ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown, Rian Lindell added four field goals and the Buffalo Bills led the Miami Dolphins 19-7 at the half Thursday night.
McKelvin went untouched up a seam down the left sideline after the Bills forced Miami to a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. He has had two of the three longest punt returns in the NFL this season, also scoring on an 88-yard return in Buffalo’s victory over Kansas City in Week 2.
Lindell connected from 32, 34, 42, and 19 yards as the Bills settled for three point on all four of their trips into the red zone. Buffalo is attempting to snap a two-game losing streak to the Dolphins, and also has dropped 11 straight prime-time games.
The Dolphins have been throttled on offense by a Buffalo defense that came in ranked 31st in the NFL. Through two quarters, Miami didn’t cross midfield on its six first-half drives, and had mustered just two first downs.
Bills defensive end Mario Williams recorded a sack, and Buffalo allowed just 50 yards.
Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller, meanwhile, gained 97 combined yards.
After Miami receiver Brian Hartline fumbled following a 17-yard reception, the Bills capitalized by taking a 10-0 lead on Lindell’s 32-yard field goal with 5:07 left in the first quarter.
The Dolphins (4-5) responded on the ensuing kickoff when Marcus Thigpen returned it 96 yards to cut the deficit to 10-7. It was Thigpen’s second return for a touchdown this season, with the other coming on a punt return in Miami’s season opener against Houston.
Thigpen became the first player in Dolphins history to return a punt and kickoff for touchdowns in the same season.
The last time there was a punt return touchdown by one team and a kickoff return touchdown by the opposing team in the same quarter was December 1999 in a game between the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions according to STATS LLC. Washington’s James Thrash had a 95-yard kickoff return for a score and Detroit’s Desmond Howard had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
The Bills (3-6) were without running back Fred Jackson, who missed his first game since sustaining a concussion in Buffalo’s loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.