Wild Card Round: Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Preview and Game Insights
Coming into this season, it was Super Bowl or bust for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills will take their first step toward that goal this Sunday against a very familiar foe. The Miami Dolphins are no strangers to the Bills, and the Fins did their best to keep up with their division rival by improving this offseason.
While a Super Bowl appearance this year was likely not the short-term goal for Miami, seen as something down the road, a playoff appearance certainly was. They made good and checked that off their list on the season’s final Sunday. Now we get a classic AFC East showdown on Wildcard Weekend.
The biggest story coming into this one is the health or lack thereof of the Miami Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa, who beat the Bills in Week 3 down in South Beach, will not suit up for the most important game of Miami’s season. Tua continues to deal with a concussion suffered on Christmas Day.
Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been limited in practice this week as he continues to try to recover from knee and finger injuries. Head coach Mike McDaniel has said the team is preparing to have Skylar Thompson make a second straight start after leading the offense to just three field goals in last week’s must-win game over the New York Jets.
It keeps getting worst as the team’s leading rusher, Raheem Mostert, broke his thumb against New York and seems unlikely to suit up Sunday.
The Bills come in on a sneaky hot streak. Buffalo has reeled off seven straight wins en route to a third straight division title.
It wasn’t an easy end to the season for the Bills, as the team had to deal with the emotional fallout from Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest. They did get a boost this week as Hamlin was released from the hospital and will undoubtedly play a part in the spirit of this team on Wildcard Weekend.
All eyes will be on Josh Allen, who is coming off a fantastic season. Allen’s task is to lead the second-ranked scoring offense in their first step toward the only ultimate goal, a championship. Buffalo was a preseason Super Bowl favorite, with Allen as the regular season MVP favorite.
Allen and the Bills will have their chance at relieving some pressure from their path as the biggest favorites on the board this weekend. The 13.5-point spread exemplifies the distance between these two clubs, especially with Miami so banged up.
Dolphins RBs have rushed for ten or more yards on 16.1% of 93 carries since Week 15, the fourth-best in NFL. The Bills have allowed ten+ yards on 18.2% of carries to RBs since Week 15, the worst in NFL.
The Dolphins have allowed just 3.8 yards after catch since Week 15, third-best in NFL. Gabe Davis (BUF) has averaged just 0.6 yards after the catch since Week 15, the worst of qualified receivers.
Miami has allowed an average of just 107.0 yards from scrimmage per game (1,819/17) to RBs this season, fourth-best in NFL. Devin Singletary (BUF) has averaged 65 yards from scrimmage per game (1,102 YFS / 17 G) this season, the eighth-worst of qualified RBs.
Jeff Wilson is averaging 5.4 yards per carry (345 yards/64 carries) on rushes up the middle this season, the third-best of 40 NFL RBs.
Buffalo Bills Team & Player Insights:
The Bills have thrown 2.1 TD passes per game (35/17) this season, tied for the second-best in NFL (league avg: 1.4).
This season, Josh Allen has a 96.3 passer rating, the eighth-best of qualified quarterbacks. The Dolphins have allowed a passer rating of 95.4 this season, the fifth-worst in NFL.
The Bills have allowed an average of just 99.7 rushing yards per game this season, the fourth-best in the NFL.
Dawson Knox has six receiving touchdowns this season, tied for fifth-most of qualified tight ends. The Dolphins have allowed ten receiving touchdowns to TEs this season, fourth-most in NFL.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.