ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — LeSean McCoy scored twice and surpassed 10,000 career-yards rushing, while helping the Buffalo Bills stay in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt with a 24-16 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and Shareece Wright and Jordan Poyer intercepted Miami’s Jay Cutler on consecutive drives to start the second half in a game Buffalo never trailed. Rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Cutler with 28 seconds remaining – and a play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami’s 37.
The Bills have won three of four and improved to 8-6 to match the team’s best start through 14 games during Buffalo’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 also finished 6-2 at home to match its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.
Buffalo must now hit the road to continue its playoff pursuit in closing the season at New England next week and then at Miami on Dec. 31.
The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention, and after they ended a seven-year drought last season.
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 was shaken up on the play while being tackled by Kiko Alonso.
After missing just one snap, McCoy returned to the field and scored two plays later.
This time, McCoy found his footing on dry turf, a week after braving the wintry elements while rushing for 156 yards on a snow-covered field and sealing Buffalo’s 13-7 overtime win over Indianapolis.
McCoy finished with 50 yards rushing, upping his career total to 10,011, and had four catches for 46 yards.
Taylor showed no signs of a bruised left knee that forced him to miss one game. He went 17 of 29 for 224 yards and added 42 yards rushing.
Miami was undone by familiar inconsistencies at quarterback and on defense, while looking nothing like the team that stunned New England in a 27-20 win Monday night.
Cutler’s two interceptions came after he threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Patriots.
Miami’s defense surrendered 328 yards offense to Buffalo, a week after holding New England to 248 yards.
Even discipline was an issue.
Early in the fourth quarter, receiver Jarvis Landry was flagged for pass interference to negate Kenny Stills’ 12-yard reception. Then, Landry argued the call and was penalized again for unsportsmanlike conduct. Rather than being first-and-10 at Buffalo’s 40, the Dolphins faced first-and-35 at their own 23 in a drive that led to them punting three plays later.
Kenyan Drake had 78 yards rushing and scored on a 1-yard run. Cutler finished 28 of 49 for 274 yards and three interceptions.
Cody Parkey also hit 28- and 41-yard field goals.
Taylor scored a touchdown rushing and passing in the same game for the 10th time since taking over Buffalo’s starting job in 2015. He joins Carolina’s Cam Newton and Washington’s Kirk Cousins as the only other players to do that 10 times since 2015.
After the Dolphins limited their past two opponents to converting just one of 24 third-down chances, the Bills converted their first two as part of a 10-play, 81-yard scoring drive capped by McCoy’s four-yard run. Buffalo converted seven of 15 third-down chances.
DOLPHINS IN DECEMBER
Miami dropped to 9-4 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: Running back Damien Williams missed his third consecutive game with a shoulder injury, while starting cornerback Cordrea Tankersley missed his second consecutive game with injuries to his shoulder and ankle.
Bills: Receiver Kelvin Benjamin played despite aggravating a right knee injury last week that limited him in practice.