Welcome to another weekly post for Thursday Night Football. This could be a playoff elimination game between two AFC East rivals. Let’s get to it.
Bills at Dolphins
(5-4, 3-1 away)
(5-4, 2-2 home)
Buffalo’s Keys to Victory:
1. Stop the run: The Bills were gashed for 127 yards rushing in a 17-13 loss to the Chiefs last week. The Dolphins know how to run the football, and Lamar Miller will be difficult to stop. As long as Buffalo can stop the run it should lead to more pressure on Tannehill, which brings us to #2.
2. Get to Tannehill: Buffalo leads the NFL with 34 sacks, and they were able to get to Tannehill four times the last time these two teams met. The Dolphins lost Brandon Albert to a knee injury against the Lions last week so it should be easy to hit him at least once or twice. Tannehill has been sacked 18 times in his career against the Bills and is 1-4 against them.
3. Get Watkins open: Sammy Watkins leads all rookies in receiving yards since Week 5. That puts him at 617 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Kyle Orton might not be the best quarterback, but he has a great receiver in Watkins and should definitely take every opportunity he can to get him the ball.
Miami’s Keys to Victory:
1. Run the Ball: Miami only had 50 rushing yards against the Lions, and it doesn’t get any easier against a Buffalo defensive front that features both Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus. It could be difficult with a Dolphins offensive line that feels like a revolving door (9 changes since the start of 2013), but I have faith in Lamar. He has over 500 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on the season.
2. Don’t underestimate Orton: Kyle Orton has 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions on the year and is 3-2 as a starter so far. While he is more of a journeyman QB, he does know how to win football games. The Dolphins can’t afford to overlook him.
3. Protect Tannehill: The Dolphins can’t afford to let any pressure get to their quarterback. Tannehill definitely has what it takes to be an elite quarterback, but any dreams of stardom will be crushed considering his questionable at best offensive line. Protect your quarterback, and make sure he can live another day.
The Dolphins have some issues on offense, but I like the way they’ve played in their last few games. Dolphins win in a squeaker, but it could go either way. Here are the other games.
The Rest of Week 11:
Panthers over Falcons
Vikings over Bears
Saints over Bengals
Browns over Texans
Broncos over Rams
Seahawks over Chiefs
49ers over Giants
Redskins over Buccaneers
Chargers over Raiders
Lions over Cardinals
Eagles over Packers
I will be posting my SNF pick between the Colts and Patriots and the MNF one between the Steelers and Titans later this week. The Jets, Jaguars, Cowboys, and Ravens all have byes this week.
My Record: 97-49-1
At the rate I’m going at I will double my win total.
As for NBA Tuesday I think it’s appropriate for me to give an update every 10 games. The season is still young and there are a lot of trends I still need to analyze. Will Toronto and Memphis stay atop their respective conferences? Will the Cavaliers bounce back from a poor star? Stay tuned!
Stay Classy Everyone!