Game Scout: Bills-Dolphins

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Buffalo Bills (2-4) at Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla. - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
*Keys to the game: Bills coach Doug Marrone continues to lead with the AFC's top running game (148.8 yards per game) to protect his inexperienced quarterbacks. The formula is in play with Thad Lewis in his third career start. Lewis will be wary of edge rushers Cam Wake and Dion Jordan, though Miami's pass defense can be tamed (21 plays of 20-plus yards through six games). Buffalo has excellent pass rushers among end Mario Williams, tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams and linebacker Kiko Alonso. They can torment Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, who can be stuck running uphill with the combination of poor pass protection -- league-worst 24 sacks allowed -- and a running game stuck in the mud. The Dolphins are 29th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (69.6) and on their way to a franchise worst in yards for a season. Tannehill and TE Charles Clay are clicking and deep threat Mike Wallace posted his second 100-yard game with the Dolphins last week. When Tannehill gets a clean pocket he's capable of dicing through the Buffalo secondary.
*Matchup to watch - Dolphins CB Brent Grimes vs. Bills WR Stevie Johnson -- The Ravens had no problem throwing right at Grimes. If Lewis has the gumption to do the same, it will pay off. Grimes is willing to gamble and can be had with patience.
*Player spotlight - Bills WR Marquise Goodwin: The sprinter in shoulder pads scored a 40-yard touchdown last week. When Buffalo takes its shots, Goodwin is likely to be on the field.
*Fast facts: Alonso leads the Bills with 66 tackles and has an NFL-high four interceptions ... The Dolphins are 14-10 coming off of their bye week.
Ryan Tannehill's trajectory is being impacted by Miami's imbalanced offense. The Dolphins can't protect him - or a lead - because of a weak running game. The Bills can get the road win if Thad Lewis manages the game and Buffalo keeps the chains moving with RBs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.
*Our pick: Dolphins 27-22

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