MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Charles Clay #31 of the Miami Dolphins makes a catch against Jairus Byrd #31 of the Buffalo Bills during a game at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Four weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins dismantled the Buffalo Bills 35-8, preventing the visiting Bills from converting a single third-down. The win made the Dolphins the third team in NFL history to win three-straight games, after starting the season 0-7.
Maybe kmb8488 said it best in his recap of the Dolphins' Week 11 victory over the Bills:
"...it was Buffalo who was humiliated early and often during the game."
Now, the Dolphins get to see those Bills again, this time up north in Buffalo. The Dolphins are playing their first game since relieving Tony Sparano of his head coaching duties, turning the job over to interim head coach Todd Bowles. The Bills, meanwhile, are reeling, having fallen from 5-2 to 5-8, losing their last six games by an average score of 32 - 13.
During the game, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore racked up 160 yards and three touchdowns on 14-for-20 passing. He had a QB rating of 133.3 at the end of the game. Rookie running back Daniel Thomas was the games' leading rusher, with 50-yards on 15 carries, with Reggie Bush adding 32 yards on 15-attempts, along with one touchdown. Six different receivers caught passes from Moore, with rookie fullback Charles Clay leading the way with 4 catches for 69-yards and a touchdown. Tight end Anthony Fasano and wide receiver Davone Bess both added their own touchdowns during the game.
On defense, defensive end Jared Odrick and linebacker Jason Taylor both tallied sacks, while safety Yeremiah Bell and cornerback Nolan Carrol each picked off a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass. The Dolphins also successfully defensed six passes.
The Miami special teams weren't to be left out, with Chris Clemons blocking a punt, which was recovered by Lex Hilliard in the endzone for a touchdown. Brandon Fields punted the ball seven times during the game, averaging 48.1 yards per kick, with a long of 64 yards, and 5 kicks pinning the Bills within their own 20-yard line.
But, have the Bills changed anything over the last month that could cause Miami problems tomorrow? I asked Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings what adjustments the Bills have made over the last few weeks that could prevent a repeat of the Week 11 outcome.
"Not that I've seen. They handled themselves better in close losses to the Jets and Titans, but were blown out again last week by a fairly average San Diego team. Miami will have more to play for this weekend, what with a coaching change and all. I wouldn't be surprised if it was another blowout."
That could be a great thing for the Dolphins. A team that is looking to finish the season with some pride, and players looking to audition for next year's coach, or another team , could find themselves facing a demoralized team, unable to stop an attack they already struggled with this season.
Plus, if Miami wins this game, they will no longer be the cellar dwellers for the AFC East. That's at least something.