Steve Mitchell

Dolphins Vs. Bills Playoff Hopes On The Line

Jake Whitehead breaks down the Miami Dolphins' Saturday match-up against the Buffalo Bills.

Last week the Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore proved that he’s still one of the top backups in the league even if it was against a lacking Jets team by keeping Miami slightly ahead in the playoff race with a 34 – 13 win. This week they have a chance to clinch a playoff spot if everything goes their way but first they’ll have to get past a desperate Bills team this Saturday at 12 CST.

The last time these two teams played, Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi ran all over the Bills defense with a 200+ yard effort to lead the Dolphins to a 28 -25 victory. While I don’t see Ajayi repeating that feat I do think the Dolphins will once again have success on the ground and go into Buffalo and get the win 17 – 13.

A win here gives the Dolphins a 10 – 5 record and essentially allows them to control their own destiny heading into the final week of the regular season against the Patriots. A loss here drops them to a 9 – 6 record and the Dolphins would need some help getting into the playoffs.

As for injuries, the Dolphins only just improved their overall total from 9 players last week to 8 players this week. Offensively quarterback Ryan Tannehill (knee) did not practice and offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod (shoulder) full practice where the only two listed. Defensively safety Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle) full practice, linebacker Kiko Alonso (hamstring/hand) full practice, linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee/hand) did not practice, cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) did not practice, cornerback Bobby McCain (knee/hand) full practice and defensive end Mario Williams (ankle) full practice round out the injuries this week.

As for special teams on kick returns Kenyan Drake stood out with his single return being the best with a return of 21 yards, right now the Dolphins are changing up the return lineup every other week so it’s anyone’s guess who will be returning kicks against the Bills. In returning punts there was much more consistency as the only return man for the Dolphins was Jakeem Grant who returned two punts for 10 and 7 yards apiece, it wouldn’t be surprising if they kept Jarvis Landry from returning last week to keep him slightly fresher as a returner this week in what should be a much tougher game against the Bills. Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks was 4/5 on extra points last week, he’ll need to be perfect this week to help the Dolphins edge out the win.

With just two weeks left in the regular season the Dolphins desperately need the win here to lock up a playoff spot before their game next week against New England and they can do just that should they not only win, but have the Jaguars beat the Titans, the Steelers beat the Ravens and the Chiefs beat the Broncos. Matt Moore proved last week he can still play now he just needs to be the glue to hold this team together and not the spark that burns this team down at the end of the year.



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