Flutie finally gets called off the bench [6:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'After starter Rob Johnson was forced out with an elbow injury late in the second half of the Buffalo Bills' 22-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Flutie saw his first regular-season action since being "rested" for the final game of the 1999 season. That infamous move by coach Wade Phillips ultimately cost Flutie his first-string job, as Johnson took over as starter for the playoffs and the start of the 2000 season. "It was fun, the first live action all year," said Flutie, who completed three of six passes for 44 yards and had one interception when the ball bounced off receiver Eric Moulds' hands. "I felt comfortable."'
Thomas, defense lead Dolphins [6:58 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'If Hollywood ever makes, The Thurman Thomas Story, it'll be about a Houston running back who leaves the state to go to college, is livid when he's passed up in the draft by his hometown team, uses his second-round status as incentive to become one of the best in history at his position, plays in four Super Bowls, gets unceremoniously dumped after 12 years, signs with his former team's most hated rival, rips players on his former team before the big game and helps his new team pull out a victory.'
Defense the difference [5:44 AM]
D and C reports: 'While the Bills' defense played another strong game, it was the Miami defense that made the biggest plays as it recorded a safety and a fumble return touchdown, providing nine points that proved to be exactly the difference as the Dolphins defeated the slumping Bills 22-13.'
Offensive line at root of Bills' problems [5:43 AM]
D and C reports: 'Phillips refused to take his offensive line to task, even though it was plain for everyone to see that the difference in this game between evenly-matched AFC East rivals was the way the Dolphins' defensive line manhandled the Bills' offensive line.'
Thomas finds life as Dolphin is great [5:41 AM]
D and C reports: 'Thomas had gotten a game ball from coach Dave Wannstedt, not because of his seven carries for 24 yards or his three catches for 26, but because it made the statement, "You're one of us now Thurman, and we're glad for it."'
Notes on Bills/Dolphins game [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'Given the struggles of the running game, why Joe Pendry called that silly running play to Linton at the 1-yard-line is a mystery. The Dolphins stuffed it easily and came away with a key two-point safety. How about a simple, quick out-pattern to Moulds or Peerless Price, or even a quick dump pass to Linton or Morris.'
Former Bills contribute to success [5:39 AM]
D and C reports: 'Miami's Thurman Thomas wasn't the only departed 1999 Buffalo Bills player to have a productive afternoon yesterday...'
Dolphins' strong-armed defense batters QB Johnson and the Bills as Miami (5-1) moves into first [5:37 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Rob Johnson told the story of this game as he walked off the field. His jersey was untucked and ripped in places where Dolphins defenders spent the afternoon grabbing at him. His white pants were peppered with dried blood, and his elbow was iced inside an Ace bandage that ran the length of his right arm.'
Dolphins secondary responds [5:36 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Challenged with the most furious display of downfield passing they have seen in a month, the Dolphins' secondary took some shots but also responded with one game-clinching play and one crucial series. "They came after us," Dolphins strong safety Brian Walker said of Buffalo's passing attack. That's probably the most anybody has tried to throw downfield on us."'
Haley's emergence settles defensive line [5:35 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Events leading to the Dolphins' 22-13 victory at Pro Player Stadium more than justified Miami's growing confidence in Haley. Haley plugged the middle admirably and contributed to Buffalo's anemic 76-yard rushing total.'
Day of runs and run-ins [5:33 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"I know I didn't make a lot of plays," Thomas said. "But I made enough plays to help us win and that's what's important."'
Galyon likely out for season [5:32 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Dolphins linebacker Scott Galyon is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.'
Big plays for the big D [5:31 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins' defense continues to be the hallmark of the team. Besides strong, steady play, the defense has come up with big plays that have turned games around this season.'
Playing it safe? [5:30 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins took a 13-3 lead at halftime Sunday and then took a more conservative offensive approach in the second half.'
Bills rookie goes from elation to grief [5:24 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"It's kind of like last week, almost like we're on a roller-coaster of emotions," Morris said. "We got a high point and then all of a sudden we got a big, hard, low point."'
Long route enhances Fiedler's mixed arsenal [5:22 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins went the long route more than they had in the previous five games. It paid off in one touchdown, kept the Bills off balance and showed promise for the future.'
Sacks virtuoso: Armstrong hits 100 [5:19 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Trace Armstrong, that grizzled old Gator, dropped onto a stool in front of his locker, wearing a sweat-drenched T-shirt whose sleeves had been raggedly removed by scissors. He was too tired to ponder the meaning of what he had just accomplished and certainly too drained to realize that he had just hit 100 sacks.'
This film study came with some popcorn [5:17 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'On the eve of the Dolphins' 22-13 victory over Buffalo on Sunday at Pro Player Stadium, coach Dave Wannstedt took his players to watch the new Denzel Washington movie about a racially integrated Virginia high school football team that won a state championship in the early 1970s. Wannstedt moved his team meetings up an hour and ordered buses for his surprised players to attend a private screening at a Miami Lakes movie theater.'
Bills' Brown talks better than he plays [5:15 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Buffalo guard Ruben Brown couldn't control his mouth on Sunday any better than he could control Dolphins' defensive linemen. Brown was so frustrated by the Dolphins after the 22-13 loss, he took a shot at the Dolphins and defensive tackle Jermaine Haley in a postgame interview. "They're not that tough," said Brown, who some thought the Dolphins should have pursued in the offseason. "They're not nowhere tough, especially that No. 94. He's a chump. He's a little kid out there playing with the big boys. I can't wait to see his little butt next time. That's it."'
Thurman vs. the Bills takes some getting used to [5:12 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"I hate it," said Bills defensive end Phil Hansen. "It's like putting peanut butter and jelly on a hamburger. It's just not right."'
Another game, another defensive hero [5:10 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'There are a dozen ways to cut this win, from the Dolphins' 120 rushing yards to the Bills' 76, from the Dolphins' six sacks to the Bills' one, from Dolphin quarterback Jay Fiedler not missing what little he was asked to do and Buffalo quarterback Rob Johnson missing on too much. But Sunday really came down to what this season comes down so far. It comes down to the Dolphin defense.'
Players helping to sack paralysis [5:07 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'It's a pact that Taylor, Armstrong and Zach Thomas made with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, one of the country's foremost clinics dealing with spinal-cord injuries. Every time one of those three makes a sack, they donate $1,000 to the project. Every time one of those three makes a tackle, they donate $100. So far, the trio has raised $20,000 this season, and expects to raise more than $100,000 by season's end.'
Dolphins' dogs have their day [5:05 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Said Dolphins center Tim Ruddy: "We're not tearing it up. We're having bright spots and low spots. But we're trying to work on the consistency and getting the offense together." The same can be said of the Bills (2-3), who now have three division losses. Johnson, who completed 11 of 26 passes for 178 yards, was sacked five times and forced from the game after banging his right elbow late in the fourth quarter.'
Madison sparks Miami victory with late score [5:02 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"We fought our [rear] off," said Buffalo quarterback Doug Flutie, who replaced Johnson on the game`s final drive. "As poorly as things went for three quarters, we got the ball back down by less than a score. You just had that feeling that we were going to take it and go."'
Dolphins notebook [4:59 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: 'Scott Galyon, the Dolphins' top backup linebacker, is expected to miss the remainder of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Galyon suffered the injury while tackling Buffalo's Chris Watson on a first-quarter kickoff.'
Miami has the state`s best NFL team, too [4:55 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"We`re not shocked," Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler said after another solid yet unspectacular day. "No matter what our critics said before the season, we knew we had a good team."'
Leaders of the pack [7:07 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Miami dominated for most of the afternoon. Still, with 8:34 left, the Dolphins' lead had been trimmed to 15-13 when Buffalo quarterback Rob Johnson led his team on a three-play, 82-yard touchdown drive in the blink of an eye. The Dolphins sputtered on offense and gave the ball right back. But once again, the Miami defense stepped up. Johnson flipped a little pass to running back Sammy Morris. Cornerback Patrick Surtain knocked the ball out of his hands. Cornerback Sam Madison scooped the ball out of midair and returned it 20 yards for the touchdown that settled the outcome.'
Dolphins 22, Bills 13 [7:05 PM]
AP reports: 'Like so many times in the past, the showdown between AFC East archrivals Miami and Buffalo ended with Thurman Thomas holding a game ball. Only this time Thomas provided a spark for the Dolphins rather than the Bills, and he did it not so much with his running as with his taunting. Thomas repeatedly talked trash to his former teammates, and Miami's defense backed him up with a smothering performance Sunday to beat the Bills 22-13. "I'm 1-0 against the Bills. I'm happy," Thomas said. "Once I strapped it on today, everything I did for 12 years in Buffalo went out the window."'
Buffalo 13, Miami 22 [7:02 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Thurman Thomas dominated the headlines this week, but the defense of the Miami Dolphins dominated the game. With most of the attention focused on Thomas in his first game against the Buffalo Bills, Trace Armstrong led a ferocious pass rush and Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain and unheralded rookie Jermaine Haley also starred on defense in a 22-13 victory.'
Jones insists his young unit will be special [7:00 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"Our special teams players are young ... and the fact people are tired of hearing that doesn't make them any older. We have six rookies on our kickoff coverage team ... five of them next to each other. Eventually, they're going to be pretty good," he said. "One thing we've started to do is take things game-by-game. Once you've given up a (97-yard kickoff return) you're not going to move up very much (in the kick coverage standings). So we're concentrating on 'How did we do this week (compared to the other 30 teams).' A big part of my job is being part psychologist or psychiatrist to these players. And right now, they have to do a better job of preparing to win."'
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