ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Leodis McKelvin scored on a 79-yard punt return and the Mario Williams-led Buffalo Bills oft-maligned defense finally flexed its muscles in a 19-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.
Safety Jairus Byrd recovered a fumble and made a diving interception, and Bryan Scott sealed the win with an interception to end the Dolphins’ final drive. Williams had one of three sacks for a Buffalo defense that limited the Ryan Tannehill-led Dolphins to 184 yards.
That was enough to make up for an offense that settled for Rian Lindell’s four field goals on four drives into the red zone.
Buffalo (4-6) snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games.
Marcus Thigpen scored on a 96-yard kickoff return and Davone Bess had a 2-yard touchdown catch for Miami (4-6), which has lost three in a row.
The Dolphins have lost 12 consecutive prime time games.
On McKelvin’s touchdown, he went untouched up a seam down the left sideline after the Bills forced Miami to a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. He has had two of the three longest punt returns in the NFL this season, also scoring on an 88-yard return in Buffalo’s victory over Kansas City in Week 2.
Lindell connected from 32, 34, 42 and 19 yards.
The Dolphins were throttled on offense by a Buffalo defense that came in ranked 31st in the NFL.
Miami didn’t cross midfield until their eighth drive of the game, which occurred with under 4 minutes to go in the third quarter. That march ultimately stalled at Buffalo’s 32-yard line, with Dan Carpenter’s 50-yard field-goal attempt glancing off the right upright.