Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills' high-priced defense finally flexed its collective muscle, stuffing the Miami Dolphins in a 19-14 victory...
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills’ high-priced defense finally flexed its collective muscle, stuffing the Miami Dolphins in a 19-14 victory Thursday night.
Safety Jairus Byrd forced a fumble and had an interception, while Bryan Scott sealed the victory with his second interception to end the Dolphins’ last-gasp drive in the final minute. Williams had one of three sacks for a Buffalo defense that limited the Dolphins to 184 yards.
That more than made up for an offense that lacked finish. Rian Lindell hit four field goals, including a 42-yarder, as Buffalo failed to score an offensive touchdown despite four trips inside the Dolphins’ 20.
Leodis McKelvin opened the scoring 90 seconds in by returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in a game the Bills never trailed.
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The Bills (4-6) snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games to stay on the fringes of the AFC playoff hunt. Buffalo also ended several other inglorious skids, by beating a division rival for the first time in nine meetings and snapping an 11-game prime-time drought that dated to 2001.
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 straight.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill continued to struggle for Miami. He finished 14 of 28 for 141 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was coming off a dreadful outing in which he threw three interceptions in a 37-3 loss to Tennessee last week. The No. 8 pick out of Texas A&M has thrown six TD passes and 11 interceptions.
Harbaugh has irregular heartbeat
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital for a “minor procedure” after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.
The team said it anticipates Harbaugh will be back at the 49ers’ facility Friday, though it’s unclear in what capacity. No details about the procedure were given.
The NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) host the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears (7-2) on Monday night at Candlestick Park.
“It’s one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he’s tougher than a $2 steak,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. “We know he’s going to be all right. … We’re going to practice today as if he was here.”
• Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler missed practice, and his playing status remains in question because of a concussion. If Cutler can’t play, Jason Campbell will likely start.
• Michael Vick came to the Eagles’ facility for treatment for his concussion before returning home. The quarterback is still recovering from the significant injury that is expected to sideline him this week and potentially longer. Rookie Nick Foles is set to start.
• The Browns’ Joe Haden missed practice with an oblique injury, and Cleveland may be missing its top cornerback — and arguably its best defensive player — on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
• Professional football can evolve into a safer game without sacrificing the physical play that has made it so popular, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a speech on player safety at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Football has always evolved, and it always will,” he told an overflow crowd. “Make no mistake: Change does not inhibit the game; it improves it.”
• Former Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the county agency that operates Reliant Stadium, blaming “unsafe turf” for a possibly career-ending knee injury.
• Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said he was “excited” to have an agreement with prosecutors that could lead to dismissal of a family violence charge over a dispute with his mother. Bryant is attending anger-management sessions, and the Dallas County district attorney’s office will dismiss the misdemeanor charge if the third-year receiver stays out of trouble for a year.