The Miami Dolphins are in an excellent position for this week’s game against the Buffalo Bills, even though they may drop down a few spots the draft order because of recent victories. Starting at Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel and continuing all the way to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, the organization looks solid. This Sunday at 1 p.m. at home against the Buffalo Bills, they will look for a third straight win.
During the teams’ first matchup this season, the Bills came away with a win in a 31-21 victory. The Dolphins’ crucial mistakes were an interception of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that led to a 98-yard touchdown drive by the Bills, a crucial fumble from wide receiver Preston Williams, and of course, the onside kick returned for a touchdown by Bills safety Micah Hyde. The Bills have gone 1-2 since then, and the Dolphins are 2-1. While the Dolphins hit strides against the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, the Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns.
The Dolphins are the superior team right now. Yes, the Bills are 6-3 and seem likely to finish in the playoff race, but they are not a great team. Quarterback Josh Allen still has question marks, the defense has slowed down, and they have become a different team since their win against the Dolphins. Allen has matched his rookie total of 10 touchdowns but has a 38.0 QBR and 7 interceptions. The Bills are now hitting a harder section of their schedule, facing the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots in coming weeks. The Dolphins could possibly win 3 more games against the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Cincinnati Bengals left on their schedule. Barring a disaster this weekend, it seems unlikely the Dolphins will finish with less than 5 wins.
Let’s talk for a moment about former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who seems to be getting another chance in the NFL. Someone from the Dolphins organization will be in Atlanta for his workout tomorrow. Some have argued that a Saturday workout before a game is a joke. Most of his workouts have taken place on a Tuesday or Wednesday; 11 teams have so far attended. This may be a publicity stunt by the league, but one thing is for sure: if Kaepernick is on his game, a team will likely take a chance — possibly even the Chicago Bears, who have had their quarterback woes with Mitchell Trubisky. It is unlikely that the Dolphins sign Kaepernick to a deal, but Brian Flores made it clear someone will evaluate all talent.
There is one specific player I suggest you watch this weekend. Number 40 – Nik Needham. Though the undrafted corner from UTEP was a disaster during the preseason and eventually put on the practice squad, he has had a great two weeks. The Dolphins staff has developed Needham and fellow corner Jomal Wiltz, who they poached from the New England Patriots practice squad. He could become a perfect number 2 to Xavien Howard.
Lastly, for the tank fans: Cheer for our team this weekend. Win, lose or draw, this team will fight for head coach Brian Flores and his staff.