Miami Dolphins' skid at three with loss to Buffalo Bills

The Miami Dolphins had a bye week to devise a plan that would end their two-game skid.

Instead, they laid an egg in a 23-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills, in former practice squad quarterback Thad Lewis' third career start. After starting out 3-0, the 'Fins now sit at 3-3.

Ryan Tannehill put his team behind the eight ball with a pick six and an end-zone interception in the first quarter. Although he deserves credit for engineering the first three-touchdown game of his career during the second and third quarters, he failed four times to respond to Lewis' two fourth-quarter drives for field goals.

The Dolphins ultimately were doomed by their inability to protect Tannehill, a running theme in their 3-3 start. The Bills managed just two sacks, both of them game-changing plays by Mario Williams in a mismatch versus right tackle Tyson Clabo.

After seven weeks, the Dolphins are as close to last place as second place.

Here's what else we learned:

  1. The Dolphins apparently decided during the bye week to install Daniel Thomas as the lead back, with Lamar Miller in a change-of-pace role. The two combined to average 4.9 yards on 21 carries, so don't expect the pecking order to change even though Thomas never has succeeded in the featured-back role.
  1. Miami's third receiver, Brandon Gibson, continues to play the best ball of his career. He scored twice, including a helicopter flip into the end zone to cap off an impressive two-minute drill entering halftime.
  1. It's probably time to give C.J. Spiller a week off to rest his sprained ankle. He looked like the Spiller of 2012 on an 11-yard run in the first quarter, but he appeared to aggravate the injury. He managed just 6 yards on six carries the rest of the way. At one point in the fourth quarter, fullback Frank Summers was leading the team with 14 rushing yards. Credit the coaching staff for not abandoning the run to leave the game in Lewis' hands.
  1. In two starts, Lewis is 40-of-64 passing (62.5 percent) for 418 yards (6.53 YPA), two touchdowns and one interception. The Bills won't ever prescribe 35 to 40 throws for Lewis, but he's played well enough to keep this team competitive without its starting quarterback.

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