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What they're saying: Bills-Dolphins game predictions for Christmas Eve


By Elliot Harrison

Buffalo Bills 28, Miami Dolphins 22

Whew doggie, is this an important deal going down -- or going up, as in up north -- in Buffalo. The Dolphins are clinging to the final wild-card spot in the AFC while the Bills, who already lost to Miami in October, are trying to stay relevant in the playoff chase. Buffalo must shut down Jay Ajayi, which, in theory, shouldn't seem too formidable a task, given how much the Dolphins tailback has slowed down recently. That said, stopping the run has been an issue all year for Rex Ryan's defense. The Browns offered a respite in that area last week (they are good for that). On the topic of blowouts, Miami has not fared well the last three times playing in upstate New York. None of those games were close. Matter of fact, the Dolphins haven't won on the road against the Bills since 2011 -- when Matt Moore was quarterback. He was fantastic that day. Buffalo's defense sucked that season. Think LeSean McCoy goes off this week. Again. #BillsMafia #MIAvsBUF

By Mike Florio

MDS's take: This is a tricky one. The Dolphins are still competing for a wild card berth while the Bills, though mathematically still alive, are really just playing out the string. And yet I think the Dolphins, without Ryan Tannehill, may struggle on a cold day in Buffalo. I like the Bills in a close, defensive struggle.

MDS's pick: Bills 17, Dolphins 16.

Florio's take: Miami is closing in on a playoff berth with their new coach, and the Bills are closing in on another new coach. If Rex is going to go, he's going to go out swinging — and that could be bad news for the Dolphins.

Florio's pick: Bills 23, Dolphins 17.


Bleacher Report**](

By Chris Simms

This game hinges on Miami's ability to stop—or at least slow down—LeSean McCoy.

I'm not so sure the Dolphins can do it. Despite big-ticket names on their defensive front, the Dolphins still boast the 30th-ranked run defense in football. McCoy wouldn't shock me if he had a day like Jay Ajayi did when these teams met in Week 7 (214 rushing yards).

Speaking of which, has anyone seen Ajayi? He'll disappear under the 100-yard mark yet again with Laremy Tunsil and Branden Albert both hobbling. Plus, Kyle Williams is back as Buffalo's big run-buster. It's up to you, Matt Moore.

Prediction: Bills 24, Dolphins 22

By Pete Prisco

Miami Dolphins 21, Buffalo Bills 20

Both of these teams are still alive in the playoff race, but Miami much more alive. They are playing consecutive road games, which is tough, but they ran through the Bills when they beat them the first time and I think they can have the same success. Dolphins keep rolling.

By David Steele

When they met in Miami in October, the Bills showed the first real sign of being totally untrustworthy. It was also the day Jay Ajayi went over 200 yards for the second straight week, proving he was no fluke. The Dolphins looked good against the Jets with Matt Moore at quarterback. They won't look that good this time, but they can handle the moment. Dolphins, 24-20

By David White

The Dolphins' playoff hopes could have been over when they lost quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury two weeks ago. Instead, the backup quarterback, Matt Moore, dusted himself off to throw for four touchdowns and beat the Jets in his first start in five years.

Few outside South Beach favor the Dolphins to win up north in December. But if any Dolphins team has been built to win in the cold, it's one powered by the 1,000-yard rusher Jay Ajayi.

The Bills lead the N.F.L. in rushes of 20-plus yards (23). The Dolphins rank second to last in allowing such rushes (15). Expect Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy to have a heavy workload. Pick: Bills

By Eric Eager

Prediction: Bills win by 4

The Bills continue to play hard for Rex Ryan, and come home with a chance to secure at least a 0.500 season against their division rival and playoff hopeful Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins were able to beat the Jets in a similar situation last week, but gave up plenty of yardage to Bilal Powel, who averaged 5.3 yards on 16 carries (including 3.1 yards after contact) and turned 11 receptions into 78 additional yards (including 106 after the catch). The Bills have more firepower than the Jets in their backfield, with LeSean McCoy averaging 5.5 yards per carry (fourth in the league), and Mike Gillislee averaging 5.9 (second) and 3.2 after contact (fourth). If the Dolphins and their 19th-highest graded run defense does not improve, look for the Bills to play spoiler at New Era Field.

By Peter Schrager

Okay, Miami. Prove to us you're not the same old Dolphins. The same old Dolphins — the ones from the past decade, at least — would go up to Buffalo, forget to bring their A game, and lose 16-9. This Dolphins team — new coach, new defensive coordinator, winner of eight of its past 9 games — should be able to beat a Bills team that hasn't exactly been a world-beater at home this year. If this team really is different than the ones in recent history — and yes, I think it is — it will win this game.

The pick: Dolphins 23, Bills 17

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