The Buffalo Bills made sure the AFC East is anybody's race, and Miami sure wasn't happy about it.
"They beat the hell out of us," Dolphins Coach Jimmy Johnson said after Doug Flutie threw a touchdown pass to Eric Moulds and Jonathan Linton scored on a four-yard run as Buffalo beat Miami, 23-3, today. It was the Bills' second win over the Dolphins this season.
Johnson displayed his disgust in a news conference that lasted 45 seconds. He then stormed away after the Bills (7-3) allowed the Dolphins only 101 yards--Buffalo's third-best defensive performance in history, and Miami's second-worst offensive production ever.
"We obviously weren't ready to play," Johnson said. "Buffalo blocked us; we didn't block them. We couldn't tackle them.
"We had a lot of things going on, talking about how good we were, and quarterback controversies and everything in the world except talking about our opponent, which had beat us pretty good before."
Steve Christie kicked field goals of 31, 48 and 47 yards into the wind in the first quarter, and the Bills tightened an already close division race, which has four teams vying for first place.
The Dolphins are tied for first in the division, but have lost twice to Buffalo and could be in trouble if their playoff fate comes down to a tiebreaker with the Bills. Indianapolis also is 7-2 after beating the New York Giants. New England (6-2) will play the Jets Monday night.
The Bills had one of their best games. Antowain Smith rushed for a season-high 126 yards and became the first back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Dolphins this season.
It was the second 100-yard rushing day of 1999 for Smith. He gained 113 against the Jets in the second week, but had not gained more than 68 in a game since.
The Bills scored the first four times they had the ball, and led 16-0 on the three field goals by Christie and Linton's four-yard run. Linton went out late in the first half with a knee sprain.