Buffalo Bills (4-4) at Miami Dolphins (0-8)
1:00 pm EST, CBS
Partly cloudy, 81 degrees
Line: Bills -3, Over/Under 41
Team Offensive Rankings
Bills - 31st total offense (275.1), 18th rush offense (109.8), 29th pass offense (165.4), 27th scoring offense (16.3)
Dolphins - 18th total offense (322.1), 12th rush offense (116.5), 18th pass offense (205.6), 14th scoring offense (20.8)
Team Defensive Rankings
Bills - 29th total defense (371), 19th rush defense (115.4), 29th pass defense (255.6), 12th scoring defense (19.5)
Dolphins - 23rd total defense (349.3), 31st rush defense (160.5), 6th pass defense (188.8), 31st scoring defense (30.5)
Bills: QB Gibran Hamdan, RB Fred Jackson, CB Ashton Youboty, LB Leon Joe, TE Matt Murphy, DE Bryan Copeland and DT Jason Jefferson
Dolphins: WR Kerry Reed, SS Travares Tillman, RB Samkon Gado, DB Jereme Perry, LB Zach Thomas, DT Anthony Bryant, DE Derreck Robinson and DE Rob Ninkovich
3 Absolute Keys to the Game
1. Stay committed to the run. The Dolphins must not fall into the trap of becoming one-dimensional against Buffalo's defense because that is when they are at their best. And we all do not want to see the game come down to the play of Cleo Lemon, because we all know how that will end up.
2. No missed opportunities. This means no turnovers (I'm looking at you, Mr. Lemon) and no stalling drives. Miami must score TDs when in the redzone and not settle for just 3.
3. Don't allow the big play. J.P. Losman and Lee Evans have been quite the tandem against the Dolphins in the past. Miami's defense must not surrender any big plays. They need to make this Bills' offense work for every yard.
Prediction: This is a great opportunity for the Dolphins to pick up their first win. However, they will have to play a nearly flawless football game because the Bills are not pushovers. If Cleo struggles, look for John Beck to possibly make his debut at some point. I'll say Bills win 20-16 with John Beck coming into the game in the 4th with Miami trailing 20-9 and he leads the Dolphins on one long scoring drive, but can't complete the comeback.
**UPDATE: This was their best chance to get a win yet and they blew it. The defense played well for most of the game. But a lack of offense and costly mistakes (drops, penalties, etc...) cost them in the end. Where do they go from here?
My full thoughts coming much later tonight/early Monday morning...