Here we are, another NFL Sunday which means more football! You really do love to see it. Last weekend we weren’t that good. Cam Newton’s comeback game couldn’t have gone better for him, as the Patriots ran the ball down our throats and came up trumps 21-11.
There were some positives however, how good did the o-line look eh? For the first time in four years it looks like we, fingers crossed, won’t have a god damn awful offensive line. Myles Gaskin was the best back on the day, I don’t think anyone expected that. Jordan Howard couldn’t get it going, and Matt Breida never had the chance to do that.
Next up we head back to Hard Rock Stadium where we host the Buffalo Bills, a team that let’s face it have got the better of us in recent seasons. In the past three years, we’re 1-5 against Sean McDermott’s Bills side.
The good news for Miami is that their superstar receiver DeVante Parker is active after leaving last Sunday’s game early.
OPPONENT PROFILE – BUFFALO BILLS
Head Coach – Sean McDermott
Offensive Playcaller – Brian Daboll
Defensive Playcaller – Sean McDermott/Leslie Frazier
Offensive Captains – Josh Allen, Dion Dawkins
Defensive Captains –Tremaine Edmunds, Jerry Hughes, Jordan Poyer
Special Teams Captains – Reid Ferguson, Andre Roberts
2019 Record – 10-6 (Lost in Wildcard vs HOU)
Key Acquisition – Stefon Diggs
On paper, the Buffalo Bills are the best team in AFC East and should win the division, will they? Probably not, following last weekend’s performance the Pats’ could be hard to stop. Buffalo started their season with a big win at home to the New York Jets, who themselves looked embarrassingly bad.
There’s a lot to like about the Bills, first off they’ve got a great front office and coaching staff. Since Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott came over from Carolina they’ve completely turned around the nation’s perspective and mentality towards the Bills. They were a laughing stock a few years back, now a genuine AFC contender. And that’s through the physical ground and pound style, and defense-minded football they play. Heck they’ve even got their own Super Cam prototype now in Josh Allen.
That could be a real problem for us, some real adjustments are going to have to be made to stop Allen’s rushing ability. He’s not much of a pocket passer, in fact, his accuracy in general is awful. Our secondary could feast if the third-year quarterback overthrows his receivers a lot, again. Maybe stack the line of scrimmage, have 3 interior defensive linemen. Pop Zach Sieler back in the lineup potentially.
Running back is an interesting position group for the Bills. They’re really young. Devin Singletary had a strong rookie year on paper if he can get through a whole season, he’s bound to get over a 1000 yards on the ground. Rookie Zach Moss, another young gun, was one of my favourite backs coming out of college. He will be looking to bounce back from a dreadful 1.2 yards per carry last week.
Buffalo have got one of the best receiving cores in the league, Stefon Diggs is within the top 10 in his position, and John Brown and Cole Beasley compliment him well. All three would fit into the Dolphins lineup. I feel that the Bills got the best end of that trade. Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Noah Igbinoghehe, and Nik Needham will need to be at their very best.
Moving over to their defense. It’s very good. Very good. We’re a bit lucky this week as there are some injuries in Buffalo’s linebacker unit. Starting middle, and weakside backers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano are out for today’s game, meaning A.J Klein and Tyrel Dodson will take their place. Their defensive line is nearing elite too, with Ed Oliver, Jerry Hughes, and Trent Murphy having played a huge part in their success last season.
And wow that secondary is going to be tough to breakdown. The safety tandem of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are tough to game plan around, and that’s without even going into Tre’Davious White. Our division is full of elite corners, in fact, 4 of the top 10 in the league probably do play in the AFC East. Tre White is at the very top of that list.
The Bills are going to be very tough to beat.
LAST TIME WE MET – BUFFALO BILLS
Once again, as the Buffalo Bills are a divisional opponent we don’t have to go back far to find the last time we came up against them. Twas Week 11, last year. The Bills were 6-3 coming off a loss to the Cleveland Browns whilst we were 2-7 off of two straight wins against the Jets and Colts.
Buffalo started with the ball, and from the first play from scrimmage, Devin Singletary rushed for 20 yards. Thankfully for Miami that drive fizzled into a Stephen Hauschka field goal. On 3rd&9, Cole Beasley was stopped short of the first down marker by Jomal Wiltz (now known as Jamal Perry.) 3-0.
The Dolphins first drive wasn’t anywhere near as decent as the Bills’ as Matt Haack was forced to punt on the edge of the endzone. Andre Roberts took the return over midfield to the Dolphins 42. That set the Buffalo Bills in good stead.
Again, the Dolphins defense limited them to 3 as Josh Allen’s shot to John Brown in the front right corner of the endzone was broken up by Nik Needham. Stephen Hauschka converted again to make the score 6-0.
On the first play of the next Dolphins series, Ryan Fitzpatrick was buried by Ed Oliver when trying to hand the ball off to Kalen Ballage. That resulted in a loss of 8. Next came a 3rd&15 opportunity which saw Allen Hurns connect with Fitz for a gain of 17 to move the chains.
A few plays later, Fitz was buried on a play action pass attempt by Corey Liuget. The drive was brought to an end by a punt.
As the 2nd Quarter began, the Bills were on 2nd&7 at their own 21 yard line. Josh Allen connected with John Brown on a slant route for a 25 yard gain and a Buffalo Bills first down due to a Needham missed tackle.
Now on the Dolphins 40, Allen completed one of the best passes I’ve seen from him in the NFL. He pump fakes, before looking for John Brown who ran an outisde post. He was in the middle of a sea of Fins defenders, but the former Wyoming QB placed the ball perfectly with plenty of zip. Bobby McCain wasn’t expecting it and couldn’t get to Brown before he was in the end zone. 13-0 after extra point.
Another Dolphins punt and Bills field goal followed, to make the score 16-0 with 5 minutes left in the 2nd. On that Buffalo drive, Josh Allen picked up 31 on the ground on a read option play.
The Dolphins O finally started to get it going on the next series. Facing a 3rd&5, Ryan Fitzpatrick found DeVante Parker across the middle. DVP had a tonne of free air, and made it a 53 yard gain getting to the Buffalo Bills’ 10. Ballage picked up the first Fins TD of the game on a 2 yard run. 16-7.
Straight away, Brian Flores elected for an onside kick attempt which surprisingly was recovered by Jason Sanders. That meant Miami got the ball instantly at midfield.
The very next play, Ryan Fitzpatrick found Allen Hurns across the middle. He picked up a chunk of yards but fumbled at the Buffalo 24. It was originally declared an incompletion, but Buffalo challenged the ruling and got the ball.
A big Devin Singletary run, and then a forward fumble recovery on the run from John Brown put Buffalo in the redzone straight away. Then, on 3rd&9, Allen connected with a wide open Dawson Knox across the middle to make the score 23-7.
The Dolphins didn’t have to wait long to score however, as Jakeem Grant pulled off a kickoff return TD to close the half. 23-14.
Miami had the ball to begin the second half, but wasted the drive. It ended with a sack by Tremaine Edmunds on 3rd&15. Buffalo marched up the field on a long drive next. One that was topped off by an Allen scramble for a TD on 3rd &9.
Trailing 16, the Fins began to run the clock down to the beginning of the fourth quarter. Despite only picking up 23 on the day. 20 seconds into the final quarter of the game, Chad O’Shea put out the wildcat package on 2nd&3 at the 8 yard line. Jakeem Grant scored on an outisde zone run out of the backfield after a hand off from Kalen Ballage. 30-20. Allen Hurns got stopped on a shovel pass from Fitz on a 2 point attempt.
John Brown caught a deflected pass from Allen to finish the game, 37-20 to the Buffalo Bills.
NOW FOR OUR DOLPHINS V BILLS PREDICTIONS
Jay – Sadly, I think the Bills will win but don’t think it’ll be as straightforward as a lot of pundits are making out. I think we’ll utilise the running game more especially if Parker is out and think Brieda and Gaskin will be used heavily with Howard used at the goal line. 21 – 17 to the Bills.
Andy – I also unfortunately think that the Bills will win. We showed last week how we still cannot stop the run and the Bills will use that to their advantage with both Devin Singletary and the mobile quarterback that is Josh Allen. With our best wide receiver also injured, i can see us struggling against the impressive Buffalo secondary. 24-10 Bills
Shane – 24-10 to the Bills. Josh Allen’s rushing ability has been a problem for us historically and, from what we saw last week vs Cam, I’m not sure those issues have been resolved.
Rich – Ok I’m gonna go against my better judgement and actually predict a Dolphins win tomorrow. 21-17. We need to win this game or statistically the season is basically over!
Me – If, IF we can stop the run. I have a sneaky feeling we could come out on top, 20-18 Miami.