The Miami Dolphins get their first taste of Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills this season on Sunday in a divisional matchup between two of the six undefeated teams remaining. The Bills have completely dominated the head-to-head games recently, winning last year 35-0 and 26-11 in weeks two and eight. Mike McDaniel will be looking to end Buffalo’s seven-game win streak against Miami in his first meeting with the division rivals as head coach.
To see the Phin Tank crew discuss last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, click here.
The game will be played at Hard Rock Stadium and broadcast live at 1 p.m. on CBS4 in South Florida.
- Can the Dolphins put together a complete performance?
Miami has shown authority on offense and defense in its first two wins this season. In week one’s matchup against Mac Jones and the New England Patriots, the Dolphins’ defense got the majority of the credit for holding the opposing offense to only seven points. In a game where Tua Tagovailoa and the offense struggled to find a rhythm, the defense constantly got after the quarterback and forced turnovers. It was a truly dominant performance from start to finish.
However, the defense was less dominant when the team traveled to Maryland to take on the Ravens last Sunday. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense and managed to score 38 points on Xavien Howard and the rest of the defense. If not for Tagovailoa’s historic performance, finishing with 469 yards and six touchdowns, the Dolphins likely would have been blown out in this game. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both had monster performances and McDaniels’ offense dominated the second half.
With both sides of the ball shining in separate games, it is imperative that this be the week that the two coexist in a team-wide, dominant showing. The Bills are considered by many as one of the most well rounded teams with a top defense and offense. The Fins must bring their A-game on both sides of the ball in order to compete with the reigning division champions.
- Can Miami slow down Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen?
Miami’s defensive coordinator Josh Boyer has had all week to gameplan against two of the best offensive players this season. While Miami’s newest receiver Hill is currently leading the league in receiving yards (284), Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs is not far behind in the race (270). Diggs and Allen are entering their third season playing with one another, and its safe to say the quarterback-receiver duo’s chemistry is at an all-time high.
In the Bills’ Monday night victory over the Tennesee Titans, Diggs finished with a preposterous 12 receptions, 148 yards, and three touchdowns in arguably the best performance by a receiver this season. Allen, the current favorite to win league MVP, has also been unstoppable in both of Buffalo’s victories. Over the first two games, the four-year veteran is 4th in passing yards (614) and tied for 1st in passing touchdowns (7).
Buffalo is also expecting its third-year receiver, Gabriel Davis, to return after missing last week’s game due to an Ankle injury. Davis was impressive in the Bills’ first game against the Los Angeles Rams with four receptions, 88 yards, and a touchdown.
While stopping the Bills’ superstars is near impossible, slowing them down and limiting their impact on the game is key for Miami to remain undefeated. Miami’s secondary will be in the spotlight this week, and Jevon Holland and company have a great opportunity to redeem themselves after being embarrassed by Jackson last week.
- Can the Dolphins’ offense get back to where they were last week?
Replicating last week’s 42-point performance won’t be easy, but Miami may need something similar to overcome Buffalo. The Dolphins’ first-half struggles have been almost completely wiped from memory, mainly due to the statement performance the offense provided after halftime last week. Tagovailoa led his team to four consecutive touchdowns to finish the game, and the offense had a flow that fans have been itching for since drafting the Alabama standout in 2020.
McDaniel and the offense will be playing an objectively better defense this week and the team will need contributions outside of Tagovailoa, Waddle, and Hill to compete. Tagovailoa’s second-half dominance through the air opened up the run game and kept Baltimore’s defense on its toes at the game’s end. This allowed for the Chase Edmonds’ season-long 28-yard run that put the Dolphins in scoring position during their final drive. A healthy mix of running and passing plays will do wonders for the offense and allow it to control the game’s tempo. Keeping Buffalo’s defense on the field and limiting the opportunities for the Bills’ superstars will be key for McDaniel and his team.