A pair of 5-4 teams play a pivotal game for their playoff chances on Thursday Night Football. They are also two teams that are coming off of crushing defeats. The Lions played the Dolphins this past Sunday and the Dolphins were dominant after a slow first quarter they scored two field goals and a touchdown over the second and third quarters to hold a 13-10 lead. An exchange of field goals had the score 16-13 with a little over 4 minutes left. The Dolphins defense had been forcing the Lions off the field all day long and needed one more stop in order to push their record to 6-3 and have them looking down on other potential playoff teams. Instead they allowed a74 yards drive that ended with a touchdown pass for the Lions and a devastating loss for the Lions. The Bills had an even worse collapse. In this low scoring game, the Bills were dominant for the games first 3 quarters as a Kyle Orton touchdown pass and a pair of field goals staked the Bills to a 13-3 lead as the fourth quarter began. Soon thereafter Jamal Charles was finally bale to find a hole in the defense for a 39-yard run and the lead was trimmed to 13-10. The Bills forced the Chiefs to a 3 and out on their next possession but the Bills fumbled the punt and gave the Chiefs possession on the Bills 26 yard line. Chief’s quarterback Alex Smith scored on a scramble 2 plays later and gave them a 17-13 lead with just under 9 minutes left and that is how the game would end. This set up a critical matchup for both teams on Thursday Night
Both teams have little margin for error and the loser of this game will have little chance of making the playoffs. The last time these two team played Buffalo won 29-10 and the game featured five Buffalo field goals. Miami will need to find a way to establish some type of running game this week. They gained a season low 50 yards on the ground last week. The health of running back Lamar Miller is key as he played through the pain last week but was unproductive. The Bills rush defense has been poor over the last 3 weeks and it may be the best way to attack their defense.
The Bills would be heading into this weekend on a four game winning streak but they blew the lead last week. Orton who has thrown 10 touchdowns against 3 interceptions since being named the starter will again lead them at quarterback. Sammy Watkins had a big day against Miami in the first meeting and will be looking to do it again this weekend. The defense will look to stop the run consistently and take advantage of a weak Miami running game. Once they have stopped the run they will be able to attack Tannehill aggressively as well as give the secondary more bodies in pass coverage.
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