Miami vs. Buffalo: 4 Key Halftime Stats for the Dolphins

Marc JubergChief Writer IDecember 18, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins rolls out against the Philadelphia Eagles at Sun Life Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The Dolphins took a lead into the locker room, and these four stats tell the story:


75: The Amount of Rushing Yards Surrendered

Because of how slowly the Dolphins started out of the gate this season, they've flown consistently under a lot of folks' radars. As a result, fantasy owners everywhere lick their chops when one of their players line up against Miami's defense. 

However, the Dolphins defense—and particularly, their run defense—has been a strength all year long. It's all the more surprising, then, that C.J. Spiller of all people has been able to find lanes to run this afternoon. The Winter Wonderland into which Buffalo has transformed will invite the Bills to continue to take recourse to the run game. Miami needs to stop Spiller and Co. if they want to win this game.


99.7: Matt Moore's QB Rating

Conversely, the key for the Dolphins offense in the second half may be to throw, throw and throw some more. While Reggie Bush's early fumble has rendered him tentative, Matt Moore's confidence grew as the half wore on. Miami has been able to keep the Bills defense off balance with a smooth bend of packages and play actions.  

There's no reason Moore can't continue to be effective against Buffalo's porous secondary. If he can pass at his current level or better, this is Miami's game to lose.


62: The Number of Penalty Yards Against the Bills

Frankly, the Dolphins' superior discipline by itself has made them the better team this game.  As opposed to the Bills, Miami has not hurt itself in the first half. 

Snow does not reward boneheaded play, but it will continue to reward the Dolphins if they can keep the zebras from yanking out their yellow hankies. 


0-0: The Number of Brandon Marshall Yards and Catches 

Brandon Marshall has been shut out so far in this game, but not for a lack of looks.  Moore targeted him four times in the first half, but a couple of drops and a couple of errant balls have left him with nothing to show for it.

It's probably a good sign for the Dolphins that they're winning even though Marshall has been a non-factor. But if No. 19 makes his presence felt at all in the final 30 minutes, Miami should run away with this one.