Sunday, January 7th at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens Florida.
Weather: Upper 60s, drying out…either sideline is fine for us this week.
Latest line: Bills-2.5, over/under 48.5.
No need for hype. The stakes are clear.
Let’s Break It Down:
Apparently the Pro Bowl voters prefer Tua over Josh. Tua’s passing stats are better. His durability this season is praiseworthy. Josh’s inconsistency is why the Bills are 5-11 vs the spread… 2-10 since the first Miami game. Has that swayed the line? It doesn’t appear so…faith in QB #17 remains strong. Slight advantage Bills.
Running Game Weapons:
They haven’t been healthy at the same time for quite a while, but Mostert and Achane might be the most dangerous duo in the league. Achane is the healthier one this week. James Cook deserves the Pro Bowl acclaim, and perhaps Fournette sees the field this week. Allen tips the scales in the Bills favor, but watch out for Tyreek. Slight advantage Bills.
Passing Game Weapons:
If you graphed their seasons, the trends for Davis, Shakir, and the TEs are generally positive lately. The mysterious disappearance of Stefon Diggs dominated the airwaves and Bills social media this week. For the moment “just one of those things” is my best guess. I expect Waddle to play, and Hill/Waddle is tough to top. Advantage Dolphins.
Props to any of the Offensive Lines in the NFL that have kept their starting QB on the field this year. It’s a short list that includes Miami and Buffalo. Even.
The Dolphins are in the 5-7 range in the NFL, depending on which stats you prefer. The yards per carry really hurts Buffalo’s overall ranking; chunk running plays and screens still plague an otherwise solid Buffalo defense. Advantage Dolphins.
No Xavien Howard. No Jaelan Phillips. No Bradley Chubb. With those guys, the numbers still favored Buffalo. Without them, it’s an excellent opportunity to wake up the slumbering passing offense and Allen/Diggs connection. Big advantage Bills.
7-0 12 seconds in last week was a gut punch, but Sam Martin earned rare 3rd star honors for a Punter. There were some down points for he and Bass during a long season, but last week was encouraging. The Dolphins are solid here. Even.
The Xs and Os battles between McDermott/McDaniel and Brady/Fangio are fascinating and tough to call, but I think it will be decided by the ‘Jimmys and Joes’.
Health has to be a big factor in the Bills being favored…Miami might be favored by a field goal if their defense was healthy. Miami has a safety net, the Bills may be do or die.
There was a night in the NBA this week that looked like the old ABA with multiple teams topping 140 points. Much to NBC’s delight, I expect an old fashioned AFL style shootout.
Bills 34 Dolphins 31
The Pregame Plan:
Another Sunday night game? The foodie thing is better suited for 1 p.m. ET kickoffs. Clam chowder and a Tuna Melt are more realistic this week.
Cutting carbs in 2024? Corona Premier might be the easiest sacrifice you will be asked to make, but don’t forget the lime. That checks your “eat more fruit” box.
The Trailers are out for the new Bob Marley bio-pic:
- Get Up, Stand up…”a battle cry for survival”.
- Positive Vibration….experience says it beats the alternative.
- Buffalo Soldier….needs no explanation.
- Jammin…might save this one for the post game.
It’s a good thing to control your own destiny. Go Bills!
Editor’s babble: Many thanks for all of Joe Reagan’s terrific contributions to our blog. You can also find Joe on Xwitter @joer869.