Predicting the outcome

Something has to give this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and either the Dolphins or the Buffalo Bills will walk away with their first victory of the season. Here's how we think the game will unfold.

Both teams have gotten to this point pretty much the same way, mainly because their offense simply hasn't been good enough to get anything accomplished while the defense has kept the team in every game.

The Bills actually have come closer than the Dolphins, starting with a heartbreaking 13-10 loss to Jacksonville on opening day when the Jaguars won on a touchdown pass on the last play of the game.

The Bills also came a lot closer to beating the Patriots and the Jets than the Dolphins did, losing to New York on a field goal in the final minute.

But it's two hurting teams that will face each other on Sunday, and logic says there won't be a whole lot of offense in this game.

Oddsmakers have put the over/under for this matchup at 30 1/2, an almost unheard of low number.

But think about it? As well as both teams' defenses have played and as poorly as the teams' offenses have been, can you really expect anything other than a 10-6 or 13-10 game?

Of course, the defense could get involved here with some touchdowns on interception or fumble returns, but there really don't figure to be that many big plays offensively.

The Bills have some weapons offensively with quarterback Drew Bledsoe, wide receiver Eric Moulds and rookie Lee Evans, but Bledsoe usually finds himself on his back whenever he drops back to pass.

He has been sacked an absurd 19 times in four games, which means it might be a big day for Jason Taylor and Co.

Buffalo might be without running back Travis Henry, who hurt a foot in the loss to the Jets, which could mean the first NFL start for former University of Miami star Willis McGahee.

Like Henry, McGahee will try to gain some yards behind a porous offensive line.

Of course, the folks in Miami know all about porous offensive lines. It was that line that got both Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley injured while getting hit on pass play late in last Sunday's loss at New England.

Fiedler probably will be OK to start against the Bills, a team against which he's had great success.

But this is a different Miami team. Moving the ball hasn't been easy all season, and there's no reason to think it will be against a solid Buffalo defense.

The Dolphins decided on Friday that Sammy Morris would start at running back, but does it really make a difference? Face it, the Dolphins don't have a game-breaker back there and the offensive line isn't making it any easier on the likes of Morris, Leonard Henry, Brock Forsey and Travis Minor.

One thing that needs to be said is that at some point, the Dolphins offense will have a bad day, and the Bills have enough talent at the skill positions to jump all over it if that day happens to be Sunday.

We don't see Bledsoe doing that much damage against the Dolphins, but the Bills look like they have much more capability of generating offense than the Dolphins, which is why we're seeing a close Buffalo victory and yet another Dolphins loss.

The call: Bills 13, Dolphins 9.


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