The Miami Dolphins are trying to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a fellow Florida team to end a drought and get back into the postseason. The Bucs have clinched their spot and are returning for the first time since 2007. The Dolphins drought isn’t as drastic as they were last in the playoffs four years ago when they took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2016 AFC Wild Card round and had a swift exit.
The Dolphins were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season and this year has been a drastic change. There has been a lot of talk about how the Dolphins operate over the last week as for the second time this season, head coach Brian Flores benched starter Tua Tagovailoa for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, showing that he is unafraid of the critics and not going to sacrifice egos for play on the field.
It worked last week as Fitzpatrick made one of the crazier throws I’ve ever seen after getting his helmet nearly pulled off his head. The throw set up a game-winning field goal that gave the Dolphins a must-needed win in the tight AFC Wild-Card round and now they’re just a win away.
If Miami beats a Buffalo team on Sunday that has already clinched the division, they will be back in the postseason. Brian Flores winced no words and made sure that the media knew that Tua would be the starter this Sunday and when he has played his best, he really is one of the best.
The Bills have been dominant over the last five weeks and are scoring points at an all-time high clip. Josh Allen has cemented himself into MVP conversations and it doesn’t seem like any defense can slow down the duo of Allen and Stefon Diggs. The Dolphins could catch a break though if the Bills decide that playing Allen and the rest of the starters in a useless game for them is too risky and go the route of benching their starters and starting Matt Barkley as the quarterback.
Dolphins Keys to the Game:
Miami Dolphins, Keep Tua Confident: For a rookie quarterback that has watched his somewhat predecessor come in and take the reigns in the biggest situation of two games, it seems like Tua should be sitting on the sideline crying and losing hope that he can be an NFL quarterback. Instead, Tua has handled the situations incredibly well on the outside and the Dolphins can only hope that on the inside their rookie quarterback still believes in his abilities. Devante Parker suited up for practice during this week which would be a massive addition to the offense that has lacked big plays.
Bills Keys to the Game:
Buffalo Bills, Stay Healthy: The Bills have clinched their division and they can’t clinch a first-round bye or home-field advantage throughout so the one thing they should be focused on most is staying healthy and not putting starters in harm’s way for a game that is useless to them.
Dolphins vs. Bills Prediction:
The Dolphins are catching a break with a Bills team that should be resting.
Dolphins 26 Buffalo 22
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com