Dolphins vs. Bills: Top Stars from Thursday Night's Matchup

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor INovember 16, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 27: Leodis McKelvin #21 of the Buffalo Bills warms up prior to play  against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 35-32 in overtime.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

From darkness, comes light. 

I'm not exactly sure if that applies here or what it even means, but while Thursday night's matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills was anything but pretty, there were still some standout individual performances that deserve kudos. 

Let there be light!


Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo Bills

Stevie Johnson had a solid performance (six catches, 79 yards), but I'm going to have to go ahead and give the offensive MVP to McKelvin. 

Yes, I'm aware the fifth-year pro is a defensive back, but his huge 79-yard punt return gave the Bills their only touchdown of the game. Not only that, but he racked up 173 total return yards and constantly set up Buffalo with good field position so they could continue to rack up the field goals they so desperately love.

McKelvin entered the game No. 1 in the NFL in yards per punt return, and he only further established himself as one of the most dangerous players in the league.


Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins

Miami was pretty unimpressive in this one, but don't blame that on safety Reshad Jones.

The third-year pro has had a solid if not unspectacular career since being drafted in the fifth round out of Georgia, but this might just have been his best game to date (via the Miami SunSentinel's Omar Kelly):

This might be the best game I've ever seen Reshad Jones play. Unfortunately, he's the only secondary member stepping up.

— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) November 16, 2012

Jones had 14 total tackles, one forced fumble and one pass deflected in this incredible individual performance. 

Oh, and he almost has the same name as this person. So there's that, too. 


Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills

Jairus Byrd did this:

I could probably just end there, as this is arguably one of the best interceptions you'll see all season. ESPN's Trey Wingo summed it up pretty well:

Jairus Byrd, ball skills.

— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 16, 2012

Throw in the added bonus that it was the game-winning interception (well, the first of two, technically) and it will go down as easily one of the best plays of the week. 


Marcus Thigpen, Miami Dolphins

Thigpen wasn't to be outdone by McKelvin, as he returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and tallied over 200 total return yards. 

It wasn't enough for Miami, but Thigpen continues to be an underrated weapon. 



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