Countdown To Kickoff: Dolphins - Bills

Breaking down the Dolphins-Bills matchup.

* MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-9) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (8-7)*

*GAME FACTS *

* DATE: Sunday, Dec. 31
*
TIME: 4:25 p.m. ET
SITE: Hard Rock Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
TV: CBS
TV ANNOUNCERS:Andrew Catalon, play-by-play; James Lofton, 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 60-46-1 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 34-19-1
AT BUFFALO: Bills lead 27-25v AT TORONTO, CANADA: Dolphins lead 1-0
LAST MEETING: 2017 at Buffalo; Bills 24, Dolphins 16

* HISTORY LESSON:* The last time the Dolphins ended the regular season against the Bills was in the 2001 season, but that game ended up on Jan. 6, 2002 because of the postponement of all games the Sunday after the events of 9/11. The Dolphins closed out an 11-5 regular season that day against the Bills with a 34-7 victory when Lamar Smith rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown, and safety Brock Marion returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game.

* SERIES TREND:* The teams have split the past six meetings, and also have split the last eight meetings in December.

* SCOUTING REPORT *

* BUFFALO’S RECORD: 8-7
*
LAST GAME: Lost 37-16 at New England

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OVERVIEW: The Bills enter the final Sunday of the regular season still alive in their quest to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL, but they need to defeat the Dolphins and get some help in other 4:25 p.m. games. Along with a victory, the Bills need one of the following scenarios to come through: a Baltimore loss at home against Cincinnati; or losses by the Chargers (at home against Oakland) and Titans (at home against Jacksonville). The Bills led New England 16-13 last Sunday at Gillette Stadium before allowing the final 24 points of the game. While the Bills have made strides in Sean McDermott’s first year as head coach, they will come to regret slipping after a 5-2 start if they fail to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

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, WR Andre Holmes (IR), RB Travaris Cadet (IR)

* FINAL INJURY REPORT *

* DOLPHINS*

Doubtful — QB Matt Moore (foot), T Laremy Tunsil (ankle), RB Damien Williams (shoulder)
Questionable – TE MarQueis Gray (hip), DE Charles Harris (thigh), LB Neville Hewitt (hamstring), S T.J. McDonald (shoulder), WR DeVante Parker (ankle), CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring), DE Cameron Wake (illness)

BILLS
Out – CB Shareece Wright (concussion)
Questionable — C Ryan Groy (illness), WR Deonte Thompson (back)

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