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Bills look to Clinch Playoff Spot vs Mia

The Buffalo Bills seek their fifth consecutive victory and look to clinch an AFC playoff spot when they entertain the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The AFC-leading Bills (10-3) also are shooting to avenge their 21-19 loss to the Dolphins in Week 3 at Miami. That outcome ended Buffalo’s seven-game winning streak in the series.

The Dolphins (8-5) are two games behind the Bills in the AFC East and are currently in sixth place in the conference. Seven AFC teams make the postseason field. While Buffalo is hot, Miami has lost the first two contests of three in a row on the road. First-year coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t want to see the losing streak extended another week.

“Every game will always matter in December and January if you’re in contention,” McDaniel said, “because you’re talking about seeding, home-field advantage, all of those things on top of you wanting to be playing your best ball if you’re able to make the playoffs. You don’t want to be going in there limping into the tournament.”

Standout quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is one player looking to bounce back after he completed just 45.9 percent of his passes in the two losses — 33-17 to the San Francisco 49ers and 23-17 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Tagovailoa passed for just 145 yards against the Chargers.

Tagovailoa has thrown for career highs of 3,004 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has tossed just five interceptions, but two came against San Francisco.

Dolphins star wideout Tyreek Hill leads the NFL with 100 receptions and ranks second with 1,460 yards.

Buffalo had its own offensive issues Sunday in a 20-12 home win over the New York Jets as it totaled a season-low 232 yards. Quarterback Josh Allen passed for a season-worst 147 yards as the Bills’ offense never got going. Buffalo lost 20-17 to the Jets in their first meeting on Nov. 6. “And playing these division games, teams see you twice, they kind of know what you like, know what you typically like to do,” Allen said, “so they can kind of game plan around that a little more specifically.”

Tight end Dawson Knox, who caught a touchdown pass against New York, insisted his club’s offense won’t be held down for long. He feels weather conditions affected the production.

“Anytime we get weather conditions like this, it definitely affects offense a little bit,” Knox said. “We’ve got the best quarterback in the league, the best receiver (Stefon Diggs) in the league, so stuff like timing, the ball is always wet, the wind’s whipping … (is) naturally just gonna affect the game a little bit.”

Forecasts call for a cold, snowy night on Saturday, which would seem to favor the Bills over warm-weather Miami. McDaniel said he will be addressing the conditions with his team.

“I think that’s something that you have to be real and up front that, ‘Hey, it’s going to be cold,’ but it’s also something that no one cares,” McDaniel said. “The box score doesn’t read, ‘Asterisk: It was cold.’ So it is what it is.

“If we’re trying to win a divisional game, we’re going to have to deal with elements, and that comes with a mindset and just everyone’s going to be experiencing the same temperature. So I don’t plan on using that as an excuse in the slightest.”

The temperature was 89 degrees at kickoff when Miami beat the Bills in late September. Allen passed for 400 yards and two touchdowns in defeat.

Hill (ankle) was limited in practice on Tuesday while five teammates missed the session with injuries. Sitting out were left tackle Terron Armstead (toe, pectoral, knee), running back Jeff Wilson (hip), receiver River Cracraft (calf) and safeties Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Elijah Campbell (concussion).

For Buffalo, outside linebacker Matt Milano (knee), who has 12 tackles for loss, didn’t practice Tuesday. Nose tackle Jordan Phillips (shoulder) and guard Ryan Bates (ankle) also sat out. Star nose tackle Ed Oliver (pectoral) and fullback Reggie Gilliam (ankle) were limited.

–Field Level Media


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