ORCHAR PARK - Notes from the Bills’ 31-14 win over the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at “The Ralph:”
- At halftime, Bills’ Hall of Famer defensive end Bruce Smith was presented with his Hall of Fame ring after being inducted last August.
- The 31-yard touchdown run by Bills’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - the longest by a Buffalo quarterback in franchise history - was the also longest running play of his four-year career. His previous best was 14 yards.
“I wasn’t sure I’d make it,” he said. “There was a guy I thought could catch me. It’s been a long time since I’ve run that far, I was huffing and puffing at the end.”
- Rian Lindell’s 56-yard game-winning field goal was the longest of his career by two yards. He had a 54-yarder with Seattle. It was the second-longest field goal in Buffalo franchise history to Steve Christie’s 59-yarder against Miami in 1993.
Lindell had missed a 44-yarder on the scoreboard end in the first quarter.
“Rian kind of hung his head after that miss,” said Bills’ coach Perry Fewell. “And I told him, ‘Keep your head up … we’re going to need you.’”
As Lindell recalled, “That miss was like a layup … there was no reason to miss it. And as the game goes on, those three points get bigger and bigger. It occured to me that it would have been a lot better if it was 10-7 (instead of 7-7) or 17-14 (instead of 14-14).”
Of the 56-yarder, he added, “That was in my range and, when I hit it, it felt good, When I saw it was straight, I knew it was good.”
- Buffalo’s initial takeaway was an end zone interception of running back Ricky Williams’ halfback pass by linebacker Chris Draft, his first as a Bill. Draft’s last previous pick was five seasons ago with Atlanta. In 12 years with Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Carolina, St. Louis and Buffalo he has five career interceptions. Later cornerback Drayton Florence got his first as a Bill and 11th in a seven-year career with San Diego, Jacksonville and Buffalo, picking off QB Chad Henne. Finally, safety Donte Whitner got his second pick of the season and on Miami’s last play, former practice squad defensive lineman Corey Mace leaped up, tipped a Henne pass and gathered in his first-ever interception.
- Buffalo’s only sack on Henne was recorded by tackle Spencer Johnson, his first of the season.
- The Dolphins’ only takeaway was an interception of Fitzpatrick by safety Yeremiah Bell, his first of the season.
- Fitzpatrick was sacked six times: 2 1/2 by linebacker Joey Porter, giving him a team-leading seven on the year; 1 1/2 by reserve end Tony McDaniel, his first of the season; half sacks went to ends Randy Starks and Jason Taylor, both getting their sixth of the year, Kendall Langford (1 1/2 ) and Ron Baker, his first ever.
- Buffalo punter Brian Moorman had a big day, averaging over 51 yards on three kicks, including the play of the game. He kicked a 48-yarder out-of-bounds at the Dolphins’ 2-yard-line with the game midway through the fourth quarter and the score 14-14.
- Bell had a game-high 13 tackles for the Dolphins including eight solos. Whitner and middle linebacker Paul Posluszny each had 10 tackles for Buffalo while Whitner and linebacker Bryan Scott each logged seven solos.
- Buffalo’s inactives were cornerbacks Terrence McGee (knee), Ashton Youboty (ankle), offensive tackle Demetrius Bell (knee), defensive tackle John McCargo (calf), wide receivers Steve Johnson and James Hardy and defensive end Chris Ellis.
Jonathan Scott started for Bell at left tackle, former Steeler and Patriot Kendall Simmons played right guard for Eric Wood, out for the rest of the season with a broken leg. Kirk Chambers started at right tackle with Scott having moved to the left side. Reggie Corner replaced McGee.