5 things Dolphins coach Adam Gase should do in season finale vs. Bills

Landry deserves a big day in the finale. (AP)

DAVIE—Because only one of the participants has something to play for, Sunday’s Dolphins-Bills game might be tough to watch. Miami coach Adam Gase has the power to change that.

Gase isn’t one for taking suggestions from the media, or for having a little fun during the game, and he seems like he’s intent on treating this game like any other from a play-calling standpoint. But if he’s willing to spice up the broadcast with a few creative moves, here are five ideas:

1. Treat it like a preseason game for Jay Cutler.
It’s not obvious why Cutler is even playing this week, though Gase said for sure he will start. He also left it ambiguous as far as how long he’ll be out there. The Dolphins should get as long of a look at David Fales as they possibly can, and the best way to do that is to get Cutler out after one or two series. Don’t wait for halftime or the score to get out of hand one way or the other. Get Fales in the game no later than the start of the second quarter.

2. Throw the ball to Jarvis Landry 20 times.
Gase said he’s hesitant to force feed any particular player for a statistical milestone because the last time he tried it, with Matt Forte in 2015, he was unsuccessful. Given how much the Dolphins have relied on Landry this year, he’ll probably get enough targets to reach the eight receptions he needs to set a new franchise record. Will that be enough to hold on to his slim lead for this season’s NFL receiving title? He’s got 103 now, followed by Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown at 101. Brown is out with a calf injury, but Fitzgerald and a few others are in range if they have a big day.

3. Get Cameron Wake out as soon as he gets a sack.
There are a few players Gase needs to protect from themselves. Wake would play every snap of this game if Miami left it up to him—so would Ndamukong Suh, Andre Branch and several others—but Gase shouldn’t let them. Wake should be in only for prime sack opportunities, and as soon as he gets one he should go straight to sideline. Double-digit sacks for the second year in a row would be a great accomplishment for him, and it’d be perfect if he got one in the first quarter to minimize physical wear and tear. This is a good game for Charles Harris and Cameron Malveaux to get their shot.

4. Play Stephone Anthony and A.J. Derby a ton.
The Dolphins gave up roster spots to acquire both of these players this season (plus a 2018 fifth-round pick for Anthony), but haven’t played them much. Derby made his debut at Kansas City last week with one catch for 11 yards on five targets in 28 offensive snaps. Anthony came aboard after the first game of the season, but didn’t get regular playing time on defense until mid-November. He played 41 snaps over the last two weeks and should get more Sunday. These are two players with a chance to be significant contributors in 2018, and everyone is eager to see what they can do in bigger roles.

5. Don’t punt.
No one other than Matt Haack’s family enjoys seeing Matt Haack on the field. Gase should show some guts and go for it on every fourth down unless Miami’s in field goal range or faces something absurd like a 4th-and-28 from its own 2-yard line. It’ll be fun to watch either way, the players will enjoy it and the crazy thing is it might even work. With no real consequences in this game, Gase might as well let loose.

[Dolphins throw away strong seasons by five of their star players]

[Dolphins QB Jay Cutler says he won’t be a backup]

[A resurgence for Dion Jordan–and a warning for future Dolphins]

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