The Buffalo Bills (2-4) got an encouraging performance out of practice-squad QB Thad Lewis in a home overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and now visit the Miami Dolphins with point-spread respect squandered by Lewis’ injury. Two late touchdowns against Cincy suggest that the Bills offense can keep things close even with their QB misfortunes, as Miami (3-2) emerges from the bye attempting to end its two-game skid.
NFL Week 7 Matchup: Bills at Dolphins; 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Bills-Dolphins Spread: Dolphins -8
These squads have spent much of the past decade playing second-fiddle to AFC East foes in New England and New York yet both enter a midseason matchup near .500 this time around. Buffalo however has dropped two straight since a knee injury knocked out EJ Manuel while leading against the Cleveland Browns late. Lewis suffered an injury late against Cincy and this makes Buffalo’s passing situation a mystery yet again.
Miami received an underwhelming heat check in losing two before the bye against contenders New Orleans and Baltimore. Ryan Tannehill has been victimized by excellent pass rushes and poor edge protection recently but also showed great resolve on that final offensive drive against Baltimore, at least putting his team in position to tie.
Key Matchup: Mike Wallace vs. Stephon Gilmore
This Dolphins offense has a shot at being dangerous when Wallace is feeling it. When Tannehill and him are connecting deep, ripping off big chunks and pulling the safeties back, that’s when Lamar Miller can really flourish. Gives Tannehill the chance to rip off chunks with his own feet here and there. The entire offense opens up.
A healthy Gilmore, an emerging corner on a bad Bills secondary, could mitigate that.