For the second week in a row, the Miami Dolphins will face a tough division rival.
As we round the corner to week number two of the young NFL season, the Miami Dolphins get set for their contest with the Buffalo Bills in their own back yard of Hard Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins had a disappointing start to the season in their week one loss to the Patriots and will be looking to rebound. The game will also mark the second straight week for the defense to face a mobile quarterback on the opposing offense. Let’s take a look at the Dolphins defense and how they matchup against the Bills offense.
Bills offensive line vs Dolphins defensive line – The Bills made some changes along the offensive line from last year’s line with Cody Ford moving inside from right tackle to right guard and Daryl Williams moving into right tackle. Other than that the unit is the same from 2019 which is beneficial to the Bills in this case. The unit has served the offense well on both passing protection and rushing plays.
The defensive line for the Dolphins enters it’s week two matchup with the Bills trying to learn from week one where, as a unit, they couldn’t win the trenches and allowed the Patriots to run the offense they wanted. Christian Wilkins, Davon Godchaux, and company need to do a better job. Although they did get 10 tackles as a position group, they were not a huge factor in week one as the Patriots ran for 217 yards and Cam Newton only missed four passes in the game. With the Bills coming to town, they need to find a way to attack the trenches. I for one feel the group is very capable of being a strength for the Dolphins as they continue to find and build their identity.
Edge – Based on the performance of week one for both teams, the edge would seem to go to the Bills offensive line. They are a veteran unit that plays well together creating opportunities for Allen to run the offense either passing or with his running backs and his own running ability. The Dolphins defensive line needs to do a better job in neutralizing the run.
Quarterback vs Linebackers – Josh Allen has had success against the Dolphins. He is 3-1 as a starter and has thrown for 913 yards 10 touchdowns with only three interceptions. He has also rushed for 318 yards and added three scores of his own on the ground. Last week, Allen threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. while also running for 57 yards and another touchdown.
The linebackers for the Dolphins did a lot in game one against the Patriots. Both Jerome Baker and Kyle Van Noy registered sacks with Baker also getting 12 tackles in the game as well. Defensively, the Dolphins have been able to get to the young Bills quarterback. as they have sacked Allen five times in four games. Van Noy and Baker need to build off their performances in week one and with the defensive line both disrupt and attack the Bills offense.
Edge – Although the Bills are in a three-game win streak against the Dolphins, I’d like to say Baker, Van Noy, and the rest of the linebackers can learn from week one and get a slight edge in their favor. They need to work with the line and disrupt the offense and most especially create turnovers. In Allen’s lone loss against the Dolphins, the Dolphins won the turnover battle 3-1.
Bills receivers vs Dolphins secondary – The Bills receivers benefitted from Allen throwing for 312 yards as he spread the ball around to eight receivers. Although none of the receivers broke the 100-yard mark, newly acquired Stefon Diggs had the high mark with 86 yards. John Brown has had a good deal of success against the Dolphins in the past has scored three touchdowns and in the week 11 matchup, last season had 137 yards and two scores.
The secondary for the Dolphins certainly should benefit from learning from their week one loss. Although there were only 19 attempts through the air, none of the Patriots receivers had more than 57 yards and they did not surrender a touchdown through the air. Accounting for 20 tackles as a group, they minimized the impact of the passing game. Last season in week 11 when the Bills visited, Allen threw for his highest total against the Dolphins (256) and three touchdowns. Xavien Howard, Byron Jones will have a couple of tough matchups covering Brown and Diggs.
Edge – A matchup too tough to predict although very important to the outcome of the game. Let’s call it a toss-up Dolphins have a revamped defensive backfield and the Bills have had success in the past with the passing game. The key will be turnovers. Can the Dolphins secondary get turnovers against the Bills? If they can secure interceptions and have three and outs then the Dolphins secondary will put the Dolphins in a position to succeed in this game and beyond.
Offensive Coordinator vs Defensive Coordinator – Brian Daboll, the offensive coordinator for the Bills is in his third season as offensive coordinator for the Bills. His offenses have improved in his first two seasons and should look to continue through this season.
Josh Boyer enters game two in his first season as an offensive coordinator and should continue improving. His defense needs to find ways to create turnovers and lessen the time the Bills offense is on the field.
Edge – Josh Boyer. In this very early season, Boyer and his defense have already shown a positive difference from last season’s efforts.