The undefeated streak of the Miami Dolphins came to an end this past Sunday. They felt what Denver felt last week after being dominated by Buffalo 48-20.
Let's take a look into my top three takeaways from this game:
1. Many Mistakes Were Made
Buffalo was just the first tough test the Dolphins faced and failed. From the way I see it, both offense and defense had a really tough time catching up with the Bills.
For the first time this season, the offense was held down to a low standard.
QB Tua Tagovailoa was hit nine times, sacked four times, and intercepted only once. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were slowed down by the toughness of the Bills' defense.
Four offensive players fumbled the ball, but Raheem Mostert was the only one of those players who fumbled twice and lost the ball once from those fumbles.
Defensively, the pass rushers didn't do anything to try and turn the tide. CB Kader Kohou gave up three touchdowns to Stefon Diggs.
He shouldn't get all of the blame, though. Bradley Chubb, Christian Wilkins, and Emmanuel Ogbah didn't come through all that much either.
2. De'Von Achane and Andrew Van Ginkel Continue to Grow
Achane racked up another eight carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The 21-year-old rookie now has 27 carries for 309 yards and four touchdowns as a rusher.
He has been stepping up for the running backs. He keeps this up, and he could be their #1 RB.
Van Ginkel has been stepping up for Jaelan Phillips, who continues to battle through multiple injuries.
He led the defense on Sunday with two sacks and quarterback hits along with three tackles for loss. He's the only one in the defense with more than one sack on his 2023 record.
3. Miami and Buffalo Fight for the AFC East Crown?
Okay, now let's think about something of a different perspective. Let's think about the AFC East.
The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are the two strongest teams in that division right now when you think about it.
The New England Patriots and New York Jets can try and catch up as much as they want, but it would be a miracle if they pull off a winning record the way they're playing now.
However, the Dolphins don't intend to start falling apart, and I'm sure the Bills don't want to end the hot streak they're in.
The Dolphins will have to be in great shape when they play the Giants and Panthers next. Then, they'll have to take what they learned from those games to get even stronger to face the Eagles, their next tough challenge.
As for Buffalo, their schedule for the next few weeks looks less difficult unless they get knocked down a peg. They are on top of the division right now, but the Dolphins want that spot as badly as they do.
The battle for the division doesn't start until December, but it's not too early to get a leg up.
However, if it does come down to it, the Dolphins' season finale against Buffalo will truly decide who are the kings of the AFC East.