3 Key Bills/Dolphins Matchups

The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins will take the field tonight on Thursday Night Football. Both teams need a win as they look to stay in the playoff picture. Here are three key matchups the Bills hope to win against the Dolphins.

The Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins will play their second matchup of the season in primetime. Buffalo and Miami will play on Thursday Night Football where the two 5-4 teams will be fighting for their playoff lives. The Bills have won the last three matchups between the teams and will look to move to 3-1 in the AFC East. Here are three key matchups for the Bills on Thursday Night Football.

Matchup of the Week: Bills Defensive Ends vs. Dolphins Offensive Tackles

Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes have to like their odds of getting to Ryan Tannehill tonight. Miami’s best offensive tackle, Branden Albert, is out for the season so the Dolphins are moving Ju’Wuan James to left tackle and playing Dallas Thomas at right tackle. Hughes will get James and Williams will go against Thomas. The Williams/Thomas matchup should worry the Dolphins quite a bit as it’s a big mismatch on paper.

On the season, the duo has combined for 14.5 sacks. Each defensive end sacked Tannehill in Week 2 and played a big role in disrupting the quarterback. Disrupting the quarterback in primetime is exactly what the Bills need if they hope to sweep the Dolphins for the second consecutive season.                                   

Sammy Watkins vs. Brent Grimes/Jamar Taylor

Sammy Watkins’ first 100 yard game in the NFL came against the Dolphins in Week 2. He caught eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown during the game. Watkins did most of his damage across the middle of the field in Week 2, and had various players covering him.

Whenever they can, Miami will attempt to get Brent Grimes matched up with Watkins. He’s the team’s top cornerback. On Thursday Night Football, the Dolphins will be without Cortland Finnegan. Jamar Taylor will get the start at cornerback with Grimes. There will be situations when the young corner and receiver will be matched up. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Taylor and Grimes combat Watkins after he fared so well against the Dolphins in Week 2.

Mike Wallace vs. Stephon Gilmore

The Dolphins are attempting to get Mike Wallace more involved in their offense. In terms of yards, he’s gone over 60 yards just once in the last six weeks. That said, he’s caught four touchdowns in that span and caught 23 passes. He’ll be matched up with Stephon Gilmore for a good portion of the evening. When Buffalo’s top cornerback is on Wallace, it’s important that Gilmore keep up with the fast wide receiver. That said, few cornerbacks are playing better football right now than Gilmore.

In Buffalo’s last two games, Gilmore has been targeted nine times. He’s given up five receptions during this time, a 55 percent completion rate allowed. The receptions have gone for 61 yards, with only 17 coming after the catch. If he gives up a reception, he’s generally right there to tackle his opposition. Gilmore hasn’t allowed a touchdown since Week 6 and he’ll look to keep that streak alive tonight. If Gilmore contains Wallace, Buffalo’s chances of victory will be significantly higher.

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