NFL 2017 Week 17: Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins preview and prediction

The Bills come into Week 17 with a chance to make the playoffs, but they will have to beat a feisty Miami team that can cause a lot of problems.

(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Buffalo went to New England last week, but despite it being even early on they fell 37-16 in the end. Stephen Hauschka kicked three field goals and Jordan Poyer snagged an interception and returned it for the Bills’ only touchdown of the game. Tyrod Taylor was efficient and LeSean McCoy a constant menace but red zone problems, some drops, and the frustrating catch rule kept the offense out of the endzone.

The Miami Dolphins went to Kansas last week to take on the Chiefs and ended up losing heavily, 29-13. Jay Cutler threw for almost 300 yards but fumbles from Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry together with red zone problems cost the offense points while Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt kept the Chiefs moving and Harrison Butker continuously kicked them further from the Dolphins reach.

Must win

There are a couple of scenarios for the Bills to get into the playoffs, but their destiny is not in their own hands. They need to win and hope that either both of Tennessee and the LA Chargers lose, or if those both win then they need a Baltimore loss to throw it into a bigger tiebreaker that would give them a strength of victory edge and allow them to take the sixth seed.

They need help, but that help doesn’t matter if they don’t win themselves.

Playing for 2018

With Black Monday approaching there is some speculation that Adam Gase’s position with the Miami Dolphins is in danger. There is no doubt that this season has been disappointing for the Dolphins. They are far from the strong playoff team there were a year ago, and Gase’s management has to be brought into question given how rocky the quarterback position has been without Ryan Tannehill this season. One more win would go a long way to settling nerves and keeping him in work beyond this weekend.

Matchup to Watch: LeSean McCoy vs Reshad Jones

The Bills offense runs through McCoy, the Dolphins defense is dependent on Jones to make a lot of tackles. These two will clash often, especially on outside runs. While Kiko Alonso will be involved in taking on McCoy as well, it is likely to be Jones that is meeting McCoy at the corner and doing the majority of the work.

Fantasy Tip: Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake

The Bills run defense is a disaster. They are allowing 126.7 yards per game this season, but that has been worse in recent games since they traded Marcell Dareus. If you can get your hands on Kenyan Drake then start him, 100+ yards and a touchdown is serious possibility.

Betting Tip: Bills (-2.5)

The Bills need to win this game, the Dolphins don’t. The Bills won the first game 24-16 in comfortable fashion as they picked off Jay Cutler three times. This game is likely to follow a similar course.

Prediction: Bills 27 – 17 Dolphins

Buffalo win, but they won’t make the playoffs. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy will do enough to keep the scoreboard ticking and the defense will snag a turnover or two to make it a fairly comfortable victory for Sean McDermott’s men.

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.