McCoy breaks 10,000, leads Bills to 24-16 win over Dolphins
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — With his personal chase for 10,000 career yards rushing out of the way, LeSean McCoy can turn his focus on reaching an even better destination: the playoffs.
McCoy scored twice and became the 30th player to hit 10,000, while keeping the Buffalo Bills firmly in the AFC playoff picture following a 24-16 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
“I’m happy it’s done,” McCoy said of his personal accomplishment. “Now I look forward to trying to get in these playoffs. We took care of business today.”
Tyrod Taylor showed no signs of a bruised left knee that sidelined him for one game. The quarterback went 17 of 29 for 224 yards passing and a touchdown. He added 42 yards rushing and scored on a 9-yard scamper in a game Buffalo never trailed.
On defense, Buffalo intercepted Jay Cutler to end Miami’s first two possessions of the second half. Then, rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the win with an interception with 28 seconds remaining — and a play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami’s 37.
The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention; they ended a seven-year drought last season.
Buffalo improved to 8-6 to match the team’s best record through 14 games during the team’s 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports. The Bills were 8-6 in both 2004 and 2014 but missed the playoffs with 9-7 finishes.
Buffalo 6-2 home record was its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.
The Bills now hit the road to continue their playoff pursuit in closing the season at New England next week and then at Miami on Dec. 31.
Frustration began to settle in for the Dolphins. They were undone by familiar inconsistencies at quarterback and on defense, while looking nothing like the team that stunned New England 27-20 on Monday night.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Ndamukong Suh said of a defense that allowed the Bills to convert 7 of 15 third-down opportunities after limiting its past two opponents to convert 1 of 24.
“A loss is a loss no matter when it is,” receiver Jarvis Landry added of an offense that needed five snaps from inside the Bills 5 to finally score its first touchdown on Kenyan Drake’s 1-yard run with 7:03 remaining. “Obviously, we knew everything that was at stake and we didn’t make it happen.”
McCoy opened the scoring with a 4-yard run to cap Buffalo’s opening drive. Then, he put Buffalo up 14-6 with a 16-yard catch with 6:05 left in the second quarter on a drive during which McCoy became the 30th player to break the 10,000-yard rushing milestone.
The ninth-year player reached the plateau with a 14-yard burst off right guard . McCoy said he got the wind knocked out of him while being tackled by Kiko Alonso.
After missing just one snap, McCoy returned and scored two plays later.
McCoy finished with 50 yards rushing, upping his career total to 10,011, and had four catches for 46 yards.
Richie Incognito not only enjoyed a front-row seat in watching McCoy burst past him on his way to his 10,000th yard, the veteran right guard was impressed by the resolve the Bills have shown in exceeding low preseason expectations.
“If I would’ve told you guys we’re going to be 6-2 at home back in August, I think you guys would have laughed at us,” he said.
“No one’s laughing now,” Incognito added. “We’re cruising, man. All eyes on the prize.”
THURMAN ON SHADY
Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas had no difficulty putting McCoy’s value to Buffalo into perspective.
“We’re not talking about being in the playoff race right now and we’re not leading the league the past years,” Thomas said. “We’re not doing that if we don’t have him with the Buffalo Bills.”
Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams wasn’t prepared to say if he might have played his final game at New Era Field. The 12-year veteran contemplated retiring after last season and is in the final year of his contract.
Williams did take issue with teammate Adolphus Washington drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for attempting to punch the ball out of Drake’s hands while the running back was on the sideline after being stopped at the 1.
“That’s dumb football no matter what happened or what that penalty was,” Williams said. “I don’t care if they talk ugly about your mother. Handle it after the game.”
DOLPHINS IN DECEMBER
Miami dropped to 4-9 in games played at Orchard Park, New York, in December or later.
Dolphins: CB T.J. McDonald left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Bills: CB E.J. Gaines was carted off in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.
Dolphins: At Kansas City on Dec. 24.
Bills: At New England on Dec. 24.
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