MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-6) at BUFFALO BILLS (5-9)
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Ralph Wilson Stadium
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, play-by-play; Steve Beuerlein, analysis
DOLPHINS RADIO NETWORK: Clear Channel, WBGG (105.9 FM) and WINZ (940 AM) and a network of affiliates throughout Florida; WQBA (1140 AM-Spanish)
RADIO VOICES: English broadcast — Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast — Raul Striker, Joaquin Duro
SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 57-41-1 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 32-17-1
AT BUFFALO: Teams tied 24-24
AT TORONTO: Dolphins lead 1-0
LAST MEETING: 2013 at Miami; Bills 23, Dolphins 21
HISTORY LESSON: The schedule makers have made it a point to schedule the back end of the annual Dolphins-Bills home-and-home series in December, with this season marking the 11th time in 12 years the teams meet in the last calendar month of the year. The only exception was in 2009 when the teams’ second meeting that season was played on Nov. 29. In the past 11 years, there have been five December meetings in Buffalo, with the Dolphins taking two of them. Another was a Bills home game in Toronto in 2008 when the Dolphins left Canada with a 16-3 victory on their way to the AFC East title.
SERIES TREND: The Dolphins, who won 30-23 in their last December visit to Buffalo in 2011, will be looking to avoid being swept in the season series for the first time since 2007. Miami has won seven of the last 11 meetings overall, including four victories by 13 points or more. Buffalo’s last three victories against the Dolphins, meanwhile, have been by five points or less — including their two-point decision at Sun Life Stadium earlier this season.
BILLS’ RECORD: 5-9
LAST GAME: Won at Jacksonville, 27-20
OVERVIEW: It’s been another disappointing year for the Bills, who already are assured of their ninth consecutive losing season and will miss the playoffs for a 14th consecutive year. The Bills still had hope after leaving Miami with a 3-4 record back on Oct. 20, but Buffalo then proceeded to lose three in a row against New Orleans, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. A big disappointment for the Bills was the knee injury sustained in October by rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who will miss the game Sunday because of swelling in that knee.
KEY NEW FACES: QB E.J. Manuel (draft-1st round), WR Robert Woods (draft-2nd), LB Kiko Alonso (draft-2nd), WR Marquise Goodwin (draft-3rd), K Dan Carpenter (Miami), DE Alan Branch (Seattle), LB Manny Lawson (Cincinnati), LB Jerry Hughes (Indianapolis), S Jim Leonhard (Denver), QB Thad Lewis (Detroit), TE Tony Moeaki (Kansas City).
KEY VETERANS GONE: LB Kelvin Sheppard, DE Chris Kelsay (retired), LB Nick Barnett, S George Wilson, DE Mark Anderson, K Rian Lindell, WR Brad Smith, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Donald Jones, RB Tashard Choice.