Miami Dolphins: Bills still tough without starting secondary

Jordan Poyer Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Poyer Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Dolphins fans are waking up today knowing that there is a game today. They also know that the Bills are banged up on defense.

The Dolphins are riding the comeback victory wave of a week ago. The Bills are riding two consecutive blowout victories. A short week and a banged-up secondary.

How bad is the Bills’ secondary right now? Here are their starters in the secondary.

  • Tre’Davious White – CB
  • Dane Jackson – CB
  • Jordan Poyer – Safety
  • Micah Hyde – Safety

Those four are vital components of the Bills’ impressive defense. Today, here are the players that will be starting.

  • Christian Benford  or Kaiir Elam – CB
  • Siran Neal – CB
  • Jaquan Johnson – Safey
  • Damar Hamlin – Safety

Benford and Elam are both rookies. Neal is in his 5th NFL season. Hamlin has two years of experience and Johnson has four.

All four of their starters are out of this game with only Poyer having a slight chance of playing. It was released on Saturday that Poyer is likely not going to play.

Miami has to find a way to attack the Bills’ secondary if they are going to have a shot at winning. That would sound easy but in order to get to the secondary, Miami has to buy time for Tua and that means facing one of the most brutal defensive fronts in the NFL.

The Bills’ defensive front seven is a veritable list of names that fans around the NFL recognize. Greg Rousseau, Von Miller, A.J. Epenesa, Tremaine Edmunds, and Matt Milano. Inside, the Bills are a little banged up as well. Both Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips are reportedly out for today’s game.

Even without several key members of the defense, the Bills are still good and will try and rattle Tua Tagovailoa early and often. They will force Tua into making mistakes by disguising their defensive blitz scheme.

Offensively, the Bills are healthy and deadly. The Bills have outscored their 2022 opponents by a combined 72 – 17. Since 2021, the Bills have four games of more than 40 points and scored 47 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last year.

Miami will need to stop the Bills’ talented WRs but more importantly, they have to stop Josh Allen. So far this year, the Dolphins have not done a great job of putting pressure on opposing QBs, and this week they face a very good offensive line. Josh Allen will make mistakes when his pocket collapses and his first inclination is to run the ball, something he is exceptional at.

Containing Allen will be the biggest key to this game for the Dolphins’ defense. Keep him in the pocket and make him throw the ball into spots Miami’s secondary can defend. Allen will take his shots and the Dolphins have to be ready.

The deep passes will happen but Miami’s weakest part of their defense is the mid routes 10 yards downfield where the Bills can use the open space. Their receivers are very well disciplined and run exceptional routes. The Dolphins’ defense will be tasked with taking away those options. It is imperative that Josh Boyer disguises his coverage.

Miami fans are riding a wave of excitement and a win today will take that to a new level that we haven’t seen in a very long time. It won’t be easy but it shouldn’t be. Miami has a chance to make a statement against a renewed rivalry against the Bills.