Week 14: Bills vs. Dolphins
What a difference a week makes. The Bills last second win over the Redskins coupled with losses by Cleveland and Denver puts the Bills back in the playoff hunt. They have a huge battle next week with the Browns but it won't mean a thing if the Bills look past the winless Dolphins this week and allow them to garner their first victory.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (6-6) vs. Miami (0-12)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots
||Bills by 7
||Dolphins lead 50-36-1 (Bills 3-1 in Playoffs)
||Bills Won 3
||Bills 13-10 in South Florida (2007)
||Rush (18th); Pass (27th); overall (29th)
||Rush (32nd); Pass (3rd); overall (16th)
||Rush (20th); Pass (29th); overall (31st)
||Rush (22nd); Pass (29th); overall (30th)
The Bills made it through the game against the Redskins with only one injury of note. LB Copeland Bryan injured his knee and will likely not be available this week. The Bills hope to have Marshawn Lynch back, he has missed three games with a high ankle sprain and has resumed practicing. Chris Kelsay is out with a similar injury. Coy Wire missed last week's game with a stinger and Anthony Thomas remains out with a torn muscle in his leg. Jerametrius Butler has been sidelined with a calf injury and may miss this week's game as well. Matt Murphy, Kiwaukee Thomas, Derek Schouman, Peerless Price, Ko Simpson, Kevin Everett, Paul Pozluszny, Jason Whittle, and Jason Webster are among the long list on injured reserve.
The Dolphins have been real banged up all year long. It started with season ending injuries to RB Ronnie Brown and QB Trent Green. Ricky Williams returned from an 18 month suspension and promptly landed on injured reserve in his first game back. Jesse Chatman has been handling the rock for Miami but he re-aggravated an ankle injury and is questionable for this week's game. Zach Thomas has been placed on IR with a concussion. SS Cameron Worrell tore his ACL last week and is gone for the rest of the year.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RBs Fred Jackson and/or Marshawn Lynch vs. LB Channing Crowder:
No matter if Lynch plays or not the Bills should attack Miami's weak run defense. If Lynch does go, look for them to ease him back and still give Jackson a decent portion of the carries. Crowder leads Miami with 78 tackles. He's had to pick up his game with Thomas out.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Vernon Carey:
Schobel has been more active in recent weeks and needs to get pressure on the rookie QB John Beck to force him into mistakes. Carey is a serviceable tackle anchoring an improved offensive line.
CB Jabari Greer vs. WR Marty Booker:
Greer should draw Booker in this game. It's a weak receiving corps of Miami that Booker leads. He'll be looking for redemption after dropping a few passes in the meeting between these two teams last month.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Will Allen:
The Dolphins will likely use their best corner Allen to shadow Evans and line up against him on a vast majority of the plays. Evans needs a big game, he's only been a force in two games this year.
K Rian Lindell vs. K. Jay Feely:
It's a sad state when the two biggest offensive weapons in this game may be the kickers. Lindell is red hot and has hit 17 straight field goals. Both kickers have missed just two kicks all year each. Neither has missed one from inside the 40. If this game is tight it may come down to who hits or misses a big kick in the unpredictable weather.
Bills Coverage Units vs. KR/PR Ted Ginn Jr.:
The punt coverage unit remains solid but the kick coverage unit has weakened considerably this year. Ginn Jr. had a TD on a return called back by a penalty in the first meeting, the team can't afford to let him get loose again. A special teams score by Miami can turn the tide and force an upset.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Look for them to attack the poor run defense of Miami especially in the Western New York December weather. A good ground attack will help the Bills control the game.
When The Dolphins Have The Ball: The Dolphins ground game is hurting with injuries so look for them to attack the aggressive, fast defense of the Bills with a lot of screens to the wide receivers, running backs, and short passes to the tight ends.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills should win this game handily but I'd feel better if Miami got their first win out of the way last weekend against the weak Jets. Instead they got blown out and seem to be a team in disarray. They are desperately trying to avoid the first winless 16 game season in NFL history and that makes them dangerous. The Bills had a scare down in South Florida a month ago and shouldn't take them lightly. If they come focused they should win the game at home in December where Miami doesn't usually fare well, especially with a rookie quarterback:
Bills 23, Dolphins 9
Season Prediction Record: (7-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (7-5)
Complete Gameday Review - Coming Sunday Evening!
Gameday Grades - Coming Sunday Evening!