where there was a lot of stuff going through me,” Allen said. “Those fans were yelling pretty loud so I just wanted to give them a souvenir.”
— On the game’s second play, Dolphins’ defensive end Christian Wilkins was called for a personal foul after he threw a punch at Bills’ rookie tackle, Cody Ford. Wilkins was immediately ejected from the game.
Afterward, Wilkins admitted, “I was just extremely selfish. This is the ultimate team sport … it’s not just about me and I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in myself … especially something that was in my control.
“It really shouldn’t have happened … there’s no place for it in this game and that is not the standard I hold myself to. I love this game, I respect this game and play it as competitively as possible. I really let myself and my teammates down.”
— Bills wide receiver Duke Williams, who has quickly become a fan favorite, injured his shoulder at the end of a 23-yard, third-quarter reception and did not return.
— Veteran Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander had a game-high 10 tackles while safety Jordan Poyer added a game-best seven solo stops. Oliver had two tackles, one for a loss and added a quarterback hit to his sack.
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan topped the Dolphins with six tackles while cornerback Eric Rowe had Miami’s most solos with five.
— Inactive for the Bills were linebackers Matt Milano (hamstring) and Corey Thompson (ankle), wide receiver Robert Foster, running back T.J. Weldon, offensive linemen Ike Boettger and Ryan Bates and tight end Tommy Sweeney.
Maurice Alexander took over Milano’s spot at strongside linebacker, leaving Julian Stanford the only other active linebacker.