Thursday Night Football tends to be ugly and often even one-sided. In week 11, it might just be neitherĀ of those things. The Miami Dolphins seek revenge against the Buffalo Bills after getting housed earlier in the year. Both teams are jockeying for position behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East, with the winner having a shot at either the division crown later in the year, or a wild card playoff spot. The loser could tumble down the standings.

A lot is on the line in tonight’s prime time affair, so let’s break down the key notes and see who might come away with a big win on a short week:

Lack of Bodies

The Bills have taken a hit on offense this year, as running back C.J. Spiller is probably out for the year, while running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver Sammy Watkins both are iffy for this game. It’s a huge contest, so there’s a decent chance they both suit up, but those would be mammoth losses for the Bills if they can’t.

The Real Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill has been the definition of a mixed bag this year, as he’s looked like a seasoned pro at times, while other times the Miami coaches have threatened to pull the plug. Tannehill still gives the Fins the best chance to win by far, but he and the rest of his team played horribly against the Bills earlier in the year. Tannehill should look to redeem himself in a huge divisional clash that could help show everyone exactly what kind of a quarterback he truly is.

Buffalo’s Run Defense

Lamar Miller is banged up but even if he were fully healthy one would have to wonder just how much success he and the rest of Miami’s rushing attack can have against an elite Bills run defense. Miller oddly ran pretty well the last time these two teams met (4.2 yards per carry), but Miami was playing from behind all game and couldn’t stick with Miller. Whether they’re able to do that this time around is going to tell us a lot about their chances to win this game.

The Pick

Miami and Buffalo both sit at 5-4 and sorely need to keep winning to have a shot at the playoffs. With every team in the AFC North having five or more wins, a loss here dramatically hurts either team’s chances of snagging a wild card spot, while they can certainly kiss the division goodbye, as well. Considering Buffalo stole the first game and this one is in Miami, logic suggests the Dolphins hold the slightest of edges.

Naturally, the Bills are in fact the underdogs (-6) in this one. That’s a solid spread in a game that should end up being decided by a touchdown or less. You can’t take that spread for Miami, but the Dolphins could be worth a shot as the straight up pick.

Pick: Dolphins 27, Bills 23

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