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Vic Carucci's Take Five: Bills can't allow Ajayi to do what McCoy is doing

Here are my five takes on the Buffalo Bills' game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium:

1. Continue to slam the door against the run. The main reason for the Dolphins' success in their stunning, 30-15 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers was Jay Ajayi's 204-yard rushing performance. It was reminiscent of what LeSean McCoy has been doing against Bills opponents the past couple of games.

For the first time since joining the Dolphins as a fifth-round draft pick last year, Ajayi ran with the physical style that he regularly showed at Boise State. And the Steelers, despite entering the game with the fifth-ranked run defense in the league, weren't equipped to handle it.

Ajayi carried 25 times, and the Dolphins' offensive line -- with all five of its starters together for the first time this season -- consistently manhandled Pittsburgh's defensive front, which wore down as the game progressed. Even with tackle Marcell Dareus possibly missing his third game with a pulled hamstring (after being suspended for the first four), the Bills shouldn't allow that to happen.

Kyle Williams and Corbin Bryant have been exceptionally stout in the middle of the line. And inside linebackers Zach and Preston Brown are performing as well as any interior duo in the NFL.

2. Don't let Ryan Tannehill make plays outside of the pocket. This is pretty much the only way the Dolphins' quarterback can be effective.

Tannehill is primarily a pocket quarterback who either throws a lot of quick screens or waits for longer routes to develop. He hit his two biggest passes against the Steelers while scrambling.

That means the Bills' defensive backs must do a good job of maintaining coverage even when Tannehill is forced to extend plays with his legs. They can't have the coverage confusion as they did in allowing the one long touchdown pass in the San Francisco game.

The Bills need to keep applying the pressure that has allowed them to generate 20 sacks in six games, which is one short of their total for 16 games last year. Tannehill was effective with play-action against Pittsburgh, but that can be minimized if the Bills hold the running game in check.

The key is for the Bills to win their up front battles against a line that didn't allow a sack against the Steelers, the second game this year when Tannehill hasn't been sacked.

3. Run the ball well ... again. McCoy's hamstring issue, which kept him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and makes his status uncertain for Sunday, could compromise the Bills' ability to have success on the ground.

Nevertheless, the Dolphins rank next-to-last in the NFL in run defense, and the Bills should still find a decent amount of success by going with a running-back-by-committee approach with Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush.

Miami did do a respectable job of not allowing itself to be trampled by the Steelers. Outside of a 60-yard touchdown run by Darrius Heyward-Bey on an end-around, the Dolphins limited the Steelers to 68 yards on 15 carries. That's still a 4.5-yards-per-carry average.

Miami doesn't have anyone on the outside stout enough to set the edge. It also doesn't get a whole lot of run-stuffing contribution from its linebackers. The only thing that figures to slow down the Bills' running game is the heat as the carries pile up into the fourth quarter.

4. Tyrod Taylor makes some big plays while being efficient. Taylor isn't tearing it up with his passing arm, but so far that hasn't been necessary because McCoy has been tearing it up with his legs.

The Dolphins have taken steps to improve their pass rush by replacing defensive ends Mario Williams and Jason Jones with Cameron Wake and Andre Branch. They were able to put enough heat on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to cause him to have one of his worst passing days of the season.

But the aggressiveness of Miami's pass rush should open the door for Taylor to move around in the pocket and find receivers, who should be able to shake free from time to time against a secondary that has been up and down in its play, and take off for big runs. Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and the rest of the offensive coaching staff will be studying the effective job the Dolphins did in disguising coverages.

Tight end Charles Clay has steadily found openings to make plays, and this game against his former team should be no exception. The Bills will lean on him even more with injured Robert Woods likely to miss the game.

5. Maintain razor-sharp focus. So far, the Bills have done an excellent job of that. They haven't come remotely close to having any sort of letdown through their four-game winning streak.

In fact, the Bills have only gotten stronger. Their running game is increasingly more physical, thanks largely to the play of the offensive line. Their defense is owning the line of scrimmage and getting after the quarterback in ways it hasn't shown since 2014.

They aren't taking anything for granted, even against bottom-dwelling opponent such as the 49ers. The Bills typically match up well against the Dolphins, and this game should be no exception.

Even if McCoy doesn't play, the only thing that would figure to stand in the way of the Bills scoring a fifth consecutive victory is themselves.

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