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Countdown To Kickoff: Dolphins - Bills

Posted Dec 16, 2017

Breaking down the Dolphins-Bills matchup.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-7) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (7-6)

GAME FACTS
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 17
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: New Era Field; Orchard Park, N.Y.
TV: CBS
TV ANNOUNCERS:Beth Mowins, play-by-play; Jay Feely, color analyst
DOLPHINS RADIO NETWORK: KISS (99.9 FM); WQAM (560 AM); WQBA (1140 AM-Spanish)

RADIO VOICES: English broadcast — Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast — Raul Striker Jr., Eduardo Martell


THE SERIES

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 60-45-1 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 34-19-1
AT BUFFALO: Bills lead 26-25
AT TORONTO, CANADA: Dolphins lead 1-0
LAST MEETING: 2016 at Buffalo; Dolphins 34, Bills 31 (OT)

HISTORY LESSON: The Dolphins played in Buffalo in December last season as well, and they pulled out a dramatic 34-31 victory that ended up putting them in the playoffs the following day when the Denver Broncos lost on Christmas night. Jay Ajayi had his second 200-yard rushing performance against the Bills on that December day at New Era Field, but the Dolphins needed a 55-yard field goal by Andrew Franks as time was running out to send the game to overtime. Ajayi then had another long run in overtime to set up Franks’ 27-yard game-winning field goal. Kenyan Drake had a 45-yard touchdown run and DeVante Parker had a 56-yard touchdown reception as the Dolphins raced to leads of 14-0, 21-7 and 28-14.
SERIES TREND: The Dolphins are coming off their first season sweep of the Bills since 2011, though both of their victories last season came in close games, 28-25 and 34-31.

SCOUTING REPORT

BUFFALO’S RECORD: 7-6 LAST GAME: Won 13-7 in overtime vs. Indianapolis

OVERVIEW: The Bills have won two of their past three games to put themselves back into the thick of the playoff race after a three-game losing streak had erased their 5-2 start. The Bills appear to have gotten their defense back on the right track after they allowed 34, 47 and 54 points in consecutive losses against the Jets, Saints and Chargers. Tyrod Taylor is back at quarterback after first-year coach Sean McDermott made what proved to be a regrettable switch to rookie Nathan Peterman in that game against the Chargers. Taylor sat out the game against the Colts last Sunday because of a knee injury, but the Bills were able to win in a blizzard when running back LeSean McCoy, who’s already over the 1,000-yard mark on the season, scored in overtime. Buffalo made several significant trades before and after the start of this season, sending off starters Sammy Watkins, Marcell Dareus and Ronald Darby in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines, wide receiver Jordan Matthews and draft picks.

KEY NEW FACES: CB Tre’Davious White (draft-1st round), OL Dion Dawkins (draft-2nd), G Vlad Ducasse (Baltimore), WR Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina), CB E.J. Gaines (L.A. Rams), K Stephen Hauschka (Seattle), FB Patrick DiMarco (Atlanta), FB Mike Tolbert (Carolina), DB Micah Hyde (Green Bay)

KEY VETERANS GONE: DT Marcell Dareus, WR Sammy Watkins, LB Reggie Ragland, DE Shaq Lawson (IR), QB E.J. Manuel, RB Mike Gillislee, RB Reggie Bush, FB Jerome Felton, WR Robert Woods, WR Justin Hunter, K Dan Carpenter, LB Zach Brown, CB Ronald Darby, CB Stephon Gilmore, DB Nickell Robey-Coleman

FINAL INJURY REPORT

DOLPHINS

Out – G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
Doubtful — QB Matt Moore (foot), CB Cordrea Tankersley (ankle/shoulder), S Michael Thomas (knee), RB Damien Williams (shoulder)
Questionable – DE Andre Branch (knee), CB Xavien Howard (illness), DT Jordan Phillips (ankle)

BILLS

Out – T Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), G John Miller (ankle), QB Nathan Peterman (concussion)
Questionable — WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee)

Game Pass: Miami Dolphins