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First-quarter analysis: Robey plays bigger than his size

By Jay Skurski

Cornerback Nickell Robey has been a heck of a find for the Buffalo Bills this season.

An undrafted rookie free agent out of Southern California, Robey made the biggest play of his young professional career today in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at SunLife Stadium.

Robey perfectly read Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and stepped in front of receiver Brandon Gibson for his first career interception, which he took 19 yards for a touchdown.

Robey is undersized at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds but plays bigger than his size. He’s been fearless as the nickel cornerback, and stepped right into the lineup in Week One. Robey’s play has helped the Bills overcome the loss of Ron Brooks, who was expected to serve as the third corner coming out of training camp.

Fred down again: Bills running back Fred Jackson made a huge play on the Bills’ first third down, picking up 21 yards on a screen pass. The end of the play brought about a big scare for the Bills, however, as Jackson had his injured left knee crashed into by tight end Scott Chandler. Jackson appeared to be in serious pain on the Bills’ sideline, and the training staff brought the cart out. Jackson, however, walked it off and later returned to the game, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run.

Big difference: Dolphins punter Brandon Fields unleashed a huge, 74-yard punt on Miami’s third drive. The Dolphins, however, were called for a 5-yard penalty for illegal touching. The Bills chose to have the Dolphins punt again, and this time Fields’ punt went 53 yards, and was returned by Leodis McKelvin for 14 yards. That was a 40-yard difference in field position.

Bomb from Moorman: Brian Moorman’s return to the Bills has been solid thus far. Moorman’s first punt today traveled 62 yards to the Miami 10-yard line. After a holding penalty, the Dolphins started at their own 7, meaning Buffalo netted 65 yards on the change of possession.


Brian Moorman | Fred Jackson | Leodis McKelvin | Nickell Robey | Ron Brooks | Scott Chandler
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |