Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Tannehill had two touchdown passes in the second half and the Miami defense kept Buffalo out of the end zone, as the Dolphins downed the Bills, 22-9, on Thursday night.
Tannehill finished the game 26-of-34 for 240 yards and his touchdown passes went to Jarvis Landry and Brandon Gibson as the Dolphins (6-4) bounced back from Sunday's late loss at Detroit.
The win moves Miami to 1 1/2 games back of New England for the top spot in the AFC East, and also kept the team in the thick of the wild card race.
Kyle Orton was a paltry 22-of-39 for 193 yards and Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals to account for all the points for the Bills (5-5), who have dropped their last two games.
"Our performance isn't good enough right now," said Orton. "We've got to go back to the drawing board a little bit and just the only thing I know is to go back and work harder and try to work harder and try to get better and it starts with the quarterback."
Trailing by six points, the Dolphins took the lead for good with 2:18 to play in the third, as Tannehill rolled out to the right and hit Gibson in the end zone from seven yards out for a 10-9 advantage. The big play of the drive was a 31-yard catch by Brian Hartline two plays before the score.
Buffalo quickly found itself in a 3rd-and-24 thanks to a holding and a Bryce Brown run for negative four yards. Orton dropped back into the end zone and got rid of the ball under pressure. The ball wound up falling incomplete down the left sideline in the general area of Buffalo wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Orton, though, was called for intentional grounding, and since he was in the end zone at the time, it was ruled a safety and Miami had a 12-9 lead.
The Bills, though, did catch a break as Landry fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Bills recovered at the Miami 39.
They came away with nothing, however, as Dan Carpenter missed a 47-yard field goal attempt to the left.
Miami took advantage of the short field, quickly moving into the red zone. Tannehill hit Landry near the left sideline from the Buffalo 8. Landry made a defender miss, and stretched the ball into the end zone for a 19-9 lead with 11:35 to play.
"We made some big plays and I think getting the safety was huge for us," said Tannehill. "We got touchdowns and that's always the goal. We moved the ball well in the first half, but had a fumble on the second drive and the first drive we didn't get in the end zone. I thought the way the guys fought back in the second half really turned the game around."
Each team then punted once, and with time winding down the Bills went for it on 4th-and-8 at their own 12, but failed and Caleb Sturgis booted a 32-yard field goal to seal the victory with 3:01 to play.
Miami began the game with the ball and got several first downs before Tannehill was sacked for a 12-yard loss. The Dolphins converted a 3rd-and-24, though, as Damien Williams made a one-handed grab over the middle and took it 32 yards. The drive stalled at the Buffalo 20 and Sturgis hit a 38-yard field goal to get the team on the board.
Buffalo responded with a long drive of its own, converting a pair of third downs before settling on a 33-yard field goal from Carpenter to cap the 14- play, 67-yard march with just 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Dolphins again put together an impressive drive and had a 1st-and-10 at the Buffalo 14, but Tannehill had the ball knocked out of his hand and the Bills recovered.
Converting four third downs, the Bills had a 1st-and-goal at the 6, but were unable to punch it in and Carpenter booted it through the uprights from 21 yards out for a 6-3 lead with 3:26 to play in the second quarter.
Miami crossed midfield, but was unable to get into field goal position and had to punt, with Orton taking a knee to end the half.
On their second touch of the second half, the Bills were able to add to their lead on a 46-yard field goal from Carpenter with 6:26 to play in the third.
Lamar Miller had 86 yards on 15 carries for Miami ... Buffalo running back Fred Jackson missed the game with a groin injury ... Miami cornerback Cortland Finnegan missed the game with an ankle injury ... The Dolphins controlled the ball for almost 32 1/2 minutes, and outgained Buffalo 330-237 ... Miami plays in Denver next Sunday ... Buffalo hosts the Jets next Sunday ... Buffalo had won the previous three games against Miami.