Great moment. Mrs. Wilson addresses the whole team on picture day. #RCW
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Bills go 2-0 with win over Dolphins
Buffalo’s dynamic Clemson connection provided the electricity to an already charged-up Bills crowd.
In capping a home opener celebrating the franchise’s proud past and suddenly promising future, C.J. Spiller returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in a 29-10 win over AFC East rival Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. Rookie Sammy Watkins scored on a 12-yard catch.
The Dolphins (1-1) also lost a key offseason addition when running back Knowshon Moreno did not return after hurting his left elbow 11 minutes in.
Dan Carpenter hit five field goals and the Bills had four sacks in helping Buffalo get off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2011, and only the sixth time since 2000.
The game began with a tribute to Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson, who died in March. And it came during an uplifting week in which the franchise’s long-term future was essentially secured: Wilson’s trust reached a “definitive agreement” to sell the team to NHL Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula for an NFL-record $1.4 billion.
The sold-out crowd had plenty to celebrate in the third quarter after Miami’s Caleb Sturgis hit a 34-yard field goal to cut Buffalo’s lead to 9-3. The Bills put the game away by scoring twice.
Spiller struck first on the ensuing kickoff by bursting through a hole up the right hash mark. Kelvin Sheppard was the only Dolphin to get his hand on Spiller, who had a clear path to the end zone once Sturgis missed a diving tackle at the Buffalo 35.
The Dolphins replied with Mike Wallace making a one-handed catch for a 7-yard touchdown.
Watkins, with his first career touchdown, capped the Bills’ next drive with a 12-yard catch set up by Spiller’s 47-yard run. EJ Manuel hit Watkins on a crossing pattern over the middle, and the receiver got the ball just inside the right pylon.
Spiller was Buffalo’s 2010 first-round draft pick out of Clemson. And the Bills traded up to select Watkins with the No. 4 pick in the draft in May.
Watkins finished with eight catches for 117 yards, and Spiller added 69 yards rushing.
Manuel went 16 of 26 for 202 yards in building on his promising performance in a season-opening 23-20 overtime win at Chicago.
Very little went right for the Dolphins’ offense, which failed to carry over momentum from last weekend’s 33-20 win over New England. The big blow came when Moreno was hurt on his first carry. Driving up the middle for a 4-yard gain, Moreno was initially hit on the right side by Nickell Robey. Nigel Bradham then struck Moreno from the left, hitting him directly in the arm.
Moreno, with Denver last season, had an NFL-leading 134 yards rushing entering Week 2.
Moreno’s backup Lamar Miller finished with 11 carries for 46 yards.
The Dolphins were limited to six first downs and 62 yards offense in the opening half, and never advanced past their 41.
Ryan Tannehill went 31 of 49 for 241 yards with a touchdown and interception. (Photo: Associated Press)
Highlights from the Bills 23-20 win
Bills rookie WR Watkins listed as probable
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins practiced again on Friday and has been listed as probable for the first game of his NFL career against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, according to an ESPN report.
Watkins has been able to practice this entire week despite being plagued by an injury he sustained to his ribs.
He took a hit in Week 2 of the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed the Bills’ Week 3 preseason game and tried to play in the preseason finale but took another hit to the rib area and exited the game. But the good news is that he’s been able to practice at full speed all week. (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
FORMER BILLS QB JIM KELLY ANNOUNCES HE’S CANCER FREE
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced on Thursday that he’s been informed by doctors that follow-up tests revealed he shows no signs of having sinus cancer, NFL Network reports.
…"I don’t even know what to do with myself. I’m so overwhelmed. I’m so thankful," Kelly was quoted as saying in a message posted on his wife Jill Kelly’s Instagram account. "I want to literally hug and thank all of you in person."
Kelly was informed of the results by his doctor a week after having a series of biopsies performed at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital.
“Dr. Costantino said it was nothing short of a miracle, because he wasn’t sure when he went in what was going to come out,” Kelly said. “This is some of the greatest news I’ve ever gotten.”
Kelly called it “a long road” and said he’s not yet fully recovered from cancer treatments. He then added that he has plenty to be thankful for.
Earlier in the day, Kelly and former teammate, Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas, attended the Bills’ practice session.
Kelly’s battle with cancer began in June 2013, when he had surgery to remove cancerous cells in his upper jaw. The cancer then spread to his sinus in March.
He was in a weakened state following a two-month barrage of treatments last spring.
Kelly was then strong enough to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, last month, when former Bills teammate, receiver Andre Reed, was among the seven inductees. Reed closed his speech by having Kelly throw him a pass on stage.
A day later, Kelly served as the Bills honorary captain before their preseason-opening game against the New York Giants. (Photo: Associated Press)