Thursday Night Football- Dolphins vs Bills Preview
Week 11 kicks off tonight with a divisional clash from the AFC South as the 4-5 Miami Dolphins travel to Buffalo to take on the 3-6 Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The game is live on NFL Network for American viewers and will also be shown on Sky Sports 2 in Ireland.
So without further ado, here is my preview of the game.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Stadium– Ralph Wilson Stadium
Kick Off- 8:20 p.m. in Buffalo/1:20 a.m. in Ireland
What to Watch
Bills Defensive Line vs Dolphins Offensive Line
- The Bills boast one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL with standout players like Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams. The dominant trio have combined for 12 sacks so far this year and will be looking to continue those impressive numbers for the rest of the season.
- On the opposite side of the ball, the Dolphins offensive line has done a solid job of protecting their rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Jake Long and co. will be hoping to continue that again tonight.
Bills Running Game vs Dolphins Defense
- Whilst the Bills passing game has continued to struggle in 2012, their run game has been among the best in the league. Their ground game is averaging over 140 yards per game which is ranked as the sixth best in football right now.
- The Bills boast a nice trio of running backs with C.J. Spillar, Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice all seeing carries. They’ll need to be at their best tonight vs a strong Dolphins run defense.
Dolphins Running Game vs Bills Defense
- Speaking of rushing attacks, the Dolphins have a powerful trio of running backs of their own with Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. Bush is the veteran of the group and is on pace to record career highs in carries and rushing touchdowns.
- The Bills defense is ranked dead last against the run giving up an awful 163.7 yards per game. Look for the Dolphins to lean heavily on Bush and co. on the road tonight.
Who to Watch
Ryan Tannehill- Quarterback- Dolphins
- Throughout the entire draft process, I wan’t quite sure what to make of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. After limited time playing in college, I saw him as a potential bust and he even earned the #1 spot on my list of the most overrated prospects in the draft.
- Despite these concerns, the Dolphins certainly believe in him enough to have him be there starter. His rookie season has been a struggle so far and I think that will continue on the road in Buffalo tonight.
Cameron Wake- Defensive End- Dolphins
- Cameron Wake is a true example of the theory that hard work pays off. A former Canadian Football League star, Wake made his mark stateside and after receiving an All-Pro selection in 2010, the Dolphins signed him to a four-year $49 million contract extension this offseason.
- Through nine games this year, Wake has already matched his entire sack total from last season with 8.5 sacks. A real force off the dge, the Bills blockers will have their hands full trying to stop #91 tonight.
Mario Williams- Defensive End- Bills
- Looking at a pass rusher for the Bills now and it seems as though the jury is still out on Mario Williams. The Bills made a huge splash in free agency when they signed Williams to a $100 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, but some Bills fans have questioned if the investment will ever be worth it.
- Through nine games he has 4.5 sacks and has looked steady at times against the pass but has often struggled vs the run. Williams will set out to impress in prime time tonight against a rookie quarterback.
This game is a crucial one in the battle for the AFC East and both teams look to stay in touch with the division leading New England Patriots.
In a high-scoring game, I see Reggie Bush and the Dolphins running game coming out on top with a road win to move them to .500 for the season.
Dolphins 31 Bills 24
So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys tonight’s game.