The Miami Dolphins have their toughest game of the 2022 season ahead of them on Saturday night in Buffalo, a game they need to win, but likely won’t.
Something happened over the last two weeks for Miami Dolphins fans. The “this team is different” mantra that has been the slogan all season, dissipated into a cloud of dust over the last two weeks. Like a snap of Thanos’ fingers, half of the hopes and expectations for the season were gone.
Now, Dolphins fans are wondering if all of this was just another typical Dolphins season that gives way to high hopes and changes only to see December come and let them down.
The Dolphins let the 49ers win two games ago. The defense played well enough for most of the game but Tua Tagovailoa, as we know, left a lot of open receivers with bad passes and missed opportunities. The Chargers? They bullied the Dolphins.
Defensively, the Chargers stopped Tua, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle, and outcoached the Boy Genius, Mike McDaniel. Offensively, they scared Josh Boyer enough that he didn’t know what kind of defense to use. But none of them worked. This week, Miami gets the Bills.
It’s hard enough to play the Bills but it becomes harder when the game is late in the season, in Orchard Park. It’s even worse when it is the tail end of a three-game road trip.
How bad has it been playing the Bills? Miami hasn’t won a game in Orchard Park, N.Y. since 2016. The Christmas Eve game went to overtime and Miami won 34-31. That victory capped a four-game skid against the Bills on the road. You have to go back to the 2010 and 2011 seasons for the last time Miami won back-to-back games at their home stadium.
In week three this year, the Dolphins won for the first time in either venue for the first time since 2018 and as Bills fans have been quick to point out, the sun had a hand in that victory. This weekend, 1-7″ of snow could fall on Saturday night, and “weather” will play her hand once again.
The Miami Dolphins roster is good. It’s really good. Yes, there are problem areas and injuries, and those are hard for any team to overcome but for Miami, their issues are internal. It’s defensive coaching, offensive game planning, play calling, and the play of Tua Tagovailoa.
Mike McDaniel has shown an inability in the last two games to make adequate changes to the game plan when his initial plan doesn’t work. Tua has been one of the worst quarterbacks over the past two weeks and there is no debate about that. The Dolphins’ defense has played well but Josh Boyer has put them in a position to fail with horrible defensive schemes that even when executed well, were not favorable for success.
Now, we are to believe that all of that will change on Saturday night. The Dolphins are going to beat the current number-one seed in the AFC. A double-digit win total with a two-game lead over the Dolphins. That is what we are, as fans, supposed to believe, because, we are fans.
The Dolphins won’t get knocked from the postseason this week but they need to get their minds right and honestly, I’m not sure they can this week. The Bills want revenge and they smell blood in the water after the Dolphins’ last two games. They have a blueprint to beat Miami’s offense and again, McDaniel hasn’t shown he can make the changes to beat it.
Miami will need a strong running game and a commitment to it. They will need to get Mike Gesicki involved in the passing game as a receiver, not a blocker, something they haven’t done all year. They need to rely less on Tyreek Hill and utilize the coverage on Trent Sherfield and the running backs, again, something they haven’t done all year.
Yes, the Miami Dolphins have the talent to beat the Buffalo Bills but will they? I won’t put money on that.