Dolphins Watch

December 18, 2010 12:29 PM

Dolphins try to stay alive against Bills

FITZPATRICK.bmpThere has been a lot of talk this week about the actions of New York Jets strength coach Sal Alosi, who kneed Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll as he attempted to make a tackle on a kick return in last week's 10-6 win over the Jets.

Alosi was first fined and suspended for the rest of the season, but when former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas told a local radio station it looked like a wall had been set up on the Jets' sideline to keep a gunner from venturing there, the Jets staff reviewed the video and confirmed it, and Alosi was suspended indefinitely, and may even be fired.

Any way you look at it, it was one of the dirtiest plays we've seen this season, and from an authority figure on the sideline, no less. Personally, I think Alosi should be fired for his stupidity, and I wonder whether the order came from him to set up the wall, or from a higher source.

With that controversy behind them, the Dolphins host Buffalo in a must-win game. Lose this, and Miami, which is currently on the outside of the playoff chase, will probably be eliminated for good.

But this is not the same Bills team the Dolphins faced in Week 1, when the defense held Buffalo to a paltry 166 total yards and was never challenged in a 15-10 win.

Trent Edwards is gone, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has played well since taking over as the starter, will lead the Bills. The Dolphins know Fitzpatrick all too well, as he started in their second meeting last season, and broke open a defensive stalemate with a 31-yard TD run, then threw a 51-yard TD pass to Terrell Owens to clinch a 31-14 win.

So far this season, Fitzpatrick has passed for more than 2,500 yards and 21 TDs, and he has found a primetime wideout in Steve Johnson, who leads the team with 66 receptions for 874 yards and nine TDs.

Last week, Fred Jackson rushed for 112 yards on 29 carries in Buffalo's 13-6 win over Cleveland, the Bills' third victory of the season.

The Bills have a solid offense, but the defense ranks only 23rd in the NFL, and is one of the worst against the run.

The Dolphins haven't shown any great commitment to the running game this season, but Ronnie Brown did have one of his best games in the Week 1 meeting against Buffalo, rushing for 82 yards.

The passing game is also an enigma, as Chad Henne is coming off probably the worst game of his young NFL career: Five completions in 18 attempts for 55 yards.

Still, though I think the Bills will put up a tougher fight than they did in September, this game is too important for Miami to let slip away.

Dolphins 17, Bills 10

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