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Dolphins 16, Bills 3

It's an inside job by the Dolphins

Miami takes to Toronto, buries bumbling Bills

By John Wawrow
Associated Press / December 8, 2008
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TORONTO - This was a lot better for safety Yeremiah Bell and the Miami Dolphins than dodging snowballs at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

And maybe, it's the Dolphins - because it certainly wasn't the unraveling Buffalo Bills - who can lay claim to being Toronto's team this weekend.

Taking advantage of an indifferent Bills "home" crowd and an inept Buffalo offense, the resurgent Dolphins continued their remarkable turnaround from last year's 1-15 finish by scoring a decisive 16-3 win yesterday. In winning for the sixth time in seven games, the Dolphins (8-5) moved into a three-way tie for the AFC East lead with the Jets and Patriots.

"The story does keep getting better," said Bell. "This is something that's definitely sweet, going from one win to being in every game this year and having a legitimate chance to win. It's a great feeling."

The Bills might be benefiting from getting nearly $10 million a game - nearly double what they bring in at Orchard Park - for the eight-game series that runs through 2012. But they lost a decided home-field advantage.

The warm-weather Dolphins, 2-7 at Orchard Park in games played after Dec. 1, took advantage of the opportunity to play indoors at Rogers Centre, where it was 68 degrees, as opposed to 15 outdoors. And in the stands, there was a large contingent of Dolphins fans wearing orange and aqua.

"It definitely didn't feel like an away game for us," Bell said. "The way we played up here today and just to look out in the stands, I think we did win over some fans."

The Bills (6-7), by comparison, made a terrible first impression in playing their first of five annual regular-season games in Toronto. Buffalo has lost six of seven, failed to score a touchdown in two consecutive games, and the meltdown has put coach Dick Jauron squarely on the hot seat.

Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon declined to discuss Jauron's status directly, but did refer to the team's slide as "unacceptable."

Chad Pennington efficiently picked apart the Bills, going 23 of 29 for 181 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Anthony Fasano. Pennington became the third Dolphin to reach 3,000 yards passing in a season and first since Jay Fiedler in 2001.

Dan Carpenter rounded out Miami's scoring by hitting three of four field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder.

The Dolphins' defense did the rest in limiting the Bills to 163 yards of offense while also holding an opponent without a touchdown for the second straight game following a 16-12 win at St. Louis.

Then again, at the rate Buffalo's offense is stalling, it's a surprise it wasn't stopped at the border.

"It can't get much worse," receiver Lee Evans said. "It's really hard to put into words."

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