Buffalo at Miami

Playoff roster

Depth chart


Playoff history

  Monday, Dec. 28 10:04pm ET
Buffalo Bills scouting report
Buffalo's 1998 season will forever be remembered for the NFL comeback of Doug Flutie, who not only led the Bills from among the NFL's mediocre to a wild-card spot, but got himself voted into the Pro Bowl.

 Eric Moulds
Pro Bowl receiver Eric Moulds has really clicked with Doug Flutie, becoming the Bills' best big-play threat.

It's misleading to think it's only about Flutie, who has been terrific with 20 TD passes and only 11 interceptions. Flutie has benefited from bruising running back Antowain Smith and his 1,124 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Former war horse Thurman Thomas (381 rushing yards, two touchdowns, 26 catches, one touchdown receiving) has been a nifty change-up on third downs.

Buffalo, since its first loss of the season to the Jets on Nov. 8, has spread its offense considerably. This is so teams can't spy both Flutie and the Bills' running game, as the Jets did with four down linemen, four linebackers and three defensive backs.

In spreading itself out, Buffalo has discovered receiver Eric Moulds' big- play ability. Moulds, who played himself into a Pro Bowl selection, had 67 receptions, a gaudy 20.4-yard average and nine TD catches. In the last several weeks, it seemed Moulds was taking one deep every game.

Teams that follow what the Jets did to the Bills offense might succeed. In the second meeting, the Jets spied on Flutie again, but this time switched spy roles on the fly, using two linebackers and a safety at various points of the game to confuse Flutie.

Who's hot? Flutie is always hot ... except when he plays the Jets. Moulds is a force opposing defensive backs to contend with. Fullback Sam Gash, a Pro Bowler, is a moose in the running game -- linebackers beware.

Who's not? Though he has 61 catches, veteran receiver Andre Reed seemed out of sync with Flutie against the Jets in Week 16. Receiver Quinn Early dropped a couple of catchable passes in that loss.

The Bills defense, ranked No. 6 in the NFL, is very difficult to run against with 350-something-pound nose tackle Ted Washington clogging up the middle. While defensive end Bruce Smith has nine sacks and remains one of the best pass rushers, he, too is a terrific run defender.

Free safety Kurt Schulz leads the team with five interceptions, and strong safety Henry Jones has three picks. The starting corners, Ken Irvin and Thomas Smith, have only two picks combined.

Who's hot? Though he's not having his best season, Washington is tough.

Who's not? Defensive end Phil Hansen hurt a knee against the Jets and is hobbled. His status for the playoffs is in question.

Special teams
Receiver Kevin Williams is a solid punt returner with a 10.1-yard average and a long of 73. Williams also returns kickoffs, averaging 22.2 yards. ... Kicker Steve Christie is one of the best, with 131 points on 32-for-40 field-goal accuracy.

Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post writes a weekly AFC notebook for ESPN.com that appears each Wednesday during the regular season.

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