|Date of game: 9/14/2014
Recap: Buffalo vs. Miami
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Bills honored their past and celebrated their future with a win.
Fittingly, it was a good day for old and new players.
Sammy Watkins scored his first NFL touchdown, C.J. Spiller returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD and the Bills blew past the Miami Dolphins 29-10 on Sunday in their home opener.
After holding a pregame ceremony to honor team founder Ralph Wilson, who died in March, everything went as planned for the Bills in a win that came five days after Sabres owner Terry Pegula reached an agreement to buy the team, ensuring they will remain in Buffalo.
EJ Manuel passed for 202 yards -- 117 of them to the No. 4 pick Watkins -- and Spiller's electric run led a good day for the Buffalo (2-0) special teams.
"C.J. is an explosive player, that's the kind of stuff we're looking for," Bills head coach Doug Marrone said.
Former Dolphin Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals for the Bills, who could go 3-0 for the first time in three years next week with a win over San Diego.
Things fell apart for the Dolphins (1-1) after a Week 1 win over New England. Making matters worse, they lost running back Knowshon Moreno to an elbow injury in the first quarter.
"Injuries happen, so it didn't really impact the game plan a whole lot. Other guys have to step up," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said.
Moreno's left arm bent back awkwardly as he was tackled at the end of a 4-yard run when the knee of Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham rammed into it. He was playing just his second game for Miami after rushing for 134 yards in his debut last week.
The Bills sacked Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill four times and picked him off once a week after he had two touchdown passes against the Patriots. He was 31-of-49 with a touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, who made a one-handed grab on the play.
The Bills kept Miami off the scoreboard until 5:25 into the third quarter when Caleb Sturgis kicked a 34-yard field goal.
But Spiller fielded the ensuing kickoff two yards deep in the end zone and made one cut to the right sideline, sprinting untouched for the score and a 16-3 Bills lead.
Miami responded with a 64-yard drive and pulled within 16-10 when Wallace -- covered closely by Stephon Gilmore -- made his one-handed catch in the left side of the end zone with 3:15 left in the quarter.
Buffalo went right back down the field, with Watkins scoring inside the right pylon on a 12-yard catch to cap a 77-yard drive and make it 23-10. Spiller had a bruising 47-yard run on the drive.
Carpenter kicked his fourth field goal early in the last quarter, a 32-yarder to push the lead to 16 points, and the big plays kept coming for Buffalo.
Safety Da'Norris Searcy stopped Tannehill on a 4th-and-1 play and the Bills recovered a fumble at the Miami 17-yard line after rookie Jarvis Landry let a punt go off his facemask.
Carpenter missed a 31-yarder after that, but the Bills stopped Miami on the ensuing possession and he kicked a 38-yarder for the 29-10 lead.
Carpenter kicked two 27-yard field goals in the first quarter, the second set up by Boobie Dixon's blocked punt. His 31-yarder in the second quarter came after a 30-yard catch by Watkins and gave Buffalo a 9-0 lead.Game Notes
The Bills have won three in a row over the Dolphins ... Carpenter kicked for
the Dolphins from 2008-12 ... Bradham was back after serving a one-game
suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy ... After opening
the season with back-to-back games against AFC East opponents, the Dolphins
won't face another division rival until Week 11 when they host Buffalo.