By Abraham Gutierrez

With no time to feel sorry for themselves following a heartbreaking loss versus the Detroit Lions, the Miami Dolphins will have a quick turnaround when they host the hated Buffalo Bills in a battle of 5-4 foes. Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, will be the site for this intraconference showdown, which sets the table for Week 11 of the 2014 NFL season. 

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Opening kickoff is scheduled for Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and all the hard-hitting action will be broadcast live on NFL Network. With a win over Miami this season, Buffalo starts Week 11 sitting in second place in the AFC East. 

And although both teams would miss the NFL playoffs if the regular season ended tonight, only a single game separates them from punching their ticket into the American Football Conference tournament. 

With a (10-29) loss to the Bills in Week 2 (Sept. 14), Thursday’s game becomes a must-win for Miami’s hopes of a playoff berth. However, much like last week’s clash with the Lions, Joe Philbin & Co. will face one of the best defenses in the National Football League for a second straight game. 

Buffalo Bills On Defense 

Led by former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, the Bills defense ranks in the top 10 in the NFL’s main statistical categories. In his first year as Bills’ defensive coordinator, the 48-year-old from Halethorpe, Maryland, is at the helm of the league’s seventh best defense in all of football. 

The Bills start Week 11 ranked seventh in points (20.2 ppg) and passing yards (224.6 pypg) per game, as well as sixth in total yards allowed (320.7 typg) and eighth at defending the run (96.1 rypg). Their pass rush is something Ryan Tannehill will have to contend for the duration of the contest, as Buffalo’s “D” tops in the NFL in sacks (34). 

Getting after the quarterback is this team’s forte, as Marcell Dareus (third in NFL with 10 sacks), Jerry Hughes (ninth in NFL with 7.5 sacks) Mario Williams (tied for 11th in NFL with 6 sacks) and others will be looking to create chaos in the backfield. 

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With so much pressure on opposing signal-callers, the Bills secondary does a great job of capitalizing when opportunities present themselves. They rank fourth in the NFL in picks, led by Leodis McKelvin (fourth in NFL with 4 INTs) and Stephon Gilmore (tied for 21st in NFL with 2 INTs). 

Buffalo Bills On Offense 

Offensively is where Miami will find the Bills’ Achilles heel, as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett runs one of the most anemic offenses in pro football. The 34-year-old from Fullerton, California, features an offense that ranks 23rd in the league in points (21.2) and yards per game (331.0), is 20th at running with the rock (100.2) and 18th through the air (230.8). 

The Bills’ biggest offensive contributors during the 2014 NFL season include: quarterback Kyle Orton (189/124, 1387 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs, 98.4 QBR), running backs C.J. Spiller (69 carries, 287 yards) and Fred Jackson (58 carries, 249 yards, TD), as well as wide receivers Sammy Watkins (42 receptions, 617 yards, 5 TDs), Robert Woods (34 receptions, 346 yards, 2 TDs), as well as tight end Scott Chandler (26 receptions, 307 yards, TD) just to name a few. 

Bills vs Dolphins Head-to-Head 

With 2,164 points scored, the Miami Dolphins come in leading this extensive series over the Buffalo Bills (1,941 points) by a count of 57-43-1. As stated above, the last time these teams met dates back to Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season, when the Bills prevailed in Orchard Park by a final score of 29-10. 

For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.

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Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .