The last time the Buffalo Bills defeated AFC East rivals in back-to-back-to-back weeks, the 1993 regular season was wrapping up. The Bills closed out a 12-4 regular season with wins over Miami (47-34), New York (16-14), and, yes, Indianapolis (30-10) in advance of their fourth straight trip to the Super Bowl.
The 2022 Bills will look to repeat that feat this coming Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins, with plenty at stake in their own bid for a championship run.
Buffalo enters their Week 15 rematch with the Dolphins not only looking to avenge their Week 3 loss in Miami, but to pad their two-game lead in the AFC East title race, and to maintain their current position as the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. They also can clinch their fourth consecutive playoff berth — and fifth in six years — with a win in this game.
In the Sean McDermott era, the Bills are 5-0 against the Dolphins at the venue currently known as Highmark Stadium. The Bills have won those five games by an average final score of 36-18. This is a different Dolphins team, to be sure — and one that, for most of the season, has been among the NFL’s most dangerous and explosive offensive outfits — but it’s also a team that limps into Buffalo having lost two straight games.
The Bills also happen to have a strong track record under McDermott in games in which they have a playoff-clinching scenario. Buffalo is 5-1 in such games since McDermott became head coach in 2017, and have won four such contests in a row dating back to the 2019 regular season. (Incidentally, one of those games was against Miami — the 2017 regular season finale, in which the Bills needed a win and a Baltimore loss to end their 17-season playoff drought. You don’t need me to remind you what two things happened that day.)
There’s snow in the forecast for Saturday night, though how much lake effect accumulation the Orchard Park area will see is yet to be determined. Still, the weather will be a far cry from the sweltering conditions these two teams played through back in September, and the elements have historically favored the home team in this long-established rivalry.
A win for Buffalo would not only earn them a playoff spot, but it would guarantee them at least a three-game lead over every other team in the NFL’s toughest division, top to bottom, with three games left on the schedule. In aggregate, this does not add up to a must-win game for Buffalo, but if they do emerge victorious, they will be well on their way to locking up their third straight AFC East division title.
The Bills open the short work week as 7.5-point favorites in this contest, per DraftKings Sportsbook. This is the second-to-last home game remaining on Buffalo’s regular season schedule, and you can bet that they will be keen to defend their home turf and strengthen their grip on their playoff positioning in the process.
All of our coverage leading up to this weekend’s pivotal Bills-Dolphins clash is below.