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(Sunday, December 18th)
Final Score: Miami 30, Buffalo 23
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - Reggie Bush carried the ball 25 times for a career-high 203 yards and a touchdown, as the Miami Dolphins held off the struggling Buffalo Bills, 30-23, in Todd Bowles' first game as interim head coach.
Bush's 203 rushing yards was the most by a Dolphin since Ricky Williams had 216 against the Bears on December 9, 2002.
Tony Sparano was fired on Monday after leading the team to a 4-9 start. Bowles was promoted from his position as secondary coach.
Matt Moore completed 10-of-20 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns for the Dolphins (5-9), who have won five of seven since an 0-7 start.
"The turnovers were the key," Bowles said. "We also had them 0-for-10 on third down -- getting them off the field when we had to."
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 31-of-47 passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Bills (5-9), who have lost seven in a row.
C.J. Spiller carried the ball 12 times for 91 yards and a score. He also caught nine passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
"This was more about us not doing it rather than different guys being out there and not being able to do it," Bills head coach Chan Gailey said.
The first points of the game came after Bush fumbled midway through the first quarter. Buffalo took over at the Miami 42. Spiller ripped off runs of 18 and 24 yards, with the latter resulting in a touchdown.
Following a pair of punts, the Dolphins took over near midfield. Charles Clay caught a 30-yard pass to move the ball to the 22. Moore then found Anthony Fasano wide open down the right side for an easy touchdown on the first play of the second stanza.
Dan Carpenter made a pair of field goals to give Miami a six-point lead. A 12- play, 83-yard drive ended in a 20-yard Carpenter field goal with 8:34 left. Vontae Davis then picked off Fitzpatrick and returned the ball to the Buffalo 24. But the Dolphins settled for a 26-yard Carpenter field goal and a 13-7 margin.
Following a Moore fumble late in the half, Bills kicker Dave Rayner missed a 26-yard field goal as time expired.
Brandon Marshall caught a 65-yard TD pass down the right sideline on the fifth play of the second half to make it 20-7.
Fitzpatrick threw interceptions on Buffalo's first two possessions of the second half. But Miami failed to take advantage of the turnovers, and Marshall fumbled the ball after making a 13-yard catch on fourth down.
Buffalo was unable to do anything on offense and a total of three punts closed out the third frame.
Carpenter made a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth to make it 23-7.
Spiller caught a three-yard TD pass with 5:54 left. A failed two-point conversion kept it a 23-13 contest.
On the first play of Miami's ensuing drive, Bush ripped off a 76-yard TD run to give the Dolphins a 30-13 lead.
Buffalo made things a bit interesting, though, as Fitzpatrick led an eight- play, 67-yard scoring drive. David Nelson caught a 21-yard pass to move the ball to the Miami 33. Spiller added a 19-yard catch two plays later. Derek Hagan ended the march with a two-yard TD catch to make it 30-20 with 2:27 to play.
After recovering an onsides kick, the Bills had to settle for a 34-yard Rayner field goal with 1:22 to go. Another onsides kick did not work.
Buffalo got the ball back with 16 seconds remaining, but could do nothing on the last play of the game.
Miami leads its all-time regular-season series with Buffalo by a 55-36-1 count. The Dolphins took both games from the Bills this season...Miami plays at New England next Sunday, while the Bills welcome Denver to town.
12/18 19:05:22 ET