Sportsbooks are saying this one is going to come down to the wire, as the Buffalo Bills opened as slight 3.5-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins in their Week 17 matchup at New Era Field.
Kickoff is set for 1:00pm EST on December 30th.
The best way to describe the Dolphins’ offense is average. They possess the 30th-ranked passing attack and 19th-ranked rushing attack. Unsurprisingly, the result has been an embarrassing 20.1 points per game (25th).
Ryan Tannehill has served as the conductor of the mediocrity train, throwing for 1,832 yards and 17 touchdowns with seven INTs. Meanwhile, Frank Gore has failed to find much running room, totalling 722 yards on the ground.
One of these two will have to show up for Miami in Week 17.
It’s quite easy to see why Miami is struggling this year: they can’t score, and can’t prevent others from scoring. The Dolphins let teams score 26.1 points per game, ranking 25th in the league. They’ll need one of these units to overachieve a little to get the win on Sunday.
Fortunately, Miami’s defense avoids any sort of offensive juggernaut this week, when they meet the Bills. Buffalo is scoring just 15.1 points per game, which is the second-fewest in the league.
They wouldn’t have so much trouble finding the endzone, though, if they’d just quit giving the ball away. Buffalo has already committed 31 turnovers this season, which is the second-most in the NFL. This kind of careless play is a recipe for disaster, as the Bills are currently learning.
Errant Josh Allen passes have accounted for 13 of those giveaways, 11 INTs and two fumbles lost. The coaching staff is going to have to preach increased ball security to get this offense rolling, especially this week against a Dolphins’ defense that ranks fifth in takeaways.
Defensively, the Bills are a pretty mediocre unit. They allow 23.8 points per game, which ranks 18th in the league.
They’ve been ok against the run, surrendering 116 yards per game on the ground (19th). Buffalo has enjoyed much more success when teams throw the ball, though, only giving up 182.7 passing yards per game (the fewest in the NFL).
The last time these two teams met was December 2nd, 2018, when Miami squeaked out a win over the Bills 21-17. The Dolphins were 3.5-point favorites in that game.