Armando Salguero

Five things to watch in the Dolphins’ game against the Buffalo Bills

ctrainor@miamiherald.com

1 Can the Dolphins repeat?: The Dolphins pulled a stunning upset of the Steelers last week and face another team that is favored and on something of a hot streak in the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has won four consecutive games and seems to understand its winning formula, which is to run the football successfully and play sound defense. The Dolphins, a poor run-stopping team, will be challenged on that front but believe their offense has turned the corner and is playing with consistency.

2 The Dolphins seem to have tight end issues: Both Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims are out with concussions and that leaves the Dolphins with two tight ends to carry the position's load. MarQueis Gray and Dominique Jones are coming off good games a week ago but it is clear neither are what the Dolphins expected to count on when the season began. Can the two stay healthy and perform at a high level?

3 Speaking of tight ends .. Charles Clay is back: In the spring of 2015, Charles Clay successfully pitted the Dolphins against the Bills during the free agency period and ultimately the Bills won the player's services by signing him away from the Dolphins. Clay had a monster day against Miami in South Florida last year. He's having a solid season with 22 catches for 239 yards this year but hasn't scored a touchdown.

4 Will the Dolphins pass protection hold up?: The Dolphins are certain -- CERTAIN -- that if quarterback Ryan Tannehill gets ample time to throw the ball, he will play well. That's been the history. That was the case last week. So it's important for Miami to overcome whatever exotic blitzes Rex Ryan conjures for this game. It's important to give Tannehill a chance to show he can win important division games if he has time to throw the football.

5 There's no such thing as a game-time decision but don't tell LeSean McCoy: The Buffalo running back injured his hamstring in a practice last week and is, according to the Bills, is a game-time decision to play or not. The truth is teams must turn in their seven inactive players 90 minutes before the game and if McCoy isn't healthy enough to contribute, he'd be one of those. The question now is whether McCoy will feel well enough 90 minutes before game time to even be active.

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