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Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins: First-half open thread

The Bills and the Dolphins face off to close out the 2020 regular season

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins this afternoon in the 2020 NFL regular-season finale. Buffalo has already clinched the AFC East Division title, but their playoff seeding is still up for grabs. Buffalo can either be the No. 2 seed or the No. 3 seed. The Dolphins are in with a win, and while they can back into the playoffs with a loss, that’s not a scenario they’ll want to entertain.

Reports indicate that the Bills will play most, if not all, of their key players today in an effort to secure the No. 2 seed by themselves. Buffalo can also back into the two seed with a loss and a Pittsburgh Steelers loss. The Steelers are resting most of their top players this week against the Cleveland Browns, who will end their 17-year playoff drought with a win. That streak ties the Bills, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles for the second-longest streak in NFL history (the New Orleans Saints missed the playoffs every year from their inception in 1967 until the strike-shortened 1987 season, where they went 12-3).

Quarterback Josh Allen needs just 40 passing yards today to break Drew Bledsoe’s Bills record for most passing yards in a season. Bledsoe threw for 4,359 yards in 2002. Stefon Diggs is the current NFL leader in receptions and receiving yards, and if he remains on top of those lists, he would become the first Bills player to lead the league in either category. Rookie Tua Tagovailoa makes his first start against Buffalo, and he’ll have to go the whole way a week removed from his second benching of the season. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick is out this week after a positive COVID-19 test.

Your first-half thread is here, folks. Let’s hope the Bills ring in the new year the same way they closed out the old one—with a big victory. Enjoy the game, and go Bills!