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Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins: first half open thread

Two eliminated AFC East rivals square off in the 2018 season finale

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins this afternoon in what will be the final game of the 2018 NFL season for both teams. The Bills also will send off one of the most beloved players in the team’s history, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has chosen to retire after the contest.

After a promising start to the season, which saw the Dolphins win their first 3 games in September, Miami has fallen to 7-8 in what could be the final year with the club for both head coach Adam Gase and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. If Miami loses today, it will be the second straight year that Gase has guided the Dolphins to a sub-.500 finish after beginning his tenure with a 10-6 record in 2016.

For the Bills, the end of what was expected to be a down year in general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott’s rebuild brings one era to an end, and it could also lead to many more changes in personnel. Aside from Williams, veteran Lorenzo Alexander is also an unrestricted free agent, and although there is reportedly mutual interest for a return in 2019, nothing is certain until a contract is signed. Tight end Charles Clay, who was a healthy scratch last week, has most likely played his last game with the Bills, and it’s possible that LeSean McCoy will not be with the team next year, either.

While most of the game’s this season have been about watching rookie quarterback Josh Allen develop, today is about one thing and one thing only: Kyle Williams. The Bills want to send their emotional leader off into the sunset with a victory, and fans who want to know what courage, class, and leadership look like can watch the very embodiment of those traits in action today one last time.

Thank you, Kyle Williams, for being a phenomenal role model, an outstanding football player, and the perfect ambassador for what the Buffalo Bills organization represents.

Your final first-half thread of the season is here, ladies and gentlemen. Go Bills, go Kyle, and Happy New Year to all!