The AFC East rivalry game between Miami and Buffalo is this weekend. Neither team has a chance for a playoff spot anymore so their Super Bowl hopes are gone this year. Which comes as a heartbreak for the Bills who started the season off so well, but after a six game losing streak have found themselves well out of playoff contention. Miami has improved since losing their first seven games and they are looking to defeat Buffalo and put another nail in the Bill's coffin. There is no love loss between these two teams and any Buffalo native will tell you that the team they hate the most is Miami. Miami will be walking into a hostile environment from the fans, and as an added hurdle. Buffalo plays in an outdoor stadium. While it will be sunny, the high is only going to be 38 degress, something a South Florida team is not used to.
Buffalo for their part is trying to fix what is broken. Fitzpatrick went from the quarterback who masterfully designed come back wins, to having almost as many interceptions as touchdowns. Fred Jackson who was a top Running back and fantasy stud is out with an injury. The replacement C.J. Spiller has managed 6.7 yards per carry but doesn't have the same power. When the QB is starting to run on empty, Buffalo needs a good running back to pick up the slack, and they just don't have it. What Buffalo does have is receivers. Steve Johnson, David Nelson, and Scott Chandler have done amazingly well. However, if Fitzpatrick can't get them the ball, they can't do their job. The Bills have a solid defense that boasts 8 fumble recoveries, 16 interceptions, and 19 sacks. Buffalo is close to being a team that can go all the way, but not having enough quality players is starting to show late in the season.
Miami is a team in trouble. Head Coach Tony Sporano has already been fired, and many of their players will be playing for another team next year. Somehow through all the crisis and turmoil, Miami has somehow managed to turn things around and start winning. Since their 7 game losing streak ended they are looking like a team that can win. Too late for the playoffs, but still time to hurt the chances of other teams and play spoiler and gain some momentum for next season. Matt Moore since replacing the injured Chad Henne has completed 61.6 percent of his passes. Reggie Bush is starting to remind us why he was the best player at USC with 5 touchdowns and 40 catches. Miami's defense has boasted an impressive 32 sacks, 8 fumble recoveries and 10 interceptions. The Dolphins looking forward to next season, with a new head coach and guaranteed high draft pick.
This is a game that will be exciting to watch not because it will determine anything about the post season, but because it is a rivalry football game. This game reminds people what the game of football is all about. A team making a long journey into a stadium full of nothing but hate for them trying to win. Or for the Buffalo fans, a team, who hates you, coming into your house trying to embarrass you. There is no snow predicted for Sunday, so some of the Buffalo mystique is gone. However, it will be cold and Ralph Wilson Stadium can get louder than anyone can ever imagine. Both Miami and Buffalo have very good defenses. Both teams have struggling offenses. This game may be decided by whichever team is able to produce the best offense. The fans may have an influence on the outcome, noise matters. The game may come down to which ever team wants the win more. If anyone thinks this is a game that does not matter, they have never seen a good AFC rivalry. Rivalries don't just exist in college around here.