December 23, 2012. That's the date of the Miami Dolphins last win against the Buffalo Bills. Think about that. An entire calendar year - and nearly two - has gone by since the last time the Dolphins came away with a W against a team they play twice a year. A team the Dolphins are 16 games over .500 against all time.
They've already lost to the Bills once this year.
When is the losing streak going to end? It needs to be tonight.
The Dolphins beat the Bills in both season games in 2011. Since then, Buffalo has won four-of-five, including the last three. Miami has lost to the great Thad Lewis (twice) and E.J. Manuel these last three games. Lewis was cut from the Bills this year (and has not found another team) and Manuel was benched for Kyle Orton. KYLE ORTON. What is happening here?
Since the last time Miami beat Buffalo, they have beaten Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Matt ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers twice, and Tom Brady twice. Yet they lost to Lewis and Manuel. Seriously, what is happening here?
The most recent game between the Dolphins and the Bills happened in Week 2 of this season, with Miami coming off an impressive win over the New England Patriots. Then the Bills took advantage of the home field advantage, an emotional appearance from Jim Kelly, and a dominating defense to tear Miami apart 29-10.
As Miami linebacker Philip Wheeler pointed out after that game, Buffalo is "built to beat us." Everything Miami has tried these last three games has backfired. The Bills have sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill 13 times in three games, including a ridiculous seven sacks in the Week 16 game last season. The Dolphins have rushed for 214 yards over those three games, compared to Buffalo's 436 yards rushing. The good news is, Dan Carpenter has connected on 12 field goals in those three games; the bad news is DC$ has played for Buffalo over that span after Miami released him before last season.
The Dolphins have struggled against the Bills for some reason as of late, especially in Buffalo. The good news is, this game is in Miami. A Thursday night crowd should be excited and ready to support the Dolphins. The team should be able to get after Kyle Orton much easier than they could Manuel or Lewis. The Dolphins defense is playing lights out football as of late, ranking second in the league against the pass and tenth against the run. They are allowing just 19 points per game, while the Bills are scoring just 21.2 points per game. Miami's defense should be able to lead the way for the South Florida franchise tonight.
The result of this game, win or lose, could have playoff implcations throughout the rest of the season. Losing to Buffalo in Week 2 means Miami needs this win in order to erase the Bills' head-to-head tie break advantage. The winner of this game moves into second place in the AFC East and can at least stay within arms reach of the New England Patriots, who are currently 7-2 but have a tough slate of games a head of them. The winner improves their conference and division records, which can have playoff tie break implications. The winner moves to two games above .500 and in the middle of the Wildcard fight; the loser drops to .500 and will be looking up at the pack of teams ahead of them.
This game is huge for the playoff implcations and it is huge for the Dolphins overall. The time to end the losing streak to the Bills is tonight. Will they do it?
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-week $500,000 fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.