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Scouting Report - Week 15 - Bills-Dolphins
December 15, 2017 05:00 PM | Chris Brown

Top 3 Individual Matchups 1 - Charles Clay vs. Reshad Jones
The former teammates square off. Clay had eight catches for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his last meeting vs. Miami.

2 - Leonard Johnson vs. Jarvis Landry
Johnson could be a busy man defending Landry on Sunday. He's tied for second in the league in receptions (88) and is fourth in receptions on third down (23).

3 - Jordan Mills vs. Cameron Wake
Miami's top pass rusher gives just about every opponent fits. In his last two meetings with Mills, Wake has logged 2.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and a pair of tackles for loss. Buffalo will need to chip Wake or provide some tight end help.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage - Third down defense
Even though Miami's third down defense has been solid of late (see below), converting on offense has been a chose for the Dolphins this season. Dead last in third down conversion percentage this season (32.7%), Miami could have a tough go facing the Bills 12th ranked third down defense (38.5%).

Best advantage - Red zone offense
The Bills will be facing the worst red zone defense in football. Miami allows opponents to reach the end zone a stunning 70 percent of the time after they cross the Dolphins 20-yard line giving up 26 touchdowns on 37 opportunities. Buffalo is a respectable 12th in red zone touchdown percentage.

Bills Number 1 Must
Prevent big plays
The Bills are a middle of the pack team when it comes to keeping big plays to a minimum defensively. Miami has a lot of big-play potential at the skill positions and the Dolphins have 34 such plays over their last eight games alone. Buffalo's defense has to make Miami earn everything they get.

Scouting Eye
Breaking out
A knee injury as a rookie limited CB Xavien Howard to seven games in 2016. In his second season the talented corner has broken out. Howard has two interceptions in each of his last two games, most recently picking off Tom Brady on Monday night. His other two interceptions the week prior came against Denver, including one that he returned for a touchdown.

Third down dominance
Facing Denver and New England the last two weeks, Miami's defense has been downright dominant when it comes to getting off the field on third down. A week after holding the Broncos to just one third down conversion in 13 opportunities, they blanked the Patriots who went 0-for-11 on third down conversions. For New England it was their first time since 1991 that they failed to convert a third down in a game.

Miami's third down defense has been solid all season. They rank sixth in the NFL allowing just a 34 percent success rate.

Flags flying
The Dolphins have had a propensity for drawing flags from the officials. They've had 105 penalties assessed against them this season, good for the second-highest total in the league (Seattle 120). That averages out to more than eight penalties assessed per game.

Drake and bake
Since the trade of Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia, the Dolphins have been leaning on Kenyan Drake to serve as their feature back. His stat line from Monday night's game against the Patriots was a prime example. Drake averaged 4.6 yards per carry in route to a 114-yard rushing day. He also made five receptions for 79 yards. His 193 total yards from scrimmage accounted for 53 percent of Miami's offensive output for the game. Over the last two games Drake has logged 56 touches for 334 total yards from scrimmage.

A different kind of blocker
The Dolphins special teams units have a knack for blocking kicks. They've blocked three kicks so far this season. DT Vincent Taylor blocked field goals against the N.Y. Jets in Week 3 and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. DE Terrence Fede blocked a punt in Week 13 against Denver. Since 2011, Miami is tied for the league lead with 20 blocked kicks.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"We're just trying to get hot at the right time. Every game from here on out is a playoff game. You have to play a game at a time; you can't look forward to who's after that or anything like that. Just play it game by game, week by week."
--S Micah Hyde

Stat of the week
In four career games vs. Miami, Tyrod Taylor has eight touchdowns and no interceptions for a 121.2 rating and 151 rush yards with a touchdown.

Milestones in reach
LeSean McCoy is 39 rushing yards from 10,000 for his NFL career.

Tyrod Taylor needs one touchdown pass to become the sixth quarterback in Bills history with 50 touchdown passes.

Kyle Williams (42.5) needs one sacks to move into sixth place on the Bills all-time sack list passing Mario Williams (43.0).

Final note
Charles Clay has four touchdowns in his last four games against AFC East opponents.

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