Brant Houghton writes for the Philadelphia Phillies blog here on the Fan Sided Network. In his spare time he writes about the Miami Dolphins on Playoffboundsports.com. Brant is in the process of writing an early preview of the Phins games and this week, we are posting his Miami Vs. Buffalo preview. Check out his other previews at his site linked above.
Get Out Cha Popcorn
By: Brant Houghton
In the first showdown between the Buffalo Bills, and the Miami Dolphins, the game features the first appearance of Terrell Owens in the rivalry between the Phins and Bills. The Dolphins secondary will have to play their best to overcome some of the leagues best receivers in Lee Evans and TO, and get the win in the Week 4 matchup.
Series History: Dolphins lead all-time, 52-37, with one tie.
Last Matchup: Dolphins won last meeting, 16-3 in Toronto, Canada.
Current Matchup Location: Land Shark Stadium, Miami Florida
Date and Time: Sunday, October 4th, 2009, at 4:15 pm eastern time.
Looking Glass: Offense: The Bills feature an offense with some amazing potential. They are led by quarterback Trent Edwards, who has been inconsistent so far in his career. He should not have a problem this year with a high quantity of weapons. Edwards should not have to worry about the run game with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson getting the handoff. Edwards also has Evans and Owens to throw the ball to. All Edwards has to do is throw the ball up in the air, and those two will go up and get it. Owens may be getting old, but he can still catch the ball, and is in good shape, while Evans is a fast, sure-handed receiver who compliments Owens perfectly. The only thing the Bills have to worry about is their offensive line. The Bills traded away their best lineman to the Philadelphia Eagles in Jason Peters. The Bills have addressed their line in the off-season, but only time will tell if this rag-tag bunch of rookies, and veterans will gel together.
The Dolphins biggest challenge will be containing the wide receiver combo. If the secondary can keep Evans and Owens in check, then the team will have no problem coming out victorious. Stopping the run game should be no problem with the line that the Bills suit up.
Looking Glass: Defense: The Bills defense is consistent, and solid, but they really do not have a sure super-star on the squad. The closest thing to one would be defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. The rest of Strouds teammates consists of some solid pass-rushers, and a freak athlete in rookieAaron Maybin. The line projects to be solid, and has the potential to be great, but they need to stay healthy to be a great unit.
The linebackers are led by Paul Posluzny. Posluzny is joined by Kawika Mitchell and Keith Ellison, two players that can downright play. Mitchell was brought in last year to provide some play-off experience, but the Bills will actually need to get to the play-offs for that experience to come into play. These three guys could be the X-factor of the defense. If they perform well, the team will most likely lose, because these three guys provide so much leadership, and so much of the total tackles, that if they cannot cover the opposing tight ends, and stop the opposing running game, that they could actually bring the whole team down.
The secondary is solid and is one of the strong points of the whole team. They are a young, instinctive group that feeds off of emotion. They are a deep squad that has the capability to shut down an opposing passing game because of their depth and experience. Safeties Donte Whitner and Ko Simpson have played from the get go and are prepared to step up in big situations. Second year man Leodis McKelvin is a star in the making, and it will only be a matter of time before he has a break out season.
The Dolphins will have to get the running game going and wear out the linebackers to be successful. Chad Pennington can do that, but because of the youth of this team, it will be much more of a challenge than usual.
Looking Glass: Special Teams: The Bills have some young explosive returners in McKelvin and receiver Roscoe Parrish. Parrish is regarded as one of the most dangerous returners in the game, and has burned the Dolphins for a touchdown in the past. Kicker Rian Lindell is one of the most accurate legs in the game today, and punter Brian Moorman is a quality punter, and is one of the most relied on punters in the game. He rarely gets blocked.
The Dolphins simply need to stop Parrish from beating them in the battle of field position. If they can prevent Parrish from running wild, then they should have no problem winning the battle.
X-Factor: Bills: Lee Evans- The Dolphins will need to keep Evans in check in order to keep the game close. Evans has been one of the best Dolphins killers of this decade. He continually beats us with his lightning quick speed, and his soft hands. With Owens lining up beside him, it will only make him even more dangerous.
X-Factor: Dolphins: Chad Pennington- Pennington will need to have one of his best games of the season to get the Dolphins the win. His job will be to break down the linebackers in coverage. Look for tight ends Anthony Fasano and David Martin to get a lot of looks, and gain a lot of yardage after the catch.
In the first game of the fierce rivalry, the Dolphins will look to make it three straight wins against the Bills. It will not be easy, but the Phins can easily pull it off. All of the Dolphins stars, Ronnie Brown, Pennington, Joey Porter, and Ted Ginn, will need to be on their game, and put in some quality snaps to get their team to hopefully, to 3-1, and no worst than 2-2.