Week 11 kicks off tonight as the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins. Our TNF analyst Trent Green filed this report:
Hitting a wall???
For rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, tonight’s game will measure his resolve. First, this is already Week 15 for him (4 preseason games, 9 regular season games, 1 bye week), so it is longer than any season he has previously played in. Secondly, with three interceptions and no touchdowns in a blowout loss to Tennessee, he is coming off of his worst game since Week 1 against the Texans. Lastly, it’s a short week because of the Thursday game and the Dolphins are playing on the road against a division opponent. The good news for Miami is Tannehill responded after that Week 1 game with one of his best games of the season in 35-13 rout of Oakland.
The Buffalo Bills have only had three home games in their first nine contests. Obviously that means five of their final seven will be at home, though one of those five will be in Toronto*. On paper their remaining schedule looks better than the schedule from the first half of the season. As wide receiver Stevie Johnson pointed out this week, getting close in games is not good enough. They have to be able to finish games strong. With four* home games in December, Buffalo is hoping they can finish the season strong.
Spiller Time or Bush Bonanza:
With Fred Jackson out of tonight’s game, look for C.J. Spiller to get even more touches. He leads the Bills in rushing yards (632), yards per carry (7.3) and rushing TDs (4), and is third in receptions (28) and fourth in receiving yards (297). The Dolphins are 6th in the NFL in rush defense, but last week gave up 177 yards to the Tennessee Titans, including 126 to Chris Johnson. On the other side of the field, the Dolphins’ Reggie Bush can’t have this game start fast enough. He was benched last week after a first quarter fumble against Tennessee. The Bills’ rush defense is last in the league, giving up 164 yards per game on the ground. Also remember that last December when Miami played in Buffalo, Bush had his best day as a pro when he gained 203 yards on 25 carries. Keep an eye on the ground game tonight; it’ll go a long way to determine which team comes away with a victory.
– Trent Green
Former NFL quarterback Trent Green is Westwood One’s Thursday Night Football analyst. Trent, Ian Eagle and sideline reporter Steve Tasker are in Buffalo to bring you all the action as the Bills face the Dolphins. Coverage begins at 8 PM Eastern tonight.