BUFFALO (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins got a little bit of a reprieve Wednesday when the Buffalo Bills announced it would start Thad Lewis at quarterback this Sunday.

Yes, Lewis beat the Dolphins earlier this season; but that game seems like an entire year ago to the Fins and its fans. Since the Buffalo loss, Miami has run off a 5-3 record and controls its own playoff destiny heading into the final weeks of the season.

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The last time Miami saw Lewis, he threw for 202 yards on 21-32 passing, but had no touchdowns and finished with a quarterback rating of 70.1. Still, Miami had the game in hand near the end before Mario Williams lit up Ryan Tannehill and forced a fumble that helped Buffalo kick a game winning field goal.

Since beating the Dolphins in Week 7, Buffalo has put up a 2-5 record and has been eliminated from playoff contention in the competitive AFC. Buffalo has lost two of its last three games, but did knock off the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend by a touchdown.

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On other hand, Miami is one of the hottest teams in the league and appears to be peaking at the prefect time in the season. Miami has beaten the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots in consecutive weeks.

During the Dolphins’ winning streak, Tannehill has continually stepped up his game. He finished the Patriots victory last Sunday with the following stat line: 25-37, for 312 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 120.6.

Miami will be playing against the elements in Buffalo with cold temperatures and a mix of rain/snow expected at game time. Miami proved it can win in the cold weather two weeks ago when the Fins beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh with snow on the ground.

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If Miami beats Buffalo on Sunday and the New York Jets in the final week of the season, and the Fins should be favored in both games; Miami will make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 regardless of what else happens in the AFC.