The Dolphins used up their timeouts on Buffalo's final drive, but still had a chance after Patrick Cobbs returned the Bills' squib kick to the Miami 45-yard line.
The long punt return was the second major mistake on special teams. Earlier in the fourth quarter, a holding penalty on Greg Camarillo nullified what would have been an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr.
Those two big mistakes nullifed what overall was a pretty good effort by the Dolphins, who got a 100-yard rushing performance by Jesse Chatman and also shut down the Buffalo offense until Marshawn Lynch scored on a 3-yard run and added a two-point conversion to tie the game at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter.
But the passing game was a disaster again, despite pretty good pass protection overall.
The Dolphins totally dominated the first half, yet led only 3-0 after a 38-yard field goal by Jay Feely to cap the drive.
The lead was cut to 3-2 in the third quarter when Lemon was sacked in the end zone by Chris Kelsay on a play where Lemon just hung on to the ball too long.
After stopping the Bills on the ensuing possession, the Dolphins put together one of the most impressive drives of the season by going 80 yards on 18 plays.
The drive, which consumed 9:46, was kept alive early by Lemon gaining 2 yards on fourth-and-1 and then featured four third-down conversions.
The last was Lemon's 5-yard scramble on third-and-5.
But there just weren't enough plays made on offense, and the result was the Dolphins' fifth three-point loss of the season.