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Buffalo Bills Links, 1/1: Bills and Dolphins ready to renew their rivalry

Plus, matchups to watch and will the starters play in Week 17?

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Happy 2021, #BillsMafia! In today’s edition of the Buffalo Bills links, we examine why, thanks to two rebuilt and talented rosters, Sunday’s Week 17 clash between the Buffalo Bills (12-3) and Miami Dolphins (10-5) should mark the beginning of a renewed rivalry in the AFC East for years to come.

We offer up seven things to watch in the regular-season finale, including whether head coach Sean McDermott will play all of his starters and whether the Bills can go 6-0 in the division for the first time in franchise history.

We also address the news that former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has COVID-19 and will miss the regular-season finale, hear from McDermott and the players on what it will be like to welcome fans back to Bills Stadium for the playoffs, hear good news about receiver John Brown’s availability, turn to the film to dissect quarterback Josh Allen’s ascent to MVP candidate, analyze how general manager Brandon Beane and McDermott turned the Bills into AFC East champions, discuss the role Buffalo’s rookie class has played in 2020, and much more!

Previewing the Dolphins and Week 17

X’s and O’s: Let the revival of the red-hot Bills, Dolphins rivalry begin | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“Add up all the Dolphins’ assets, and Miami vs. Buffalo should be a war for years to come,” says Mark Gaughan.

How will the Bills fare against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17? | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
Here is how the News’ sports writers see Sunday’s regular-season finale between the Bills and Miami Dolphins at Bills Stadium.

7 things to watch for in Bills vs. Dolphins | Week 17 -
Will the starters play? Can Buffalo sweep the division for the first time in franchise history?

Bills’ Micah Hyde wants to play vs. Dolphins, ‘make it hard’ for Tua Tagovailoa -
Sean McDermott won’t reveal team’s plan for Sunday before the game.

Bills won’t see Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick after vet tests positive for COVID-19 -
Tua Tagovailoa was scheduled to start, but Fitzpatrick has been the Dolphins’ “closer” at QB.

Report: Ryan Fitzpatrick out after positive COVID-19 test - WGR 550
The Miami Dolphins will be without backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Reports: Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for Covid | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t be available to the Miami Dolphins for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Bills at Bills Stadium.

Bills Notebook: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for Covid-19 | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
The Buffalo Bills got some clarity about who they’ll face at quarterback Sunday.

Friday Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills - Buffalo Fanatics - Buffalo Bills
Everything you need to know for Buffalo’s Week 17 clash.

Welcoming Fans Back to Bills Stadium

McDermott: 'Happy to have our fans any time we can get them' - WGR 550
“Bills head coach Sean McDermott joined Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s regular season finale against the Dolphins.”

‘It’s gonna be electric’ | Players are excited to welcome back Bills Mafia to the stadium -
Stefon Diggs, Micah Hyde and others talk about the decision to let fans attend the postseason game and this week’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins in the regular-season finale.

Want Buffalo Bills playoff tickets? What to know to avoid scams -
NY state is allowing the Bills to have about 6,700 fans at home playoff game next week.

Fans at Bills game could be first step for reopening Broadway, concerts, other venues -
It will mark the first time NY has allowed fans at a sporting event since March.

John Brown Activated

Bills activate John Brown from Covid list, make practice squad moves | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
The Bills activated wide receiver John Brown from the COVID/reserve list Friday.

John Brown activated off Covid list, Bills make number of Friday roster moves -
Brown hasn’t played since Week 10 vs. Arizona after going on IR with ankle injury.

Bills activate John Brown from Reserve/COVID-19 list + announce these other moves -
The Bills announced a number of roster moves on Friday morning.

Josh Allen’s Ascension to MVP Candidate

Bills film review: Josh Allen’s ascension, Week 17 lineup – The Athletic
The Bills have enough depth at most positions to rest their core players if they decide to go that route against Miami. (Subscription required).

Bills mailbag: Success developing Josh Allen, offensive line – The Athletic
What this Bills regime has done with Allen is the biggest reason they’ve become the team that they are. (Subscription required).

Bills’ Josh Allen will receive votes for NFL MVP. But enough to win? We asked voters | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
The 2020 MVP award winner is expected to be announced during Super Bowl week.

Vic Carucci: Drew Bledsoe happy to see Josh Allen break his Bills’ records | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
The former Bills QB, who turns 49 in February, says he is a big fan of Allen and of the Bills.

Odds and Ends

How the Bills were rebuilt into AFC East champions | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
Sean McDermott says the primary thing he needed to do upon arrival as the Bills’ head coach in 2017 was “get the right people on the bus.”

Solid rookie class has come through for Bills - Democrat & Chronicle
Buffalo Bills’ 2020 draft picks have played key roles in playoff run.

NFL All-Pro Team: Bill Barnwell picks the best players at every position in 2020, including Stefon Diggs, Aaron Rodgers and T.J. Watt -
Stefon Diggs or DK Metcalf? Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes? Forget the Pro Bowl voting—this is the true top roster of players.

Stefon Diggs by the numbers: Bills receiver having one of best first seasons for pass catcher on a new team -
“Diggs has taken his game — and the Bills — to the next level.”

Bills Today | Stefon Diggs makes this ESPN All-Pro Team -
Here are three things to know about the Bills for Friday, Jan. 1.

Jim Kelly on Bills’ hot streak: ‘I think we could take this a long way’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“As I watched the Denver game at home with my family, I thought back to that first AFC East championship we won in 1989,” writes Jim Kelly.

McDermott: Visit of receiver Stills and Beasley injury are ‘separate conversations’ | Buffalo Bills News | NFL |
“He’s a player that Brandon (Beane) has had his eye on for some time now,” McDermott said. “Nothing is official to this point.”

Buffalo Bills Thursday Thought: Potential Wild Card Matchups Rankings - Buffalo Fanatics - Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have clinched the AFC East and now will host a playoff game. Who would be the best and worst matchup in the Wild Card Round?

It is Time for the Bills to Pay Daryl Williams - Buffalo Fanatics - Buffalo Bills
The tackle has proven his worth to Buffalo and should be brought back.

Featured on Buffalo Rumblings

Buffalo Bills activate John Brown, make practice squad moves - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills are getting a key piece back on offense.

All-22 analysis: Buffalo Bills LB Matt Milano’s return from injury - Buffalo Rumblings
Well, the return of “fully healthy” Matt Milano at any rate.

AFC Playoffs: Pittsburgh Steelers to rest T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Maurkice Pouncey Week 17 - Buffalo Rumblings
Browns facing more COVID-19 issues.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins: Television broadcast map, announcers Week 17 - Buffalo Rumblings
Can the Bills sweep the Fish and secure the No. 2 seed in the AFC?

The Bruce Exclusive: Dunking Technique and Lemon Perspective - Buffalo Rumblings
Happy posterizing to you.

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for COVID-19, won’t play against Buffalo Bills - Buffalo Rumblings
Hang in there, Fitzy.

Buffalo Bills director of pro personnel Malik Boyd interviewing for Houston Texans general manager job - Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills have built an excellent front office.

Buffalo Bills Fantasy Football: Allen, Diggs and Beasley provided great value for fantasy owners - Buffalo Rumblings
Owners that invested in the Bills had plenty to celebrate this season.