Miami Dolphins

Former Dolphins make big impact in Bills’ win

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) greets Buffalo Bills offensive guard Richie Incognito (64) after the game.The Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 27, 2015.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) greets Buffalo Bills offensive guard Richie Incognito (64) after the game.The Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 27, 2015. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Sunday was a good day to be part of the Buffalo Bills.

For those Bills who used to play for the Dolphins, well, Sunday was pretty terrific as Buffalo blew out Miami 41-14.

Richie Incognito had the spotlight on him as he faced the Dolphins for the first time since the infamous bullying scandal tore the team apart in 2013.

On Sunday, Incognito was one of a handful of former Dolphins who enjoyed their visit back to Miami Gardens.

“It’s always good to play against your former team, see those familiar faces,” said Charles Clay, who left Miami as a free agent last spring and caught Buffalo’s first touchdown to start the rout.

Incognito was the focal point Sunday. His final game with Miami came against Cincinnati on a Halloween Thursday at Sun Life Stadium.

Four days later, he was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team,” which would evolve into one of the biggest investigations ever undertaken by the NFL.

“It was special [to be back] because of the way it ended and what went down after it,” Incognito told reporters.

“It left a bad taste in my mouth. To come down and see the guys, compete against them and get a win is a great feeling.”

After sitting out last year, Incognito signed with the Bills during the offseason and has started the first three games at left guard.

Before the game, Incognito was greeted by a number of former teammates and was embraced by coach Joe Philbin as well.

“It was great to see coach,” Incognito said. “It was a special moment. It’s nice to be back. I shared that moment with a lot of guys.”

Incognito turned out to only be a part of the Miami homecoming story on Sunday.

Buffalo coach Rex Ryan sent four former Dolphins — and former UM lineman Seantrel Henderson — to midfield as pregame captains.

Not long afterward, Clay caught three passes on the Bills’ opening drive — capped by his 25-yard touchdown in which he made it look like Miami was playing defense in name only.

Clay ended the day with all five of his catches (82 yards) coming in an opening quarter in which the Bills marched down the field on their first two possessions for touchdowns.

“It’s just one win so you can’t get too high on yourself,” said Clay, who signed a five-year deal for $38-million that Miami declined to match.

“We still have to play next week.”

Clay wasn’t the only former Dolphin to score, either.

Kicker Dan Carpenter — sent out of town when Jeff Ireland cut him in 2013 — drilled a 51-yard field goal at the end of the first half to give the Bills a 27-0 halftime lead.

Carpenter hit a 27-yard kick earlier.

Receiver Chris Hogan didn’t play in a game with the Dolphins, but did spend time on the team’s practice squad.

He also became known during the 2012 training camp when then-teammate Reggie Bush gave him the nickname “7-11” because he “was always open.”

On the first play of the fourth quarter Sunday, Hogan got plenty open as he raced past the Miami secondary for a 38-yard touchdown to make it 34-8.

“This is where it all started so I had to live up to it,” Hogan said with a grin.

“It’s always nice coming down here and playing against your former team. It was an all-around team win. It was great.”

George Richards: 305-376-4995, @GeorgeRichards

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