The Miami Dolphins keys to victory against the Buffalo Bills

Emmanuel Ogbah . Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Emmanuel Ogbah . Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Dolphins come into week two with a pivotal matchup against the Buffalo Bills. The outcome of this contest will have major ramifications on divisional and playoff seeding, and the Dolphins will be facing a desperate Bills team that just dropped their home opener to the Steelers.

Before we get into the specifics of this contest, it’s a good idea to review last weeks keys to victory in New England to decide if Miami lived up to those standards.

1. Protect Tua Tagovailoa

On 29 drop backs, Tua Tagovailoa was sacked twice and pressured a total of eleven times. Both his pressure and sack rate were eighth highest in the NFL for their week one contest. He wasn’t running for his life each play, but the pressure got home occasionally and effected the outcome of the game.

2. Slow down New England’s run game

The Patriots had 125 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per carry for the contest. Those numbers took a nose dive in the second half though, where New England only had 42 yards and a 2.8 yard per carry average. They didn’t shut down the running game, but they slowed it down when it mattered most. We can confidently check this box.

3. Win the turnover battle

Ah, the great equalizer. I had predicted that forcing Mac Jones to pass the ball would lead to interceptions; boy was I wrong about that. This defense found another way to take the ball away though and that was through fumbles. The Xavien Howard forced fumble (and fumble recovery) ended up being the difference maker in this game. There’s a chance they would have won anyway, but I’m glad it didn’t come down to a final drive for Miami. We can also check this box.

Advanced stats are courtesy of SIS Data Hub Pro

Being successful in two of the three keys to the game will usually result in victory; all three is going to assure success for the Dolphins. It wasn’t a pretty victory, but they prevailed in a few key areas and were able to get the win.

Now we move onto Buffalo. The standards for our keys to victory are going to be a little bit higher this week for the Miami Dolphins. As I said before, they’re facing a Buffalo team that will be in desperate need of a win here. An 0-2 start is going to difficult to overcome for them and they’ll be pulling out all the stops in Miami. Lets see where Miami needs to succeed to prevail this week….