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November 15, 2012

G10: Buffalo 19, Dolphins 14 (Final): Offensive woes continue in fall to 4-6; playoffs a fading dream

[1) It is THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15. You may still join the massive response and vote in our Marlins-trade poll in blogpost directly below this new one. 2) Check out our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote (under construction; new vids coming soon) and join us on Twitter@gregcote]

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: New poll tonight at 12:15!: Watch for the latest DSM in a separate blogpost beginning tonight (or tomorrow morning) at 12:15 sharp!

G10: DOLPHINS @ BUFFALO: Final: Miami has now lost three games in a row and scored 37 total points doing it. That's your story. That was your story tonight. Not enough offense, with 184 total yards, three turnovers and 60 yards rushing against (supposedly) the worst run-D in the league. ..... 4Q: Tannehill picked off again, inside of 1 minute left, his second INT of game and fifth in two games. Dolphins are done. ... Dolphins driving but Tannehill throws INT on deep route just inside 2:00 warning. Bleak now. ... Davone Bess 2-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill has MIA within 19-14, mid-quarter. Snaps string of 28 consecutive possessions without an offensive TD. Good challenge, good call, good TD. Finally a couple of calls tilting Miami's way. ..... 3Q: Dan Carpenter hits upright on 50-yard FG try; no good. No luck, no breaks, no offense for Miami. ..... Half: Miami lucky to only be down 19-7 at half, and don't go blaming the defense. Miami offense has been non-existent, with 50 total yards, 0-for-5 on 3rd downs, and 12 yards rushing vs. a Bills squad that (supposedly) was awful on run-D. Hardly an insurmountable deficit, but looking for reasons to believe. ..... Buffs 2Q: Buffs with a fourth FG (19 yards) and a 19-7 lead on final play, but that's three points that shouldn't have been because Jimmy Wilson dropped an INT in the end zone. ... Y'all know that Dave Wannstedt and his Wannstache are Bills' defensive coordinator, right? ... Bills up 16-7 on 42-yard FG set up by two pass-interference penalties against Nolan Carroll. His mom is Florida's lieutenant governor. We need to pass a law to abolish penalties against her son! ..... 1Q: Bison 13-7 on 34-yard FG in last minute of opening quarter. ... MIA within 10-7 after Marcus Thigpen 96-yard kickoff-return TD! The Thig! The 'Pen is mightier than the sword! ... Buffs 10-0 on 32-yard FG, capitalizing on Miami turnover near midfield. ... Brian Hartline loses fumble near midfield after catch. Wonder if he'll be benched like Bush was last week? Hmm. ... Bills' Leodis McKelvin scorches MIA special teams for 79-yard punt return TD and 7-0 Buffs lead early. ... Let's go! (And be thankful we are not in Buffalo on a November night. Let us pray). ..... Pregame: Teams 4-5 through nine games (like Miami is) go on to make the playoffs 1aa1dolbuf11with some frequency. It has happened 13 times since 1990, including just last season (Denver). So, yes, I am still talking playoffs. Only Pittsburgh and Indy at 6-3 are ahead of Miami in the race for two AFC wild-card spots and both are favored to lose this weekend. And with two games left vs. New England the division title is not out of play, either. 1aa1dolbuf1The thing is, there is so little margin of error left that a game like tonight's absolutely must be won. That is why tonight is simply essential for Miami. Because the difference is huge between a team 5-5 coming off a big division road win and a team 4-6 with a third straight loss. What's troubling is that Miami's offense has struggled lately. Ryan Tannehill has, and the running game has. It's fine to think Buffalo's suspect defense will be the tonic needed ... except that's what we all thought facing Tennessee last week, right? And how'd that work out? I do see a big bounceback game for Reggie Bush, but the Bills are playing better than their record suggests lately, Buffalo in November is a legit home-field advantage, and that advantage tends to be magnified by a prime-time stage. My pick: Buffalo, 24-20.

LONG, FIELDS LEAD PRO BOWL VOTING: Tackle Jake Long (by habit) and punter Brandon Fields (deservedly) lead early AFC fan voting at their positions. Three other Dolphins running in the top five are DE Cameron Wake (3rd), RB Reggie Bush (5th) and DT Randy Starks (5th). Think center Mike Pouncey is having a top-five season, too, but it'll take him time to escape the long shadow of older bro/Steeler Maurkice, who leads AFC centers in votes.

We'll be right back here with another Live Boutique Blog (patent pending) during tonight's game. 

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