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Prediction: Bills will beat Dolphins

9/12/2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When's the last time that excitement was this high for a Buffalo Bills home game?

The home opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium is a hot ticket, and for good reason. Morale in Western New York is high after a Bills upset win last Sunday and an agreement this week by Terry and Kim Pegula to purchase the team. Add in news that Jim Kelly is cancer-free, a remembrance for Ralph Wilson, and newly elected Hall of Famer Andre Reed as part of the pregame festivities, and it will be a tough environment for the Dolphins to play.

On the field, it's hard to overlook that the Bills, led by Thad Lewis, defeated the Dolphins twice last season, including a 19-0 shutout at home. This isn't the same pressure-based defense that Mike Pettine used to help secure that win, and the Dolphins' offensive line should be improved, but I still believe that the Bills' defensive line can dictate the outcome of this contest.

The Bills' offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage on 55.8 percent of plays last week -- fifth best in the NFL -- while the Dolphins ranked 26th by controlling the line 46.2 percent of the time. If the Bills' defensive line can capitalize on the potential for pressure, Ryan Tannehill will have a tough day.

My prediction: Bills 17, Dolphins 14