MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Dolphins took hold of second place in the AFC East after beating divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills 22-9 on Thursday.
Miami moved to a 6-4 record with the win, keeping themselves in playoff contention, while the Bills fell to 5-5. The New England Patriots lead the division on 7-2.
The Bills had won the last three meetings between the two teams but never got going against a solid Miami defense and had to settle for three field goals.
Miami’s offense spluttered at times too but quarterback Ryan Tannehill, sacked five times, kept his composure and threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions on 26-of-34 passing.
The Bills led 9-3 in the third quarter before Miami scored 19 unanswered points as they took a stranglehold on the game.
Tannehill found Brandon Gibson in the end zone with a seven yard pass after a strong 80-yard drive before Bills quarterback Kyle Orton gave up a safety on an intentional grounding call.
Miami extended their lead in the fourth quarter when Tannehill found Jarvis Landry with an eight yard pass and a 32 yard Caleb Sturgis field goal wrapped up the win.
“I thought it was a good team win,” said Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
“I thought our defense played well. We didn’t allow any touchdowns and we played well in the red zone.”
The Bills failed to make the most of two turnovers from fumbles leaving their head coach Doug Marrone frustrated.
“To only get three points off two turnovers, you can’t do that. You have to take advantage of those situations,” he said.
“But this was a team loss. We have to stick together. We have put ourselves in a difficult situation (in the division) and we are just going to have to fight our way out of it game by game.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Julian Linden