Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins: What to watch for

We are now 2 days away from the week 15 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.  The Dolphins are clinging to hopes of a 10-6 finish and sliding into the AFC playoffs.  The Dolphins have played horrible at home, going 1-5 thus far in 2010.  They must establish themselves the next two weeks against 2 teams that they should beat.  The Bills are looking ahead to 2011.  They aren’t going to the playoffs and will finish in last place in the AFC East this year.  Here is a look at what to watch for in Sunday’s Matchup:

Pound the Rock

The Dolphins offense looked terrible last week against the New York Jets.  They must run early, often, and run some more this week.  The Bills are the 23rd ranked defense in the NFL.  They are ranked LAST in the NFL against the run, surrendering 165.8 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry.  Meanwhile, the Bills rank 4th in the NFL in passing defense, allowing just 198 yards per game.  Now, some of this is contributed to the fact that they can’t stop the run, so why would team’s pass.  Plus, the Bills have been playing from behind most of the year, so teams are more likely to run the ball against them.  There is no reason the Dolphins shouldn’t run for over 150 yards against this Bills defense.  RUN THE FOOTBALL!

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Stop the Run

The Dolphins run defense has been very good of late.  They must continue this tendency.  The Bills rank 25th overall in passing offense, averaging 198 yards per game.  Meanwhile, they rank 13th in rushing offense, totaling 114 yards per game.  Stop the run and make Ryan Fitzpatrick win the game against you, with his depleted receiving core.  Lee Evans was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.

Limit Mistakes – We’re looking at you Chad Henne

Last week the Dolphins played the Jets in a rain filled game.  They turned the ball over more than the Jets and still managed to win the game.  This week, the Dolphins, particularly Chad Henne, must do a better job of protecting the football.  Henne must prove in the next 3 games that he is capable of being an NFL starter.  Right now, many fans are looking to the April draft for the future Dolphins signal caller.  Henne could silence some of those doubters in the last 3 weeks of the season.  OR, he could fan the flames.  The number one thing he must do is protect the football.  He can do this by making smart, accurate throws and avoiding the dumb plays that have plagued him all year.

These are the 3 things that we’ll be watching for in the game.  This game is going to come down to controlling the clock with the running game, and avoiding the big turnovers.  The Dolphins have been in this win one, lose one streak all year and must end it this Sunday.  GO PHINS!!!!