Bills have bounced back
MIAMI — Bills defenders heard boos nearly every time they headed to the bench — a soundtrack for success, because the jeers were directed at the home team.
“Music to our ears,’’ safety Donte Whitner said with a grin.
Resurgent Buffalo showed yesterday just how much it has improved since the start of the season, and the Dolphins again looked lousy at home. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and Buffalo won, 17-14, eliminating Miami from the AFC playoff race.
The Dolphins, who have won only once at home this season, again sputtered on offense.
Chad Henne threw a costly interception and was sacked three times, and Pro Bowl kicker Dan Carpenter went 0 for 4, missing from 48, 61, 53, and 48 yards.
“Disappointing and embarrassing,’’ receiver Brandon Marshall said.
Buffalo (4-10) won for the fourth time in six games after starting 0-8, while Miami (7-7) lost for the eighth time in nine home games over the past two seasons.
This year Miami is 1-6 at home and 6-1 on the road, and no NFL team has ever had such a disparity, according to STATS LLC.
Fans began booing in the second quarter, and the jeers kept coming even after the Dolphins’ final, comical desperation play ended with a loose ball being batted about deep in their territory.
The Dolphins did show some spunk in the fourth quarter. They trailed, 17-7, before Henne completed passes on seven consecutive plays to spark a 77-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard scoring pass to Marshall.
Miami got the ball back at its 20 and drove to the Bills’ 30, but Carpenter was wide right on a 48-yard try with 1:48 left.
Miami started again from the 20 with 41 seconds to go and no timeouts remaining, and failed to advance beyond the 35.
That ensured the Dolphins will miss the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons.
“It’s tough to swallow because we feel like we do have a good team,’’ Henne said. “We just didn’t put it together.’’
The Bills take their momentum home next Sunday to face the Patriots, who beat them, 38-30, in Week 3.
“That was probably as good a team win as we’ve had,’’ Bills coach Chan Gailey said. “Almost every guy that stepped on the field contributed something.’’