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Thad Lewis notches first pro victory in his NFL homecoming

By Tim Graham

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Thad Lewis got off easy this afternoon. The Buffalo Bills quarterback needed to cobble together only 16 tickets for friends and family to watch him play in his hometown.

The sparse cheering section didn't help settle Lewis' nerves, though.

"I kept telling him to calm down and relax," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "He was all fired up. He looked a little more fired up than he was last week.

"So, immediately, my antennas go up and I say, 'Hey, just because you came home doesn't mean you get to go off on the deep end on me.' "

Lewis, a Hialeah Miami Lakes High grad, kept himself together and won for the first time as an NFL starter.

"It was awesome," Lewis said. "I had an opportunity to help this team win, and we came together as a team and got a team victory, and it feels sweet."

Lewis played in Sun Life Stadium only once before. He became Duke's all-time leading passer here in a loss to the University of Miami in 2009.

He said he never attended a Dolphins game when he was growing up because, "We weren't able to afford to go."

Lewis didn't throw a touchdown today, but he completed 21 of his 32 passes for 202 yards. He had an interception and was sacked four times. He ran five times for 13 yards.

"He played a decent game," Dolphins linebacker Philip Wheeler said. "We wanted to shut down the running game and make him beat us, and unfortunately he made some good plays on us."

Lewis completed some big throws on third down, helping the Bills convert a season-high 47.4 percent of their third downs. That number also was the Dolphins' worst percentage of the season.

"It was just execution," Lewis said. "The guys did their jobs today with third down as a big emphasis. In order to keep drives going you've got to tip your hat to the guys who made plays."


Doug Marrone | Thad Lewis
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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 |