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The Buffalo Bills, coming off a 40-32 lost at home to the New England Patriots, travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins, coming off an extremely disappointing 23-20 lost at Jacksonville.  The game is a 4:30 kickoff on CBS.


You don't like to call a game so early in the season a must win, but you also did not anticipate the Dolphins losing on the road to a Jacksonville team that they beat last year in Jacksonville, a game in which the defense really dominated.  This year, it was a much different story, as the Dolphins did not register a sack and allowed QB Blake Bortles to have one of his best games as a professional.  So far thru 2 games, a defensive unit that many thought would be one of the better units in the NFL has been a HUGE disappointment.


To compound matters, the offense has gotten off to slow starts in both games, and has had not been able to get any type of running game going at all.  To make matters worst, an offensive line that has struggled so far will not have OLT Brandon Albert, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Jacksonville game.


Let's take a look at home the team's matchup going into the game.


Miami comes into the game ranked 24th in Total offense, generating 321.0 yards per game.  Miami ranks 10th in passing at 263.0 yards per game, but struggle in the run game, averaging only 58.0 yards per game, which ranks 30th.  Miami ranks 26th in points scored with an 18.5 point per game average.  They face a Buffalo defense that is giving up 405.5 yards per game, which ranks 28th.  The Bills are giving up 345.5 yards in the passing game, which ranks 32nd, but they are only giving up 60.0 yards per game rushing, which ranks 2nd in the NFL.


You look at those stats and you see the Bills have given up a TON of yardage in the passing game.  Tom Brady went 38-59 for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game against the Bills last week, only being sacked once.  It screams to attack the Bills with the pass, but the strength of the Bills defense, it's Front Four goes against a unit that is struggling and once again will not have OLT Brandon Albert in regards to the offensive line.  And while the Bills are stout against the run, the Dolphins must attempt to establish SOME type of run game, as they just cannot afford to be one dimensional against this Bills defensive front.


QB Ryan Tannehill looked much better in the Jacksonville game, going 30-44 for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is 52-78 for 585 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.  I would suspect Miami will look to get the ball out of Ryan's hands quickly in this game going with the short passing game.  He will need to be crisp in this game, with good, quick reads.  WR Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Rishard Matthews and DeVante Parker will have to play well.  It goes without saying that the offensive line will need to step up there play, and I would suspect the Dolphins will have someone helping OLT Jason Fox, who will be filling in for Albert.  RB Lamar Miller and TE Jordan Cameron have been cleared and will play Sunday.  Cameron could be a big key in the passing game as well.


Switching to the other side of the ball, Miami comes into the game defensively giving up 372.5 yards per game, ranking 23rd in the NFL.  Miami is giving up 230.5 yards a game passing, while giving up 142.0 yards rushing, ranking 27th.  Miami is only giving up 16.5 points per game, which ranks 4th in the NFL.  They face a Bills offense averaging 345.5 yards per game, ranking 16th in the NFL.  They are generating 192.0 yards in the passing game, ranking 28th, but are 2nd in the NFL in rushing at over 153.5 yards per game.  Buffalo is scoring 29.5 points per game, ranking 4th in the NFL.  Defensively, the number one thing Miami needs to do is STOP or CONTAIN the run game of the Bills, something which they have struggled with so far in 2015.  DT Ndamukong Suh has struggled with basics and discipline issues and has been out of position on some plays.  And while he has had some issues, he still has drawn double teams, which means Mitchell, Vernon and Wake NEED to start winning one on one battles.  With the struggles agains the run, you can believe the Bills will come in wanting to pound the rock with new aquisition RB LeSean McCoy.  QB Tyrod Taylor has been solid, completing 37-49 passes for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He has also thrown 3 interceptions and has been sacked 8 times, even with his mobility.  The Bills have weapons with WR Percy Harvin, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods along with former Dolphin TE Charles Clay.


Point blank, the defensive Front Four for Miami MUST play better, starting with Suh.  Maimi has only 1 sack for the season and has been getting gouged in the run game.  This must stop and stop now, if the Dolphins want to be the team and defensive unit people thought they would be.  The linebackers played better last week, and need to continue that trend.  The secondary had their issues last week, as S Walt Aikens got beat on a double move for a big play touchdown.  CB Brice McCain struggled in the Jacksonville game as well.


Miami had concerns about the rookie special teams replacements in punter Matt Darr and placekicker Andrew Franks, but they have been solid for Miami so far, and that will need to continue on this game against the Bills.


Miami came into the 2015 with a lot of expectations.  After the loss to the Jaquars, you have had a lot of the national media and the fan base state these are the same old Dolphins.  The division is MUCH better than it was in 2014, and Miami cannot afford to lose this game at HOME to a Bills team that has given them problems that last few years.  Miami did beat the Bills in Miami last year with an OL that was make shift.  They will need to repeat that again if they want to maintain those expectations.  Big game Miami.  Home game.  NEED THIS GAME.



Well I told friends back in the 1990s that sticking with Tom Oliva_otti (No D in his name) as the defensive coordinator would be Shula’s undoing as the headcoach…and it was.  Shula made excuse after excuse about he but never fired him and ultimately went down with the ship.  When Wannstedt went into his final season with Wade Smith, a rookie, as his starting LT I told people it would be a bad decision that might cost him his job. It did. A year and a half ago, I said that keeping Kevin Coyle would be Philbin’s downfall. It hasn’t yet, but it will. That’s not news Miami Fans want to read 2 games into a season that was full of hope just 2 weeks ago. However, you can’t ignore the truth. Coyle’s defense is subpar even with standout players. He, like the Miami Dolphins, continues to underperform.  My criticism of Coyle is of his philosophy on defense that continues to play a bend, hope-we-don’t-break defense.  It is a lousy scheme and he has finished each season with a worse product on the field. Even if Miami sneaks into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, his defense will embarrass the fans. 

     This team let Odrick go, (If you don’t remember Jared Odrick just watch todays game again. He spent all game in the backfield) and signed the 105 million dollar thug. So far thug life has cost them 20 million dollars a tackle. Not bad if you’re Suh but bad if you’re the Dolphins or their fans. He is looking like a huge bust after signing his payday. If Coyle doesn’t manage to single handedly sink Philbin, this FA signing might. 2 games in things can change, but so far Suhs understudy, Phillips, has been better, by a lot.

     If the DC wasn’t as bad as he is, the OL would be getting the sharp end of this article. This is strike 3. You’ve had 2 off-seasons to fix the middle of the OL. It is being manned by a couple of guys who should be bagging groceries. Dallas Thomas is every DL guys dream. Throw in obvious poor coaching and play calling and its adds up to a bunch of sacks for Ryan Tannehill.  Not good for the team and not good for the faithful, as this all leads to losing football games.

     What is most maddening about this team? They’ll hang with the powerhouse teams for the most part only to lose by a FG. Then they lay an absolute egg against a lesser team. Remember how good they looked on a Thursday Night as they beat the playoff bound Bengals in Cincy 22-20? The following week they got their jocks handed to them by the winless Tampa Bay Bucs. Who can forget closing that season out against the hapless Bills and Jets…only to lose both and miss the playoffs.  Now go to 2014. They start the season 1-2….beat the Patriots, then lose two straight. The first one was on the road at the Bills…okay that is forgivable. They followed that with a disaster at home against KC.  KC wasn’t a bad team last year but good teams win those games. Miami then went into the hard part of its schedule 1-2 and never recovered. They closed that year with a loss to one of the worst teams in football, the NY Jets of last season.  Inexcusable!

     Well, you can better believe that Rex Ryan and his team will be ready to play this coming Sunday. Not sure I can say the same for the Dolphins. They’ve looked flat for two consecutive weeks on both sides of the ball. While executing some plays fine, they either self destruct or simply dont get it done in crunch.  In either case, the Bills will probably be favored and should be. They could lay a 40 burger up on this pathetic excuse of a defense. We all but know the coaching staff will ignore what NE did to them and run plays completely different. NE ran a lot of short passes and attacked with crossing patterns. They also ran draw plays up the gut. On Defense, NE didn’t really stuff the Bills but did enough to win. It is a pretty easy gameplan. If Lazor has RT doing a lot of 5 step drops, this game will get ugly very fast. Miami doesn't match up well here along the OL. The Bills interior will eat up Miami's. Running on first down will be disasterous and predicatable. Miami needs to open up slinging the rock and mix in some 2nd down runs to keep the Bills honest. Do that and they might come away with a victory. For right now, yes, its too early to call for Philbin's Head. He'll be the coach at least through half of this season. When, and if, they become eliminated from the post-season will be the time to throw in the towel. 




Next Game

Week 4: Jets at Dolphins.

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