Week 16: Buffalo Bills At Miami Dolphins
- QuarterbackRyan Fitzpatrick can throw the short- and medium-range passes and use his feet to pick up additional yards. However, it seems that the Bills have a tough time making big plays in the clutch. When the Bills give up points by the bucket load as they did against the Seahawks, Fitzpatrick is not capable of matching big plays with the opponents.The Dolphins woke up in the second half of their Week 15 win over the Jaguars. Ryan Tannehill was able to take advantage of his team’s excellent effort by completing 22-of-28 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. When Tannehill gets decent protection, he can be a very proficient signal caller.
- OffenseThe Bills want to use their running game to open things up and make things easier for Fitzpatrick. C.J. Spiller is one of the more productive running backs in the league. Even though the Bills got torched by the Seahawks, Spiller still went over the 100-yard mark. Stevie Johnson has the speed to get open and make the big play, but he will drop a few passes.The Dolphins received an excellent performance from running back Reggie Bush. Those have been few and far between because Bush does not always respond well to taking an early hit. He had 104 yards against Jacksonville and that included a 53-yard bolt. Brian Hartline is going to catch anything he can get his hands on and Davone Bess has been a solid contributor.
- DefenseThe Bills will try to put pressure on Tannehill throughout the game. Defensive end Mario Williams is the key to their pass rush. The Bills had played better defense in recent weeks, but they fell apart against a hungry Seattle team that is fighting to get into the playoffs. The Bills gave up four rushing touchdowns and that is simply unacceptable.The Dolphins play hard on the defensive end and the Jaguars could not get anything going on the offensive side of the ball. The Dolphins are solid against the run (9th in rushing yards allowed), and they should be able to make things tough on Spiller. Middle linebacker Karlos Dansby leads the team in tackles with 111 and he also has nine passes defensed.
- Special TeamsThe Bills will be thrilled if they can keep it close and put the game in the hands of their hard-working special teams. The Bills are getting the best of their opponents on punt and kickoff returns. Leodis McKelvin has explosive speed and has taken two punt returns back for touchdowns. Rian Lindell has made 19-of-20 FG attempts.The Dolphins have been productive on special teams. Marcus Thigpen is a speedy returner who will force the Bills to be at the top of their game.. Dan Carpenter was 3-of-3 in his field goal attempts against the Jaguars and he made his second 50-plus yard field goal of the season.
The Dolphins have the advantage of playing at home and they also know they have the defense to shut down a team that is inconsistent at best on the offensive end. The Dolphins are hoping to get another productive game from Bush, who doesn’t always play consistently.