A few weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins looked like they could be one of the surprise teams of the 2012 NFL season.
Starting the year with a rookie quarterback, the Dolphins weren’t expected to do much this year. They were projected to finish last in the AFC East and miss the playoffs, once again.
Entering their Week 9 games against the Indianapolis Colts, Miami was 4-3 and in position to take the sixth and final wild card spot in the conference. After two straight losses, the Dolphins now have very little room for error.
Miami will visit the Buffalo Bills to start the Week 11 schedule of games. The Thursday Night Football contest will air on the NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. ET. You can watch a free live stream online at nfl.com/tnf. The site will prove live “look-ins” throughout the game.
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The Dolphins have struggled of late, coming off a 34-point loss at home to the Tennessee Titans. The Bills, however, aren’t playing much better. They’ve lost three straight games.
Defense has been Buffalo’s biggest weakness. They’re the worst defensive team in football, allowing 31.7 points per game.
Going up against a weak defense won’t guarantee success for the Dolphins. Heading into last week, Tennessee had the league’s worst defense, but gave up just a field goal to Miami.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has looked good at times, but has had a number of very bad games. His 73.2 quarterback rating is 29th in the NFL. He’s thrown almost twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.
Miami might have to rely on its usually unreliable running game. Reggie Bush has just one 100-yard rushing performance this season, but the Bills allow a league-worst 163.7 yards per game on the ground.
Buffalo will be without its top running back in this one. Fred Jackson will be forced to sit with a concussion, giving C.J. Spiller the start. He’s accumulated over 120 rushing yards in both games that he got at least 14 carries.
Betting Line: Buffalo-2.5, 45
Prediction: The Bills have had a chance to win their last three losses, with two of those defeats coming to the Houston Texans and New England Patriots. Other than the Dolphins game against the Titans, they’ve been competitive all year. Look for Tannehill to have a bounce-back game against a terrible Bills defense. Buffalo quarterback Ryan FitzPatrick will likely make a few mistakes to put Miami over the edge.