Who has the edge?

De­spite sev­eral flaws Dol­phins should still pos­sess enough as­sets to take care of Bills

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Gameday - Safid Deen

When the Dol­phins pass: Ryan Tan­nehill was ef­fi­cient and did not turn the ball over in his re­turn last week against the In­di­anapo­lis Colts. Tan­nehill com­pleted 17 of 25 passes (68 per­cent) for 204 yards with two touch­downs. He ranks 15th in the NFL with a 97.2 passer rat­ing, which would be a ca­reer high. His high­est passer rat­ing in his six sea­sons was 93.5 in 2016. Tan­nehill has won his last seven home starts. How­ever, the Dol­phins plan to de­pend on their run game to fuel the of­fense, and keep Tan­nehill in­tact, and should be ef­fi­cient do­ing so against the Bills at home. Edge: Dol­phins

When the Bills pass: Rookie quar­ter­back Josh Allen re­turned for his first game since suf­fer­ing an el­bow in­jury in Week 6 and com­pleted only eight passes in last week’s win over Jack­sonville. One of those passes was a 75-yard touch­down. His 14-yard touch­down run in the fourth quar­ter sealed the win for the Bills. Allen has thrown only three touch­downs and has com­pleted 52.5 per­cent of his passes with a 65.2 rat­ing in the seven games he’s played. Six of the Dol­phins’ 17 in­ter­cep­tions came against New York Jets rookie Sam Darnold, and they will look to add to that to­tal against an­other rookie QB. Edge: Dol­phins

When the Dol­phins run: Frank Gore had a 23-yard burst into the red zone, and Kenyan Drake scored on a 14-yard run two plays later to give the Dol­phins a 10-point lead in the fourth quar­ter at In­di­anapo­lis last week. While it was a prime ex­am­ple of how com­ple­men­tary the Dol­phins run game could be, it marked just the fourth rush­ing touch­down of the season for Mi­ami. With Tan­nehill back, the Dol­phins will use him, Gore and Drake to pace the rush­ing at­tack to keep de­fenses off balance. They will face a stiff chal­lenge from Buf­falo’s de­fense, which is ranked 15th (al­low­ing 111.3 rush­ing yards per game) but should be able to wear down the Bills at Hard Rock Sta­dium. Edge: Dol­phins

When the Bills run: With the likes of Allen, Nathan Peter­man and Matt Barkley at quar­ter­back, op­pos­ing de­fenses have stacked the box against Bills run­ning back LeSean Mc­Coy. He is av­er­ag­ing just 3.3 yards per carry and has only two touch­downs in 10 games. His best game this season came when he scored twice and ran for 113 yards against the Jets on Nov. 11. Mi­ami may em­ploy the same de­fense against Mc­Coy, but its run de­fense has been sus­pect in re­cent weeks. The Dol­phins de­fense al­lowed a 100-yard rusher in three of its last five games. Edge: Dol­phins

Spe­cial teams: Dol­phins kicker Ja­son San­ders and Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka are both 16 of 17 on field goals this season, as their teams are tied for sixth with a 94.1 per­cent ef­fi­ciency. Dol­phins punter Matt Haack has been solid and is third in the NFL with 29 punts placed inside the 20-yard line. The Bills on Tues­day signed for­mer Dol­phins punter Matt Darr, who has been out of the NFL since he was cut by Mi­ami in 2017. He is the Bills’ third punter this season. While the Dol­phins’ spe­cial teams play has been re­li­able, they greatly miss Ja­keem Grant in the re­turn game and are fil­ter­ing through a num­ber of play­ers to field punts and kick­offs. Edge: Dol­phins

In­tan­gi­bles: The Dol­phins rank sec­ond in the NFL with 17 in­ter­cep­tions and are plus-6 in turnover dif­fer­en­tial, while the Bills are

mi­nus-5. … Rookie line­backer Tre­maine Ed­wards, a first-round pick from Vir­ginia Tech, leads the Bills with 78 tack­les. … Bills de­fen­sive end Jerry Hughes has 5.5 sacks, while de­fen­sive tackle Kyle Wil­liams has five sacks. … Dol­phins cor­ner­back Xavien Howard is tied for sec­ond in the NFL with five in­ter­cep­tions. … Dol­phins re­ceiver Kenny Stills has caught only one pass in four of his past five games, but he still leads the team with four re­ceiv­ing touch­downs. … The Bills (4-7) en­ter this game on a two-game win streak, while the Dol­phins

(5-6) hope to end a two-game skid. Mi­ami is 4-1 at Hard Rock Sta­dium this season. Edge: Dol­phins

Pre­dic­tion: Dol­phins 23, Bills 17

JEFF HAYNES/AP

Dol­phins quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill runs the ball against the Colts last week in In­di­anapo­lis. Ten­nehill com­pleted 17 of 25 passes for 204 yards and two touch­downs.

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