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Playing for pride: Can Miami right the ship on a short week against the Bills?

Two weeks ago Fin Nation was rocking with dreams of the playoffs after crushing the NY Jets. If the narrow loss to the Colts took some wind out of the sails, the blowout loss to the Titans opened gaping holes into the side of the ship. The Miami Dolphins are listing hard to port, in search of answers at every position from the coaching on down. What a stark contrast two weeks makes.

The disappointing 3-6 Buffalo Bills are next on the docket this Thursday evening. The Bills are disappointing primarily because their defense is ranked 31st in the league after spending a bazillion dollars on Mario Williams and others. A porous defense could be just what the doctor ordered for Miami’s struggling offense. Or for Bills fans, Miami’s anemic offense could be just what the doctor ordered for Buffalo’s struggling defense.

This game is a huge litmus test for Miami because this is the kind of team Miami should beat IF Miami is any good. Unfortunately the vibe for both teams is the opposite ofwhatI’dlike.Buffalo lost a very close game to the Patriots and had a good game in theair.Theyplayedbetter, even if they lost. Facing Miami’s “bend but don’t break” pass defense means fantasy football players everywhere should be starting any Bills offensive players on their rosters. Meanwhile Miami is reeling, with team leaders like Reggie Bush getting benched mid-game and failures occurring in bunches.Can the Dolphins get their 3rd down defense to step back up? Can they hold CJ Spiller in check? Can the defense and special teams make some big plays to help out the offense?Can the offense play mistake free again? Can the OL step up it’s play and get the running game going again? What’s up with the playcalling – why has Miami abandoned the run? While Tannehill has played well, will he take the next step this season and put this team on his shoulders and will it a victory (at least one, please)?A lot of questions, too many to like the Dolphins chances this week.It is clear to me that the Dolphins simply don’t have enough talent at most positions. Despite this I expect to see the Dolphins play disciplined and show improvement like they did in the first 7 games, not roll over like they did against the Titans.

At this point the Dolphins are playing for pride. Thursday night we’ll see what they’re made of.

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