Game Preview: Buffalo at Miami

The Dolphins will try to snap a two-game losing on Sunday when they play host to the surprising Buffalo Bills, who lead the AFC East with a 5-1 record. The Dolphins have lost four straight to Buffalo, but they've already shown this season they can beat quality teams. We break down the Buffalo-Miami matchup.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET


TV: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon)

SERIES: 85th regular-season meeting. Dolphins lead 49-34-1. Bills have enjoyed a big edge in the series of late, winning seven of the last eight games and sweeping both games the past two seasons. In Buffalo's 38-17 victory last year at home, Fred Jackson (115 yards) and Marshawn Lynch (107) topped the 100-yard mark rushing.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Bills RB Marshawn Lynch is considered one of the hardest runners in the league, but the team is still averaging just 100.2 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. However, the Dolphins may be counting on DE Randy Starks and inexperienced DT Paul Soliai to fill in for ailing Jason Ferguson - the anchor of their 3-4 defense. Whatever ground game Buffalo can muster will only strengthen QB Trent Edwards' ability to attack a secondary that has given up 14 pass plays of at least 25 yards. ... These numbers don't lie - the Dolphins have converted only one of 27 third-down situations of seven yards or longer. The Bills are ranked just 15th against the run (107.2 yards per game), but they'll throw the kitchen sink at RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams while also keeping an eye out for the 'Wildcat' formation. The good news for QB Chad Pennington is that the Bills won't have the services of top pass-rusher DE Aaron Schobel.


Bills: CB Terrence McGee (sprained knee) has practiced and should play; Schobel (foot) appears likely to miss a second consecutive game.

Dolphins: Ferguson (oblique) is day-to-day.

FAST FACTS: The Bills are 5-1 for the first time since 1995 and play divisional opponents each of the next three weeks. ... Brown has averaged 93.5 rushing yards in his past six games against AFC East rivals.



-- OG Brad Butler, who suffered a sprained knee in last week's win over San Diego, did not practice for a second time this week and is questionable for this weekend's game at Miami. If Butler can't go, veteran Jason Whittle would get the call.

-- CB Ashton Youboty, who had been playing very well in the early part of the season, is nursing a hamstring injury and could miss his second game. He did not practice Wednesday.

-- CB Terrence McGee, coming off an MCL sprain, practiced again without incident and is a go for Sunday in Miami. His return will ease the growing pains on rookie Leodis McKelvin, who was beaten for two TDs last week against San Diego.

-- C Melvin Fowler, who sat out last week with an elbow injury, practiced on a limited basis. He's likely a game-time decision for Sunday's game at Miami.


-- WR Brandon London continues to impress Tony Sparano with his special teams prowess and appears closer to seeing some plays at receiver in the base offense.

-- WR Ernest Wilford is working hard to make an impression on the coaching staff so he can get back on the field. The problem is he doesn't have the body type or speed to help out on special teams. He has been inactive the past two games and three of six. He has one catch for 15 yards.

-- P Brandon Fields realizes he must be accurate with his punts Sunday because of dangerous PR Roscoe Parrish. Fields will try to be precise on his directional punts so he lands them near the sideline to take the middle of the field away from Parrish. He also needs to improve his hang time.

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