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Third-quarter analysis: On the doorstep ...

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills ended the third quarter today on the doorstep of regaining the lead against the Miami Dolphins.

Miami took the lead with an 11-play,  66-yard drive that took 6:43 off the clock. Ryan Tannehill connected with Brandon Gibson for a 4-yard touchdown, Gibson’s second of the day, to give the Dolphins a 21-17 lead.

Miami forced a three and out on the Bills’ first possession coming out of halftime, then went on their long march.  Miami converted a pair of third-and-1 plays on the drive, with runs by Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller, respectively.

At the end of three quarters, time of possession is almost identical, with Miami leading, 22:45-22:15.

Hanging tough: The Bills converted three third downs on their drive following Miami’s touchdown. Thad Lewis connected with Stevie Johnson for 7 yards on a third-and-7 and the pair connected again for 17 yards on a third-and-11 play. A  personal foul penalty was tacked on after the play when Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins made contact with Lewis’ helmet. After the play, Lewis pumped his fist at the Bills’ sideline, trying to fire his team up.

Lawson hurting: Bills linebacker Manny Lawson left the game because of a hamstring injury. His return is questionable. Lawson left last week’s game because of a hamstring injury and did not return.

Read option: The Bills' second possession of the third quarter got off to a good start, thanks to Lewis' legs. He ran for 8 yards on a read-option play, then ran again later in the drive for a gain of 4 yards. It's a wrinkle of the offense that is good to see.


Manny Lawson | Stevie Johnson | 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 |