Miami looks to keep it going after a big road win at Carolina, now facing off against a Bills squad they dominated earlier this season.
Miami Dolphins (5-5) @ Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Miami continues their trek on the road to meet up with the AFC East weaklings, the Buffalo Bills. Miami completely dismantled this struggling Bills unit during their first clash, but they enter this match up without Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown this time. Despite those injuries, not much should change in this ball game if all goes right for Miami. The Bills do possess somewhat of a tough defense, but Miami shredded them across the board in that very lopsided victory for the Phins.
Miami's defense has really come together as of late, forcing turnovers and making big plays all over the field. They will need to continue this success against a Bills team that has only scored 155 points so far this season. Terrell Owens did have a strong outing last week, but he will be a main focus of Miami and should not produce anywhere close to those numbers in this game. If the Dolphins can shut down this Bills offense, it should be a pretty easy win for the Phins.
Miami has a 3-1 division record thus far, so this game means a ton to their hopes of winning the AFC East. If Miami could pull off that feat for the second year in a row, especially after their horrid start, that would say wonders about this ball club. The Pats face off against the undefeated Saints on MNF, so a win against the Bills and a loss for the Pats would have the Dolphins just one game out of first. Also, a win against the Bills on Sunday would place even more pressure on New England to beat the Saints on Monday.
Ricky Williams and Chad Henne are looking to be the heroes for Miami this season. Considering the start for the Dolphins this year, if these backups can carry this Miami offense to the playoffs, or possibly to the Bowl, that should even eclipse their 1-15 rebounding season last year. If Henne can continue to manage turnover free ball games and Ricky keeps dominating on the ground, all is possible.
The Bills do play some gritty football and that huge loss to Miami has not been forgotten, but the Dolphins should win this game convincingly considering that they are the better squad. Their first matchup this season was the only game this year where the Dolphins did not play up to their opponent and actually put them away in fashion. Miami's biggest weakness so far has been keeping ball games too close, either losing in the fourth or barely holding on for the win.
Miami can not afford to lose this divisional away game, especially after struggling so hard to make it back up to .500 ball. With this win against the Bills, they will have a winning record for the first time this season, something that seemed so far away just a couple weeks back. A loss could spiral them down into non-playoff contention, a scenario that would be heart breaking considering their recent surge.
The Bills are a team that will not lay down. Recent talks of them acquiring Mike Shanahan could fire them up a bit, and no doubt T.O. is upset that they lost that game last week to the Jags after his performance. The Jaguars are a similar team to the Dolphins and the Bills played them very tough, losing that battle on a game winning catch by Mike Sims-Walker. So despite Miami being the better ball club and owning them earlier this season, they can not take this Buffalo squad lightly and must expect to meet a very hungry Bills team looking to regain some face. Don't expect another Miami blowout, though it is possible, but you can expect another win for the Phins (just don't be surprised if the Bills take this one down to the wire though).
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Written by Josh Souder