How the Miami Dolphins can beat the Buffalo Bills:
2. Linebackers must step up
One of the biggest question marks on the Dolphins coming into the season was the linebacker unit, and they’ve done next to nothing to dispel that notion over the first two weeks.
In Week 1 against the Patriots, Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts were the only two linebackers to notch more than 2 tackles, and they amassed just 7 between the two of them. A week later in Baltimore, Duke Riley led all linebackers with 3 tackles, while the player who has led the team in tackles in each of the last three seasons, Jerome Baker, had a total of one assisted tackle. And then there is Jaelan Phillips, who may not fully be considered a linebacker, but has been noticeably silent in the early going of 2022.
While tackle counts certainly don’t tell the entire story, the unit has struggled both in run defense and pass coverage, the latter being especially true in Week 1. They’ll need to get things figured out if they want to help the team be successful against the Bills. Containing the edges is crucial against Josh Allen, and getting pressure on him early and often will be a key to the game.
He hasn’t played a down yet in his NFL career, but now would be a good time to unleash rookie LB Channing Tindall, who could develop into something of an “Allen Spy” with his blazing speed and chase-down ability. He’d have quite the test for his first game action, but he has the chance to become a key contributor right off the bat.