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This game started out as expected…a little back and forth between two ‘iffy’ teams both needing a win to stay strong in the playoff hunt. Buffalo scored a TD early, but then Miami followed with two field goals. It was 7-6, and then the next thing you know Buffalo is winning 21-6 at the half. An offensive ‘explosion’ for the normally reserved Bills offense.
In the second half, Miami was driving the ball – but turned the ball over three times on interceptions. They held Buffalo to just 3 points, and then before you know it, the seemingly dead Dolphins scored a couple times in the final 7 minutes to draw to within a 24-16 score…and then got an onside kick with 0:36 seconds left.
The final of Jay Cutler’s 3 INTs was his first pass after the retrieved onside kick…excitement over. Buffalo wins it.
The story of these two teams will intersect again in Week 17 with possibly a ton on the line.
Buffalo is 8-6, and will likely lose Week 16 at New England…which would then put them into a 2-3-way tie at 8-7 for the final wild-card. Week 17 they travel to Miami in a possible ‘win and they’re in’ game. Only, Miami may be in the same boat.
If Miami can beat Kansas City this week, after this week’s games, there could be four teams at 8-7, with Miami sitting 7-8. One of the 8-7 teams will win the AFC West…leaving three 8-7 teams ahead of Miami – BUF, LAC/KC, TEN. The Titans likely lose to the Jags Week 17 dropping them to 8-8. If Miami beats Buffalo Week 17…they would both be 8-8. The Dolphins would need one of KC-LAC to fall into 8-8 with them. It’s possible that MIA-BUF-TEN-LAC/KC are all tied at 8-8 for the last wild-card spot. Miami would have beaten TEN, LAC, KC. The Bills lost to LAC. Miami has a few ways to sneak past Buffalo for that final playoff spot but they HAVE to beat KC this week or it all blows up. KC is very beatable.
I would not predict Miami to pull the upset. I’m just saying that if they do pull the upset – all hell is going to break loose in the AFC wild-card, and Miami holds a lot of chips in the game.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The Bills DST, more specifically their pass defense confuses me…and it’s something to consider for those about to start Tom Brady this week.
There are 3 defenses in the NFL with more interceptions than passing TDs allowed. A fourth defense is even, and another is +1 with TDs over INTs. When you see the names, you will feel how odd one of them is on the list…
14 TDs/22 INTs = Ravens
14 TDs/20 INTs = Jags
11 TDs/16 INTs = Bills
16 TDs/16 INTs = Chargers (thanks to N. Peterman)
17 TDs/16 INTs = Vikings
The Bills have allowed the least amount of passing TDs to opposing QBs this season.
A couple of weeks ago, Tom Brady threw for 0 TD/1 INT, (258 yards) versus the Bills. An aberration? Against the three best TD-to-INT defenses (BUF-LAC-PIT) Brady has faced this season…he has posted 2 TDs/2 INTs total in the 3 games. Gronk was so mad at the Bills defense he cheap shotted them last go ‘round.
Against Brady-Brees-Smith-Cam-Ryan this season, the best QBs they’ve faced…2 TDs/4 INTs total allowed for the Bills.
If Brady was facing Jacksonville, we’d be crapping our pants. We’d be nervous about him facing the Chargers, Vikings, Ravens but would probably press on. Facing the Bills – it’s all systems go, in our minds. Are we deluding ourselves?
Never bet against Brady?
I’m thinking you might this week.
-- I don’t get why everyone is in love with Kelvin Benjamin (2-20-0/2) as a Buffalo Bill. We didn’t care about him anymore as a Panther, now he moves to a worse offense and everyone is all worried whether he might play or not. He’s so overrated. Was virtually useless in this one.
-- Jakeem Grant (1-7-0, 1-13-0/1) caught a nice little catch and run pass for a 13-yard gain. What I liked – Grant was lined up as a running back for that short pass. He made a catch, and dodged a tackler and juked him out of his cleats and then ran for a long 3 rd-down conversion. It was a neat little play they could employ 20 times a game if they wanted. Of course, don’t dare run it again because it might work!
Every week, Grant gets a little more involved. Not enough to FF-matter yet.
-- No one cares but me, and I think this guy has played on 27 different teams this season… but Cap Capi (1 tackle, 1.0 sack, 1 FF) just keeps pressuring the QB in every pre or regular season game he ever gets a chance to play in and he cannot stick with any team nor get a real push. It’s astounding that he couldn’t stick in Arizona and Robert Nkemdiche still draws a big paycheck there.
-- LeSean McCoy (20-50-1, 4-46-1/5) doesn’t get enough praise for his work with this team in 2017. He IS the offense and still finds ways to produce even though everyone is keying on him. He’s on my first wave of MVP candidate possibilities.
Snap Counts of Interest…
44 = Zay Jones
44 =- Deonte Thompson
37 = K Benjamin
71 = K Drake (96% of the plays)
40 = LeSean McCoy