The Miami Dolphins (11-5) are looking to clinch the AFC East as they head into a Week 18 winner take all matchup on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills. The game will kick off on Sunday, January 7 at 8:20 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leads the NFL in passing yards with 4,451. Tagovailoa can become the first Dolphin to lead the league in passing yards since Dan Marino in 1992 (4,116).
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill leads the NFL in 1,717 receiving yards and can become the first player in Dolphins history to lead the league in receiving yards. Hill needs six receiving yards to move into the top 10 for most by a player in a season in NFL history. He needs eight more receptions to break the team's single-season reception record of 119 set by himself in 2022.
Six Dolphins players have been selected to the 2024 Pro Bowl Games – tackle Terron Armstead, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, fullback Alec Ingold, running back Raheem Mostert, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, along with an additional 12 Dolphins named as alternates.
The Buffalo Bills (10-6) are coming off a win against the New England Patriots, 27-21.
The Bills entered Week 17 in need of a win to keep their chances of claiming the AFC East alive. The first play of the game went in favor of the Patriots as wide receiver Jalen Reagor returned a 98-yard kickoff to give the Patriots the lead just 12 seconds into the game.
Following the kickoff return, the Bills defense began to come into form by taking the ball away from the Patriots on four of their next six possessions (three interceptions and one fumble). The Bills offense, led by quarterback Josh Allen, would score 20 unanswered points heading into halftime with a 20-7 Bills lead.
Allen completed 15-of-30 passes for 169 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Despite being limited through the air, Allen provided help in the run game with two rushing touchdowns, adding to his total of 15 on the season. That mark is tied for second in the league with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Only running back Raheem Mostert has more rushing touchdowns this season with 18.
The Bills defense would continue to give the Patriots offense issues and come away with the win, keeping their AFC East and playoff hopes alive.
Entering Week 18, the Dolphins are looking to clinch the AFC East for the first time since 2008. The Bills are looking to continue their current four-game winning streak and claim the AFC East for the fourth straight year in a row with a win.
The Dolphins and Bills game will determine some major playoff implications as the winner will take the AFC East and host a home playoff game. If the Dolphins lose, they will fall to the sixth seed and face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City. If the Bills lose, they have many possible outcomes ranging from the sixth seed all the way to missing out on the playoffs entirely, depending on the results of other games.
So far this season, the Dolphins and Bills rank near the top in several rankings in terms of both offense and defense. The Dolphins rank first in total offense (409.2), passing offense (271.7) and scoring offense (30.1). Defensively, the Dolphins rank ninth in total defense (308.6), seventh in rushing defense (95.1) and tied for third in sacks (53).
The Bills rank top 10 and near the top in several offensive and defensive categories such as fifth in total offense (368.3), sixth in scoring offense (26.9), first in sacks allowed (21) and third-down offense (49%). While on defense, they rank 10th in total defense (309.2), seventh in passing defense (198.4), fourth in scoring defense (18.6), and tied for second in takeaways (28).
Both teams have efficiently run the ball throughout the season. Mostert (1,012) and Achane (744) have combined for 25 total rushing touchdowns (Mostert 18, Achane 7). Mostert averages 4.8 yards per carry, while Achane averages 8.0 yards per carry.
Bills running back James Cook is third in the league with 1,086 rushing yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Josh Allen has 15 rushing touchdowns, tied for the NFL record for the most by a quarterback in a single-season with Jalen Hurts. Allen is one rushing touchdown away from tying the Bills single-season rushing touchdown record (16) set back in 1975.
Make sure to check out the Injury Report and see the status of the players ahead of gametime and check Miami Dolphins social 90 minutes before kickoff for inactives. Also, remember to test your knowledge in this week's Dolphins Trivia.
Watch the game live on Sunday, January 7 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC, and listen on the Dolphins Radio Network and view the Game Center for the latest coverage.