Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, November 11th, 2007
by The Crazy Snake of Predictem.com
If you’ve already mentally handed the Bills (4-4) a win against AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins ((0-8), be reminded that the 1-6 Dolphins of 2006 handed the then dominant Chicago Bears the mother of all hidings (31-13) as 9.5 point road dogs in round 9 of last season. However, the Dolphins are seriously lacking in offensive weapons and will need everyone to step up if they are to snap their losing streak here.
The loss of Ronnie Brown to add to the notable absence of Trent Green has crippled their ability to score points. Their back up quarterback, Cleo Lemon, has done a serviceable job in reserve, but he lacks the genuine class to make things happen when it matters most.
Inevitably, the Dolphins will have done some soul searching during their bye week which followed a trip to London to meet the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium. The conditions were difficult to say the least, and Eli Manning never was able to come to grips with the soggy conditions, completing only 8 of 22 passes for a paltry 59 yards and no touchdowns.
Miami were always at arm’s length and lost by 3 in the end after a late touchdown flattered them on the scoreboard. Still, there were some positive signs from the group. They hung in the whole way and showed grit and determination in trying circumstances.
We can pump up the chances of the Dolphins all we like, but the records show a more likely outcome. The Bills have won 5 of the past 6 meetings between these two teams, the latest result a 21-0 shutout victory at the back end of last season. J P Losman threw all 3 touchdown passes in that game. Having won 4 of their past 5, it would be criminal for Buffalo to drop this game when a victory would see them on track to the most unlikely of playoff berths after their auspicious 0-3 start.
This is a game the Bills should win and win well if they are to be serious contenders for this season’s playoffs. Good teams will despatch lesser opponents in circumstances where motivation is high for an upset. The result of this game will say a lot more about Buffalo than it will about Miami. Given that Buffalo has the Pats next week, the importance of a victory here cannot be underestimated.
The Bills’ offensive line has protected their quarterback well this season, allowing only 16 sacks though 8 games. However, they will be sorely tested against last season’s defensive player of the year, Jason Taylor, who finds a little extra when hunting Buffalo. Something tells me Jason is about to have a big game and it could go a long way to determining the outcome of this one. It’s hard to see Miami winning this game offensively but they may well win it on big defensive plays.
The sportsbooks have the home team as 2.5 to 3 point dogs and that seems about right to me. It becomes difficult when you are asked to give up points on Buffalo on the road and I am leaning to the home team with the 3 point start here if you can get it.
The Snake’s Bite: Something tells me this game will come down to a field goal either way and if that’s the case then we could do worse than to take the +3. Take Miami to cover the spread as the home dog.