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Week 13: Bills vs. Dolphins Preview Sam Madison
The Bills will be looking to right a sinking ship as they return home to face the first place Dolphins. Any slim hopes the Bills have of winning the division will go out the window if they lose Sunday. Miami will be led once again by Ray Lucas, he was awful in his first start of the year against the Bills but has played well lately in leading Miami to two straight victories. The Bills are trying to snap a three game losing streak and salvage some part of this once promising season.

Facts and Figures
Matchup: Miami (7-4) at Buffalo (5-6)
Date: Sunday December 1, 2002
Place: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Time: 1:00pm
Television: CBS
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, & Armen Keteyian
Spread: Dolphins by 2
Series: Miami leads 47-29-1 (Bills 3-1 in playoffs)
Last Meeting: Buffalo 23-10 (Week 7)
Dolphins Off: Rush (6th); Pass (22nd); overall (16th)
Dolphins Def: Rush (2nd); Pass (6th); overall (3rd)
Bills Offense: Rush (24th); Pass (3rd); overall (9th)
Bills Defense: Rush (26th); Pass (17th); overall (22nd)

Injury Update

The Bills are very healthy going into this game. Antoine Winfield is missing some practice time this week with a lower leg muscle strain. He is expected to play. Travis Henry was knocked out cold early in the Jets game on a hit by Sam Cowart but he returned and is also fine.

The Dolphins are expected to be without starting QB Jay Fiedler for one last time this week. There is a chance he will dress and be a backup. They will also most likely be without WR Chris Carter who is overcoming a kidney ailment. He is expected to practice this week but it is unlikely he will play. WR James McKnight suffered a lower back contusion in the win against San Diego but it isn't expected to keep him out of this game.

For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.

Key Matchups

DT Pat Williams vs. RB Ricky Williams: Ricky Williams is running well and with this being the first December game in Buffalo this year expect the running game to matter most. Pat Williams needs to rebound from a pathetic effort against the Jets. If he doesn't, Miami's Williams will run wild and the Bills will go down to another defeat.

SS Coy Wire vs. TE Randy McMichael: McMichael is enjoying a solid rookie campaign. He is one weapon who can get overlooked by the struggling Bills defense. If they do, he can cause major damage.

WRs Eric Moulds and Peerless Price vs. SS Arturo Freeman and FS Brock Marion: Miami's corners, Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison, are excellent but the real battle for the Bills struggling receiving duo is with the safeties. Miami will most likely play the dreaded cover two keeping both safeties deep to protect against the long ball. Price and Moulds need to find a way to get open against the double coverage or Drew Bledsoe may force the ball and make mistakes.

TE Jay Riemersma vs. LB Morlon Greenwood: If they do play a cover two then their should be room to roam in the middle of the field for Riemersma. He has struggled lately, if he breaks out in this game, it may open up the big play to Moulds or Price.

RB Travis Henry vs. MLB Zach Thomas: Thomas will watch Henry's every move as the Dolphins know they are halfway to victory if they can shut Henry down. He is at the top of his game and is the best offensive weapon for the Bills at this point. Miami has a tough run defense but Henry ran 132 yards down in Miami earlier this year. Miami's defense will definitely be looking at that game film.

Game Plan

When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills have to be prepared to go with the short passing game as Miami will try to take away the long ball like clubs have been doing successfully the past month. To open up the big play the Bills need to run effectively and throw the ball over the middle to the tight ends and running backs. If they can do that, and that's a tall order, then the big play will be there.

When The Dolphins Have The Ball: Miami will grind it out on the ground with Ricky Williams. They will also keep Lucas mobile which will give the young over aggressive defensive line of the Bills fits. Look for the passing game to center around McMichael and look for whatever receiver that locks up with Chris Watson to be a go to guy for Lucas.

Bills Daily Prediction

The Bills need a win in the worst way but their confidence has definitely been shaken. The Dolphins know their lead in the division is tenuous at best and want to give the Bills a little payback for the loss in Miami, look for the Dolphins to correct what went wrong last month. Buffalo is in a must win game but haven't delivered in this situation all year, what makes you think they will this time: Dolphins 24, Bills 10

Season Prediction Record: (8-3)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-3)

Complete Statistical Matchup
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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