Here's the Bills news of note for Dec. 23rd
1 - Setting physical tone a top priorityLooking back at their first matchup with the Dolphins in Week 7, Buffalo's player readily admit they were beaten at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. As they prepare for the rematch Saturday, they know setting a physical tone for Miami to react to is a must.
"They beat us that day," said Preston Brown. "They were more physical and did everything against us that they wanted to. We have to go out there and show we're not the same team we were earlier in the season and go out there and show that we can stop their running back because we couldn't the last time. So it's going to be a good test for us defensively and it's going to be fun."
Jay Ajayi rumbled for 214 yards in the first meeting as Buffalo's run front had trouble setting the edge, which led to over pursuit by Buffalo's linebackers leaving cutback lanes wide open for Ajayi, who averaged more than seven yards a carry.
"Honestly it was very embarrassing for us. I think we all feel the same. That wasn't us. That entire game we were just getting pushed around," said Spikes. "Now it's the rematch. We definitely want to come out and set the tone and meet them at the line of scrimmage. It's definitely going to be the front seven on their big guys. It's going to be a battle. We're excited we're at home. It's a little cold up here. So hopefully they leave their coats."
Head coach Rex Ryan is confident in some of the new wrinkles in their game plan that they have for Miami's run game and that his players will be ready to execute with much greater success than they did in Week 7.
"We think we'll be much more effective this game," said head coach Rex Ryan. "Let's just put it that way. I know what happened. Were we tired? Yeah. I don't know how many snaps they had, but it was a bunch and about 100 degrees down there. But I don't think that will be the case this week."
"We know they're riding high. They've been doing a great job this last month so we're at home and we just want to take advantage of it. Use our fans as an edge," said Brandon Spikes. "We definitely have got something to prove here. We've got a nasty taste in our mouth from that last meeting so we're definitely looking forward to this."
2 - What has Matt Moore done vs. Rex?Matt Moore made his first start in five years last week and proceeded to toss four touchdown passes in Miami's laugher of a win over the Jets (34-13). He only threw 18 passes with 12 completions for 236 yards and had a passer rating of 126.2 with one interception and one sack the only blemishes on a solid day of work.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan has seen Moore up close and personal before.
"I got beat by him five years ago," said head coach Rex Ryan. "The thing is this guy is not like a rookie quarterback. He's a guy that's played in the league a long time, eight or nine years, and he's had a lot of good moments in this league, and he had it against me several years ago. He throws a great deep ball, he loves throwing the ball deep. So those are things that we know for sure about him and he's seen a lot of huddles broke in his day."
Ryan is likely referring to a midseason matchup between the Jets and Dolphins in the 2012 season. Moore didn't start the game, but came on after Ryan Tannehill suffered a knee injury in the first half. He went 11-19 passing for 131 yards and a touchdown. Helping him in the 30-9 rout of the Jets was the blocked punt that Olivier Vernon returned for a touchdown and the blocked field goal by Miami's special teams.
The Dolphins backup quarterback was certainly efficient, but didn't exactly light up the stat sheet. But that's not how defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman remembers it.
"The last time we played him in New York he beat us," Thurman said. "So we know we're in for a battle. He's a good player. You don't stay in this league for as long as he has and not be a good player. They don't feel like he's as good as Tannehill or he'd be the starter. But he's very capable and he led them to a win last week. You don't disrespect anybody in this league. He's in this league for a reason, so we have to go out and compete and play just like we're playing the starter."
Moore's only other win over Ryan's Jets came in the season finale the year before when he went 22-32 passing for 135 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a 19-17 Miami win over New York. He had a passer rating of 61.3. His one-yard touchdown pass went to Charles Clay of all people. But Dan Carpenter really won the game for the Dolphins that day with four field goals including a 58-yarder.
And while it's clear that Buffalo's coaches clearly respect Moore as a quarterback, the Dolphins signal caller knows the history of Rex Ryan defenses.
"He's always had good teams – good defenses," Moore said. "They're going to have a package, I'm sure, that they're going to believe in and they're going to execute it well. Then again, it falls on us to execute and answer. (He's a) good coach (and they have a) good defense."
3 - Bills will have all their horses SaturdayAn overlooked part of Buffalo's first meeting with the Dolphins was the absence of some of the Bills best playmakers in the lineup. Marcell Dareus, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods were all out of the lineup due to injury.
LeSean McCoy also was not 100 percent healthy with a hamstring strain and left the game after eight carries for 11 yards.
That quartet of players probably represent four of the 10 best players on Buffalo's roster. All of them are going to play on Saturday.
"Yeah just having those guys back those are big time playmakers," said Tyrod Taylor. "Guys that make plays on both sides of the ball. Guys that can create plays and make plays happen. So having those guys back in our lineup definitely makes our team a better team. It's just about us going out there and executing and playing four quarters the way we know how to play."