clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five Players To Watch: Dolphins vs. Bills

New, comments

With Sunday drawing an end to the 2017 season, here are five players to watch in the Dolphins’ season finale

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

We've reached week 17 and the Miami Dolphins are once again mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and have fallen into the role of playing spoiler.

The Buffalo Bills (8-7) are on the outside looking in when it comes to the 2017 NFL Playoffs, but they at least have the chance of a postseason berth if they're able to win and get some help from an array of fellow AFC teams.

A season filled with high hopes was derailed by several things that don't require repeating, but here's a quick summary in case you'd like to stay up-to-date with your list of excuses when defending your Dolphins fandom to your friends

- Ryan Tannehill's season-ending knee surgery

- Raekwon McMillan suffers season-ending injury on kick coverage in preseason

- Hurricane Irma postponing the season opener, resulting in no real bye week

- Offensive line coach, Chris Foerster, leaves team following "powdery substance" video

- Jay Ajayi dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles (turned out okay, but disrupts locker room)

- Ja'Wuan James, playing the best football of his career, suffers season-ending injury

- DeVante Parker once again catches the injury bug and misses multiple weeks

This list could surely continue, but for the sake of time, let's take a look at five players to keep an eye on in the regular season finale for the Dolphins.

Cameron Wake

Sitting at nine sacks for the year, Wake is nearing his fifth season with double-digit sacks as he currently has 90.5 for his career.

Clearly a fan favorite and one of the best edge rushers in the history of the franchise, Wake turns 36 in January and is due $8.6 million in 2018. Not trying to predict the future with Wake and how the front office will treat him, but it's been a true pleasure to watch Wake, and you should soak in watching him against the Bills as - even if he's brought back next year - his time as an elite pass rusher is limited.

Jarvis Landry

Landry will once again be at the center of attention in the Dolphins' offense come Sunday as another player chasing a couple of season-long statistics and who's future in Miami is uncertain.

Just 105 yards away from his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season, Landry is also two touchdowns away from recording double digits in that category for the first time in his four-year NFL career.

The latest rumors say that Landry and the Dolphins' front office are discussing his contract to keep him in Miami, but this situation is far from certain as Landry is going to command a hefty deal, especially if he reaches 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Jesse Davis

Week 17 provides Davis with another opportunity to prove himself as the team's starting right guard for the future.

Moving to his current position after Jermon Bushrod was placed on season-ending IR, Davis has performed fairly well and has outperformed his offseason expectations as most believed fifth-round draft pick, Isaac Asiata, would be the rookie offensive lineman earning playing time in his first season.

For what seems to be about a decade now, the Dolphins will need to address the offensive line this offseason, but if the team likes what it sees in Davis, the offseason plan more be more about depth than finding a new starter-quality option.

LeSean McCoy

McCoy wasn't a huge factor in the running game in the matchup between these teams two weeks ago, but it was his overall presence on the field that made him impactful, recording both a rushing and receiving touchdown.

His 24 touches were a game high, and the Bills will likely lean heavily on McCoy again this week with the playoffs on the line.

Tyrod Taylor

Do you think the Bills regret benching Taylor for Nathan Peterman earlier this season against the Los Angeles Chargers?

Despite Taylor not consistently putting up gaudy numbers, the error in judgment against the Chargers showed how important Taylor is to the Bills' offense and any hopes they have at making the playoffs.

The Bills have routinely shown a lack of confidence in Taylor while failing to surround him with game-changing talent. A week-17 win, and an appearance in the playoffs, will make it difficult for Buffalo not to support Taylor moving forward. At the very least, he will have shown the rest of the league that he's a capable NFL starter given the right situation.