Bush rushed for a career-high 203 yards and his 76-yard TD run helped seal a 30-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Miami interim coach Todd Bowles’ debut after Tony Sparano was fired last week.
Matt Moore showed no signs of a head and neck injury that sidelined him a week ago by throwing two touchdown passes — a 22-yarder to Anthony Fasano and a 65-yard strike to Brandon Marshall — and finishing with 217 yards passing.
Cornerback Vontae Davis had two of Miami’s three interceptions and Dan Carpenter hit three field goals in helping the Dolphins win for the fifth time in seven games following a 0-7 start.
Though both AFC East teams are 5-9, the Dolphins have moved ahead of Buffalo in the division after sweeping the season series following a 35-8 win at Miami a month ago.
Looking nothing like the upstart team that got off to a 5-2 start, he Bills have lost seven straight and are in jeopardy of finishing last in the division for a fourth straight season.
C.J. Spiller scored on a 24-yard rush — the longest run this season against Miami — and added a 3-yard touchdown catch.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s struggles continued. He finished 31 of 47 for 316 yards with two touchdowns — including a 2-yarder to Derek Hagan — and three interceptions.
He has 12 interceptions and eight touchdown passes during the team’s seven-game skid.
The Bills made it close by recovering an onside kick that led to Dave Rayner hitting a 34-yard field goal with 1:22 left. Rayner failed on his next onside attempt, which Chris Clemons recovered to allow Miami to run all but the final seconds off the clock.
Bush secured the win with his electrifying run up the middle to put the Dolphins up 30-13 with 5:41 left.
It came on the first play from scrimmage after Spiller’s 3-yard score. Breaking through a huge hole up the middle, he blew past safety Jairus Byrd, who was the only Buffalo player to get a hand on him.
Bush then capped the run by sliding through the end zone on a slick field.
His 203 yards rushing rank third on the Dolphins’ list. And Bush has three straight 100-yard games and four this season after he had just one in five seasons in New Orleans.
Moore broke the game open in the third quarter when he hit Marshall in stride up the right sideline for an over-the-shoulder 65-yard touchdown pass.
The Bills then bumbled the game away as their next two possessions ended with Fitzpatrick throwing interceptions.
Heavy snow fell at around noon, but stopped a half-hour before kickoff with no accumulation on the field. And there were intermittent flurries throughout the game.
It proved to be a sloppy first half that ended with the Dolphins leading 13-7 and only after Rayner missed a 26-yard field goal attempt as time ran out. Rayner had been bothered by a sore pelvis this week.
The Dolphins squandered three scoring opportunities. Carpenter hit 20- and 26-yard field goals on consecutive possessions after Miami failed to punch it in on seven plays inside the Bills 9-yard line.
Then there was Moore fumbling at the Bills 12, when linebacker Chris Kelsay punched the ball out of his hands in the final minute of the second quarter.
The Bills were even worse. After Spiller scored on a 24-yard run 10 minutes in, they mustered only four first downs on their final six possessions of the half — three of them coming on their final drive.
Bills second-year defensive coordinator George Edwards’ job might be in jeopardy after Buffalo’s WGRF-Radio — the team’s broadcaster — announced assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt was calling the defensive plays.
Despite his unit being hurt by injuries, Edwards has come under criticism for a defense that allowed 194 points in its previous six games, while managing just five sacks and getting five takeaways.