TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Weather: High 60, Low 28
Line: Miami (-2.5)
Making a strong push for the playoffs after an improbable run, the Miami Dolphins are just a couple wins away from the postseason. With an 8-6 record and a complete turnaround of a disastrous season, Miami looks to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Ryan Tannehill is having a great second year at quarterback and has quietly flown under the radar as one of the better QBs in the league, passing for 3,627 yards and 23 touchdowns. Brian Hartline continues to lead the team in receiving with 72 catches for 925 yards and four scores while Mike Wallace is close behind with 64 catches for 867 yards and four touchdowns of his own. Lamar Miller leads the 24th-ranked run game with 628 yards and two touchdowns on four yards per carry.
The Buffalo Bills aren’t going to the playoffs this season, but with a rookie QB and some potential on offense, they are poised to improve upon their record next season — drastically. EJ Manuel took the reigns of this team after being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his stats. Manuel has passed for 1,972 yards and 11 scores after missing a few games with a knee injury earlier in the year, but his leadership skills are through the roof. Stevie Johnson is going through some rough times after losing his mom just a week ago, but he leads the team in receiving with 52 catches for 597 yards and three scores. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have been productive this season, rushing for a combined 1,470 yards and nine touchdowns for the fourth-best rushing offense in the league.
Defensively, the Bills are a relatively average unit. Buffalo ranks 15th in the league in yards allowed per game while also ranking 26nd in rushing yards allowed. The Bills do, however, possess a solid passing defense, ranking sixth in the league in passing yards allowed per game. Miami has a better scoring defense than anything else. The Dolphins rank ninth in points allowed per game, 17th in yards allowed and 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 31, Bills 23
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.