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On This Date in Sports November 5, 1972: Dominating the Bills (50 Years of Perfection Week 8)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Dolphins, in collaboration with

The Miami Dolphins defeat the Buffalo Bills for the second time in three weeks to remain unbeaten at 8-0. Earl Morrall struggles, completing just five passes with a touchdown and a pick-six, but the Miami rushing attack overpowers the Bills. Mercury Morris leads the ground attack in the mud, rushing for 106 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns. Larry Csonka adds 72 yards on 17 carries, while Jim Kiick collects 63 yards on 12 carries. In total, the Dolphins rush for 254 yards. It is the sixth straight win for the Dolphins against the AFC East rivals from Western New York. The Dolphins would win 20 straight, spanning the entire decade of the 1970s.

The Dolphins' pursuit of perfection continued in November. After going 7-0 in the first half of the season, the Dolphins began November with their second game against the Buffalo Bills. Two weeks earlier, they edged the Bills 24-23 at the Orange Bowl as Earl Morrall made his first start after Bob Griese went down in Week 5. The Bills entered the game with a record of 2-5 for Lou Saban, who had coached the Bills to two AFL titles in 1964 and 1965. 


The Dolphins scored on their first drive as Garo Yepremian hit a 33-yard field goal. The Bills, however, answered with a long drive that ended with a touchdown. Randy Jackson caught a 13-yard pass from Dennis Shaw. Miami blocked John Leypoldt's PAT attempt, regaining momentum on a cold, muddy afternoon at War Memorial Stadium. The Dolphins would regain the lead as Mercury Morris had a 22-yard touchdown run to cap a back-and-forth first quarter. 

The Dolphins had a chance to put the game on ice in the second quarter, but two long drives stalled as the Dolphins settled for a pair of chip shot field goals from Garo Yepremian. Just before halftime, the Bills stunned the Dolphins as Tony Greene picked off Earl Morrall and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. The Bills had a chance to tie or take the lead before halftime, but Tom Foley picked off Dennis Shaw at the 20 to maintain Miami's 16-13 lead at the half. 

In the third quarter, the Dolphins' offense continued to ground down the Bills in the third quarter. The Dolphins increased their lead to 23-13 as Earl Morrall found Marv Fleming in the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown pass. The Bills continued to battle as John Leypoldt nailed a 28-yard field goal to make it a one-score game. The Dolphins would continue to run the ball down the Bills' throughs in the fourth quarter, as Mercury Morris scored his second touchdown of the game on a four-yard run. 

The Dolphins would win the game 30-16, as Jake Scott sealed the win with an interception. The Dolphins' defense limited Buffalo to 172 yards, and O.J. Simpson was held to 45 yards on 13 carries. It would be the final game that the Dolphins played at War Memorial Stadium, as the Bills would open Rich Stadium in nearby Orchard Park in 1973.