Based on their rough performance on Opening Weekend, the Buffalo Bills will be under pressure when they visit the Miami Dolphins this coming Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins will play host to the Buffalo Bills this coming Sunday, and because of their suboptimal Week 1 outing, the visiting team will be as desperate for a win as you could be in the early season.
The Bills were supposed to be the kings of the division, the cream of the crop of the AFC East. They took huge leaps last season in their progression, and quarterback Josh Allen put together a statistical resume worthy of MVP consideration. They were division champions for the first time since 1995, and even held a two-score lead at one point in last year’s AFC Championship game. There was no sign of regression based on off season transactions, and the Bills were heavy favorites to win the division again before last week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quickly put a wrench in those gears.
In a game in which they were nearly full touchdown underdogs, the visiting Steelers were able to stifle what was one of the most high-powered offenses in the league last season, holding the Bills to just 10 points through three quarters, and 16 overall. Allen threw for a modest (for him) 270 yards and one touchdown, and was sacked three times. His QBR was 40.7 percent, his lowest mark since the fourth week of his second season and fifth lowest of his career.
The suppressed offensive attack would result in an improbable loss for Buffalo. The Steelers would emerge with a hard-fought road victory, something that bodes very well for the Miami Dolphins, who were victorious themselves on Sunday afternoon.
Because of Miami’s victory over New England coupled with losses from the Bills and Jets, the Dolphins find themselves in an unlikely spot atop the division. While a Jets’ loss was expected, the Bills certainly didn’t think they’d be looking up at the Dolphins when they visit Miami for a now-significant Week 2 matchup.
Buffalo will be desperate. While it is not at all impossible to climb out of a two-game deficit, especially so early on in the season, they’d certainly like to avoid that situation completely. Miami’s first handful of games represents the most difficult part of their schedule, and the Dolphins could rack up late-season wins against inferior opponents. If they are able to get a two-game jump on Buffalo, then Miami could inch closer to becoming the division favorites themselves.
Buffalo will not only face the challenge of playing for their immediate lives, but it will be the Dolphins’ first home game of the season. The house should be about as packed as it gets, and it’s going to be hot and humid. South Florida September weather is no joke, and Miami has used the local elements as a home field advantage for decades. If the Dolphins are able to remain competitive through the first three quarters, then they could potentially be able to take advantage of a gassed Bills team that will be fighting for the oxygen masks on the sideline.
The game will be played at 1PM local time, and will be one of the premier matchups on the early slate of games.