PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : AFC PLAYOFFS : Dolphins’ Defense Perfect--for Bills
Buffalo Bill fans were given a scare early in the second quarter of their team’s 37-22 victory Saturday when Thurman Thomas finished a 13-yard run by flattening embattled Miami Dolphin defensive coordinator Tom Olivadotti.
After all, if somebody else takes over those chores, maybe the Dolphins figure how how to stop the Bills.
But Olivadotti survived. Not coincidentally, so did the Bill running game.
Things were going so bad for Olivadotti, he called the collision “the best thing that happened to me all afternoon.”
Not that the Bills thought Dolphin linebacker Bryan Cox was in danger.
But Cox, who has flashed both obscene gestures and spat at the Bill fans in the past, was accompanied throughout the game by two policemen wearing riot gear.
For once, Cox kept his hands and his saliva to himself. But he wasn’t the same player, as he made eight mostly meaningless tackles while getting caught out of position on most of the Bills’ big running plays.
Afterward he said the smartest thing he has said all season.
“I ain’t talking,” he said.
Steve Tasker injured a hamstring behind his knee and could be questionable for next weekend’s game at Pittsburgh. Tasker, a former special teams star, caught five passes for a career-high 108 yards and a touchdown--all in the first half. . . . The Bills have never lost a playoff game at Rich Stadium in nine tries.
The only team to gain more postseason rushing yards than the Bills did on Saturday (341) was the Chicago Bears in 1940, when they gained 382 in their 73-0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the NFL championship. . . . The Bills’ Tim Tindale scored his first NFL rushing touchdown, and Buffalo’s Marlo Perry, Filmel Johnson and Ken Irvin recorded their first NFL interceptions.
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