Do the Dolphins stand a fighting chance against the Buffalo Bills?
By Luke Allen
The 2023 NFL playoffs are here and the Dolphins just barely squeaked in to the seventh and final AFC wildcard spot.
The Dolphins drew the two-seed Buffalo Bills in the wildcard round of the playoffs and will play this Sunday at the 1:00 ET slot. However, the big story this weekend is the fact the Dolphins will be without Tua Tagovailoa.
The Bills are favored by 13 points on Sunday
A Miami Dolphins team traveling up to Buffalo, New York in January is never a good thing. However, a Dolphins team traveling up to Buffalo in January with Skylar Thompson starting at quarterback is a very bad thing. The 13-point spread seems a bit generous to Miami.
But is the upset possible?
Back in December, the Dolphins made the arctic trek up to Buffalo and kept the Bills on the ropes in a close 29-32 loss in prime time. Miami had an 8-point lead in the fourth quarter, but 11 straight Buffalo points, including a field goal as time expired, led the Bills to a key win against Tua and the Dolphins.
However, as mentioned previously, Tua will not be available this time. This will be a different Dolphins team this weekend.
Teams do NOT want to play the Bills right now
The entire country has been keeping up with Damar Hamlin’s story. The Buffalo Bills’ safety has ignited a flame in this Bills team after surviving cardiac arrest on the field last week.
Since then, Damar Hamlin has been discharged from the hospital and thankfully seems to be on the road to recovery as he is able to be reunited with his family and teammates.
This is an incredible and amazing story for everyone in the NFL — and the country — and will give the Buffalo Bills a new reason to play their hearts out for the remainder of the season.
Just ask the New England Patriots who, last week, gave up a kickoff return touchdown on the Bills’ first snap since Damar lost his heartbeat on the field. The fans in Buffalo erupted and the energy surrounding the team was palpable the entire game.
The Dolphins are faced with an electric Buffalo atmosphere as the Bills are determined to win for Damar.
Can Skylar Thompson beat the odds?
With Tua still out with yet another seemingly major concussion, rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson will likely get the start in Buffalo on Sunday.
Conversations have even started surrounding Tua’s future in football being in jeopardy already.
However, the focus is on Skylar Thompson now. Thompson was not efficient last week in a disgusting 11-6 win over the New York Jets last weekend, but guess what — he won the game.
He does not have to put up gaudy numbers. He doesn’t need to be great. He needs to get the ball to his elite wide receivers and not make mistakes.
If Skylar Thompson can play efficiently, take care of the ball, and make a few good throws here and there, the Dolphins can win the football game if they get some lucky bounces.
Can Teddy Bridgewater play?
While head coach Mike McDaniel did rule out Tua on Sunday, he did not rule out Teddy. McDaniel alluded to the fact Teddy is still working on getting back from a broken thumb suffered in week 17, but the team is preparing for Skylar to start the game.
Would the Dolphins have a better chance with Teddy Bridgewater’s broken thumb? Maybe. But it seems like McDaniel and the Dolphins are preparing to go with Skylar on Sunday.