Week 16: Bills vs. Dolphins
The Bills come home to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the first time in over a month and for the last time this year. They will look to put a serious dent into arch rival Miami's playoff chances. The Dolphins are red hot winning three straight to shoot them into the thick of the race. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win and losses by Cincinnati and Baltimore.
Sunday, Dec. 22nd
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (5-9) vs. Miami (8-6)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 704; Sirius: 93
||Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein
||Dolphins by 2½
||Dolphins lead 56-38-1 (Bills 3-1 in playoffs)
||Bills Won 2
||Bills 23-21 in Miami (2013)
||Rush (24th); Pass (17th); overall (24th)
||Rush (22nd); Pass (16th); overall (17th)
||Rush (4th); Pass (29th); overall (23rd)
||Rush (26th); Pass (6th); overall (15th)
The Bills will be without EJ Manuel who suffered a knee sprain against Jacksonville last week. He finished that game but it swelled up and doesn't have escapability and will sit this week. Thad Lewis will start in his place. His one win this year came down in Miami. Aaron Williams (ribs) is 50-50 for the game with a rib injury. Marcell Dareus is battling an ankle injury but appears more likely to play. Stevie Johnson will be out but not because of injury, he is dealing with the death of his mother.
The Dolphins had two players that sat out practice on Wednesday, CB Brent Grimes (groin) and RB Daniel Thomas (ankle). They had a few more players limited but should be ok.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
RT Erik Pears vs. DE Cameron Wake:
Pears is a weak link on the Bills O-Line and the pass rushing maven Wake lines up on the left side of the defense which spells trouble for the bills.
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Oliver Vernon:
With all the attention on Wake, Vernon actually leads the Dolphins with 11½ sacks. Glenn has been solid protecting the QBs blindside making this a good battle.
CBs Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin vs. WRs Mike Wallace and Brain Hartline:
Wallace is the big name at the position but Hartline leads the team in catches and yards. Both players are dangerous meaning the Bills corner duo needs to be on top of their game.
DT Kyle Williams vs. LG Sam Brenner:
The rookie Brenenr is now starting at left guard and will have to watch for Williams who is having an all pro season. This is a matchup that favors the Bills, Brenner will likely get help from C Mike Pouncey.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Come Ready To Play: With their rookie QB sidelined and nothing to play for it would be easy to run for the bus. This team can't do that, they need to work hard to stay focused on the task at hand.
2. Get Crowd Into It: This may be easier said than done. It will be the smallest crowd of the year and the fans will even be less interested without Manuel to evaluate. A quick start may get the crowd going which could cause trouble for Miami.
3. Stop The Run: Almost every Bills team this century has not been able to stop the run consistently. This team is no different. Miami is not strong running the ball but that hasn't stopped worse teams from running wild against Buffalo. The Bills need to make them one dimensional but not allowing much on the ground.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills play very tough at home especially since Doug Marrone took over as head coach. They are 3-3 at the Ralph and have been in all six games. They should hang tough this week as the difference between Lewis and Manuel at this point on the field is negligible. Lewis is 1-2 as a starter with his victory coming in Miami two months ago. The Dolphins are on a serious role and they had no problem playing in the snow in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago so they won't be rattled by the weather. They need this game badly for their playoff dreams and that should be the difference in this game:
Dolphins 27, Bills 17
Season Prediction Record: (9-5)
Season Record Against The Spread: (8-6)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
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