The Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field this Sunday and they must win the game to keep their playoff hopes realistically alive. Most Bills fans were counting this game, and the season finale as easy wins over a Dolphins team that was struggling mightily. That was until the Dolphins beat the New England Patriots in primetime Monday night.
The Dolphins were able to hold the Patriots offense to just 20 points—their second lowest total of the season—mainly by pressuring Tom Brady. Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, and the rest of Miami’s defensive line pressured Brady on 35.6% of his drop-backs, which is 5% more than Brady’s season average of 31.5%, according to Pats Pulpit. This was down from their Week 12 rate, but still the 5th most against the Pats all season. The Patriots’ offensive line ranks 13th in pass protection according to Football Outsiders. The Bills have the league’s 28th best pass protecting offensive line.
Keeping Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, Joe Webb, or even Logan Thomas upright is always a key to victory. It will be especially important this weekend against a defense that made one of the greatest quarterback’s of all time go 0-for-10 on third down for the first time of his career.