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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Matt Milano's absence is noticeable on the Bills' defense

Bills' second-year linebacker Matt Milano was having a strong season before a broken fibula landed him on injured reserve. The defense isn't the same without him.

The linebackers earned a 1.5 out of 5 in Mark Gaughan's Week 16 grades after allowing 273 rushing yards to the Patriots, which was only 4 yards shy of the Patriots' record under Bill Belichick.

"The Bills missed Matt Milano. The Pats ran at rookie Corey Thompson repeatedly. He got caught inside two plays in a row on the third-quarter TD drive," Gaughan wrote. "The speedy Thompson was good in space, however. He blanketed Gronk once and changed direction to chase down a flat pass. But it was trial by fire for the rookie."

Dolphins to start Ryan Tannehill against Bills: One detail often lost in the hubbub of last season's ending to Week 17 was the fact that the Dolphins sat lame duck QB Jay Cutler to get a look at David Fales. The team may part ways with Ryan Tannehill after this season, but he's still getting the start in the finale.

Jim Kubiak: Josh Allen faces new realities that the Patriots present: Josh Allen didn't score well in Kubiak's metric, but, "In spite of the slightly lower grade, it is indisputable from the film review that Allen’s confidence and awareness are growing rapidly," Kubiak wrote.

Upon further review: So, the Bills are probably cutting Charles Clay, right? Jay Skurski believes Clay being a healthy scratch for Week 16 sealed the deal. "If there was any doubt about Charles Clay’s future with the Buffalo Bills, it was eliminated Sunday," he wrote.

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Film Review: The way Mark Gaughan sees it, the Bills need to add "at least two more reliable weapons in the passing game" in order turn the matchups in their favor next season.

Bills-Pats rating isn't much to cheer about: Bills-Pats received a 33.9 rating in the Buffalo market. That means a lot of people watched the game ... but not as many as usual.

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Got feedback on this newsletter or our Bills coverage? Email Josh Barnett at jbarnett@buffnews.com. Find us on Facebook by clicking here and follow @BNBlitzNow on Twitter.

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