Dolphins vs Bills
The Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills this week! Miami will make one final stop on their 3 game road stretch this Saturday night. Anchoring down in Buffalo with the intention of righting the ship after a disappointing trip to the west coast.
The Dolphins headed out of South Florida a couple of weeks ago with a head-to-head advantage over the Buffalo Bills and an equal record. Quite simply, the first team to slip up lost the edge for the AFC East, and as it transpired that team was to be the Miami Dolphins.
Tua and co had a rough couple of games, the first of which fell at the hands of Nick Bosa and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers defense. The Dolphins struggled to move the football for four straight quarters, and it was very evident that they were missing any experience at both tackle positions with veteran Terron Armstead sidelined.
Despite a lacking a disappointing loss to the Niners, Tua still threw for 295 yards on a bad day. He did however throw his first interception since Week 4. He followed it up with a second later in the game.
Some Bumps on the Road
It felt like an off game for the offense, they were outmatched by a very good San Francisco defense led by defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who is clearly a head coaching candidate for a very good reason.
Unfortunately, the slide didn’t last for just one game, something was drastically off with the Dolphins offense on Sunday Night football too. Tua missed his mark on multiple occasions and the Dolphins receivers were blanketed by an inexperienced Chargers secondary from the very first drive until the game was out of reach.
While it wasn’t a great trip for Miami and fans will be glad it’s in the rearview mirror, recognition must be handed to both Christian Wilkins and Jaelen Phillips, who are playing some sensational football right now. Phillips had a breakout game under the lights against the Chargers, dominating his man throughout the game and had it not been for a terrible roughing the passer call on a fine sack Miami might have scraped a win. It’s great to see Jaelen Phillips developing into a pass rusher that can outsmart his opponent with a variety of moves, and long may that continue.
Stop the Slide
There’s no doubt that the west coast trip is one to forget. Miami can very quickly turn the tide with a great performance against the Buffalo Bills in their own backyard. Any hope of claiming the AFC East title rests on winning this game. The Dolphins are two games back with four games to go and can’t afford to see that margin increase to three. Not to mention the Patriots and the Jets are just one game behind Miami and threatening to take a playoff berth away from them.
Miami’s fate is very firmly held in their own hands. They will play each division rival in the final four games of the season. Knocking off each and every one of them guarantees the Dolphins a playoff spot. Even if not the AFC East title.
Bills looking to Avenge Loss to Dolphins
This team is far superior to both the Jets and the Patriots offensively when they’re playing the way they have done for the majority of this season. There are undoubtedly concerns about the injury situation with the offensive line. Terron Armstead has been beaten up all season and played through pain to help the team. Even he was finally sidelined against the 49ers with a pectoral injury, but the man is a warrior, and he forced his way back into the line up just a week later.
Without him, the line lacks guidance and direction. Armstead is a league veteran and the leader of that offensive line group. He commands the group and holds them accountable and his ability is only half of the value you get from having him out on the field.
The Dolphins will need that experience against two very good defenses in Robert Saleh’s defense and the high-flying Patriots D led by linebacker Matthew Judon.
Holding off those defenses is going to be pivotal. Tua along with the entire offense will no doubt will be tested in those matchups. But this is a Pro Bowl led offense. Tua has played incredibly well all season, which made the shaky performances on the west coast look very out of place. McDaniel and co will work with him to correct those errors and tidy things up again in a hurry, and I’d imagine we see Tua and his receivers get back to their surgical selves sooner rather than later.
Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills Week 15 – 08:15 PM EST
The Buffalo Bills have won four games in a row and thus reclaimed the throne of the AFC East. It is now their division to lose. Beating Miami at home on prime-time football would all but seal the deal. There couldn’t possibly be much more motivation for this Bills team going into the game.
Josh Allen and the offense have been criticized for lackluster offensive football in recent weeks. Yet, the team is still winning. One reporter flat-out told Josh Allen their performances weren’t good enough to win a Super Bowl. This will no doubt have the Bills star quarterback fired up. Losing the first game to Miami will certainly be etched into the minds of the entire Bills franchise.
The reporter was not wrong though, the Bills have looked uncomfortable offensively for several weeks now. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has been scrutinized for a lack of imagination.
Dolphins vs Bills Offense
The Bills depend heavily on the talent of Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen to bail them out of otherwise ugly offensive drives. Which has worked several times so far this season. That’s a threat to the Miami Dolphins secondary. There needs to be a key focus on Diggs and eliminating him from the flow of the game. Therefore forcing Dorsey to find options through other wide receivers. He doesn’t appear to be too comfortable working others into the game plan.
This game is a screaming opportunity for the Miami Dolphins offense to reemerge from the shadows. Tua Tagovailoa needs to play well. He needs to hit his targets early. The offense as a whole needs to force the Bills’ defense to change on the fly.
I believe a small part of it is that teams have a lot more tape on the Dolphins. Some are figuring out some of the strategies of Mike McDaniel’s playbook. That’s fine, it happens during football season. The Niners linebackers sat deeper and took those windows away from Tua. We needed a backup plan. It seemed that Miami was a little underprepared for plan B.
Coach McDaniel Needs to be Ready
That won’t be the case in Buffalo. McDaniel is an offensive mastermind. He will craft new ways to exploit the space if the success of option A is reduced. That reworked game plan is something I’ll be excited to see this Saturday. But, this is by no means a game Buffalo is going to hand to the Dolphins.
The conditions are going to be very cold. There could be strong winds, and Miami is not used to playing in freezing-cold circumstances. The Bills might have that advantage. But, at the end of the day, both teams have players from all around the country. Many of them have played in the cold before, so both sides will adjust. The loud crowd will benefit the Bills though.
Miami needs to get a grip on this game early. It’s crucial they do so. They can’t battle the elements, the Bills fans, and themselves.
It’s a must-win game on the road and the Dolphins playoff chances depend on it significantly. Let’s go get a win. Fins Up. Dolphins vs Bills, let it snow!
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