With plenty of questions about the Bills offence heading into the season, there were very few answers after the season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday in Western New York.
A rushing touchdown by Ronnie Brown in the second quarter was the only one needed by Miami as the Dolphins defeated the Bills 15-10.
Brown completed a strong drive by the Dolphins offence when he scored the game’s first touchdown from the one-yard line, leaping over the Bills’ defensive line.
The touchdown was set up by a 21-yard toss from Henne to Anthony Fasano.
Buffalo’s offence struggled to move the ball, accumulating only 166 total yards, and the team was booed off the field by fans who became frustrated when the team failed to make much of a comeback attempt.
Trent Edwards completed 18 of 34 attempts for 139 yards and one touchdown.
Dolphins’ dynamic duo
The Dolphins used the combination of Brown and Ricky Williams to run the ball effectively throughout the game, but particularly during the first half when it appeared Miami would be able to blow the game wide open.
Brown ran for 65 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, while Williams had 62 yards over 18 rushes.
A 17-yard run by Brown put the Dolphins in position for a 43-yard field goal by Carpenter that proved to be the difference in the game.
Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall, acquired from the Broncos in the off season, had a successful debut with eight catches for 53 yards.
Quarterback Chad Henne managed the ball well all day for the Dolphins, going 21-for-34 for 182 yards.
The Bills offence was particularly inept in the first half, as Edwards threw for only 35 yards, while Steve Johnson was the leading Bills receiver with two catches for 27 yards.
No huddle shows promise
Buffalo moved to a no-huddle offence in the fourth quarter in an attempt to jump-start the struggling offence.
Edwards was able to move the ball successfully down into Dolphins’ territory, but a sack by Koa Misi set up a fourth down and long situation.
New Bills head coach Chan Gailey decided to go for the conversion, and the Bills quarterback threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Roscoe Parrish to cut the lead to 13-10.
With the Dolphins trying to run down the clock, the Bills defence came up large as Scott sacked Chad Henne to force the Dolphins to punt the ball away with two minutes remaining in the game.
With a perfectly placed punt by Brandon Fields, the Bills were forced to start the next drive from their own one-yard line.
After three incomplete passes, the team decided to concede a safety to increase the Dolphins’ lead to 15-10 rather than go for the fourth down conversion.
While Buffalo was able get another chance on offence, Edwards was unable to lead the Bills to a short comeback.
Rian Lindell capped off the first promising offensive drive by the Bills in the second quarter by drilling a 51-yard field goal.