1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Dec 19th. The game will be broadcast
regionally on CBS, on DirecTV channel 706 and on Sirius radio channels
127 and 144.
PLACE: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL.
FORECAST: A 10 percent chance of showers before 11am. Mostly sunny,
with a high near 75. North wind between 11 and 14 mph, with gusts as
high as 18 mph.
FIELD CONDITIONS: Sun Life Stadium's grass field should be in good
shape. There is a high probability of showers on Saturday, so the
field could be a little wet.
STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 7-6, in 3rd place in the AFC East.
The Bills are last in the AFC East, with a 3-10 record.
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Bills Pts/Game Rank
Scored 17.3 31 Scored 19.7 23
Allowed 18.8 9 Allowed 26.1 27
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Bills Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 321 22 Total Defense: 363 23
Rushing: 106 19 vs Rush: 166 32
Passing: 215 17 vs Pass: 197 4
Total Offense: 313 25 Total Defense: 299 5
Rushing: 115 12 vs Rush: 98 7
Passing: 198 25 vs Pass: 201 6
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 35 2.7 28 2.2
Bills 22 1.7 26 2.0
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 233-385-2676-13-15-76.5
Rush: RB Brown: 172-644-3.7-3
Rush: RB Williams: 132-578-4.4-2
Rec: WR Bess: 62-673-10.9-3
Rec: WR Marshall: 60-709-11.8-2
Rec: TE Fasano: 34-467-13.7-4
QB: QB Fitzpatrick: 221-378-2526-21-11-85.0
Rush: RB Jackson: 181-775-4.3-5
Rush: RB Spiller: 56-232-4.1-0
Rec: WR Johnson: 66-874-13.2-9
Rec: WR Parrish: 37-578-15.6-4
Rec: WR Nelson: 28-292-10.4-2
HISTORY: The Dolphins hold a 54-38-1 record against the Bills and beat
the Bills in their opening game this year, 15-10. The last time these
two teams faced each other in Miami, the Dolphins won 38-10.
Out: OT Vernon Carey (I/R)
WR Brian Hartline (I/R)
Probable: C Joe Berger (ankle)
CB Nolan Carroll (knee)
S Reshad Jones (rib)
Out: WR Lee Evans (ankle)
Doubtful: C Geoff Hangartner (knee)
Probable: OT Demetrius Bell (knee)
CB Drayton Florence (fibula)
LB Chris Kelsay (knee)
G Andy Levitre (knee)
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown NT - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite RE - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 15 Davone Bess ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 67 Joe Berger RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 74 John Jerry SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 76 Lydon Murtha FS - 30 Chris Clemons
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 15 Davone Bess KR - 28 Nolan Carroll
With Vernon Carey out, the starting right tackle will be Lydon
QB - 14 Ryan Fitzpatrick LDE - 99 Marcus Stroud
RB - 22 Fred Jackson NT - 95 Kyle Williams
FB - 38 Corey McIntyre RDE - 91 Spencer Johnson
WR - 13 Steve Johnson LLB - 90 Chris Kelsey
WR - 19 Donald Jones ILB - 50 Akin Ayodele
TE - 88 David Martin ILB - 51 Paul Posluszny
LT - 77 Demetrius Bell RLB - 52 Arthur Moats
LG - 67 Andy Levitre RCB - 29 Drayton Florence
C - 63 Geoff Hangartner LCB - 24 Terrence McGee
RG - 70 Eric Wood SS - 20 Donte Whitner
RT - 61 Mansfield Wrotto FS - 31 Jairus Byrd
K - 9 Rian Lindell P - 8 Brian Moorman
KR - 21 C.J. Spiller PR - 11 Roscoe Parrish
C Geoff Hangartner has not practiced this week. If he doesn't
play, the Bills' starting center will probably be right guard Eric
Wood, and backup offensive lineman Cord Howard will step in at right
- The Dolphins vs Themselves: In an interview this week,
Coach Tony Sparano said that "each game now is more about us than our
opponents". The offense, in particular, must play without mistakes
against the Bills.
- Mansfield Wrotto vs Cameron Wake: Wake leads the AFC in
sacks while Wrotto is a journeyman tackle who has started just 10
games in his 5 year career.
- Fred Jackson vs Dolphins' Linebackers: Jackson is the best
weapon the Bills have, but the Dolphins' run defense has been very
effective the last 3 weeks.
- WR Steve Johnson vs Dolphins' DBs: Johnson has been very
effective for the Bills this year and leads their receivers with 874
yards and 9 touchdowns.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Chad Henne has had two bad games in a row, although part of
his problems in New York had to do with the weather. Ronnie Brown and
Ricky Williams have an opportunity to put up some big numbers this
week while Lydon Murtha will start his second game at right tackle in
place of Vernon Carey.
Cameron Wake is playing even better now than he did the first
time these two teams faced each other and should be extremely
disruptive on Sunday. Karlos Dansby continues to lead the team in
tackles with 92, while Sean Smith, Vontae Davis and Nolan Carroll have
all be steadily improving.
Bills' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken over for Trent Edwards
and made the Bills ' offense respectable, if not excellent. RB Fred
Jackson is their best offensive weapon and an excellent running back
while WR Steve Jackson has emerged as the Bills' leading receiver.
On defense, LB Paul Posluszny and S Donte Whitner each have
over 100 tackles already this year, while NT Kyle Williams leads the
team with 5 sacks. CB Drayton Florence has 3 interceptions this year,
while former Dolphins LB Akin Ayodele is starting at inside
On special teams, Bills' return men Roscoe Parrish and
C.J. Spiller are both potentially very dangerous, while the Dolphins'
Nolan Carroll has come close to breaking a couple of returns this
When the Dolphins meet the Bills, it almost never turns out
the way it is predicted. That's partly because of the history these
two teams have with each other, the emotion that is generated when
they meet and lately, the fact that neither the Bills nor the Dolphins
have been very predictable.
Last year, for example, the Dolphins crushed the Bills 38-10
in Miami in week 4 and then went up to Buffalo and self-destructed,
losing 31-14 in week 12. In this year's opener, Miami beat the Bills
in a close game, 15-10. Probably the biggest keys to that game were
Miami's ability to control the clock and stop the Bills' running
attack. Hopefully, the Dolphins will be able to pull off the same
kind of performance this weekend.
The Bills are, statistically, the worst team in the NFL at
defending the run. They give up an average of 165.8 yards per game to
the rushing attack of opposing teams and that will play right into
what the Dolphins want to do on Sunday.
Offensively, the Dolphins will almost certainly work hard on
the rushing game. I would be surprised to see the Dolphins hand the
ball off less than 30 times against the Bills and I expect that the
Dolphins will be able to move the chains well against the last-ranked
run defense. The bigger question is whether or not they will be able
to get it into the endzone or have to settle for field goals.
Also, in the first game, Brandon Marshall caught 8 passes, but
averaged a paltry 6.6 yards per reception. It would not surprise me
to see the same pattern in this game. With Brian Hartline out, the
Dolphins don't have a real deep threat, so the short passing game will
probably be the order of the day.
So look for a standard conservative Dan Henning gameplan,
based on the running of Ronnie and Ricky. ESPN Analyst Mark Schlereth
went so far as to suggest that the Dolphins just line up in the
Wildcat on every play and pound the ball at the Bills and I'm not sure
I disagree. While I normally prefer more variety in an offense,
injuries and Chad Henne's inconsistency of late make sticking to the
running game a good plan for the Dolphins.
When the Bills have the ball, they rely heavily on Fred
Jackson to carry the load. Jackson is a talented running back, but
the Dolphins' defense has been excellent in stopping the run lately
and there's no reason to think that that will change. Paul Soliai has
really stepped up in the second half of the season and Cameron Wake
and Koa Misi have both improved in their ability to set the edge of
the defense, so the Bills' running game should go nowhere.
In the passing game, the Bills' receiving corps has been hit
hard with injuries and premier receiver Lee Evans is out. Right now,
their most dangerous receiver is 3rd year man Steve Johnson, but the
Dolphins should be able to cover him. He's not an Andre Johnson and
Fitzpatrick should be under a lot of pressure from Cameron Wake and
the Dolphins' pass rush.
On special teams, the Bills do have some dangerous return men
in C.J. Spillers and Roscoe Parrish, but the Dolphins have been
improving throughout the year and as long as they don't give up any
scores, they should be fine.
The biggest concern the Dolphins face is making mistakes and
turnovers. The only way the Bills can win this game is if the
Dolphins help them with missed blocks, fumbles, interceptions, dropped
passes, missed tackles and penalties. Man-to-man, the Bills are
overmatched, but only if the Dolphins can keep from making the kind
of mistakes that cost them the game against the Browns.
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay
the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or
$39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live
applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and