The Dolphins are 1-0 and in sole possession of 1st place in what I expect to be a very competitive AFC East division. A huge turnover, forced fumble and recovery created by the guy who creates the most turnovers, Xavien Howard allowed us to preserve the 17-16 victory. No matter what happened, it’s huge to get a victory in Foxborough. There are things that need to get worked out, the defense once again struggled to get pressure on the QB, Emmanuel Ogbah was let down by the other side failing to do anything. Both rookie Jaelan Phillips and AVG were ineffective and completely neutralized by the Patriots. To be fair, Phillips had very little work in prior to the game due to injury, so he missed a lot of practice time and preseason games. Elandon Roberts and Sam Eguavoen made us say Benardrick who? He was not missed. Roberts has picked up right where he left off.
The Bills took a bad beat last week at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-16.The Steelers defense really shut down the Bills aerial attack despite QB Josh Allen having 50 pass attempts. RB Devin Singletary led the Bills in yards with 80, 72 rushing, 8 receiving. Stefon Diggs was held in check despite 9 catches, but for just 69 yards. Cole Beasley also caught 8 passes for 60 yards. I’m thinking if we can manage this, we will also beat the Bills. The Steelers had 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries as well as 3 sacks. The $112M dollar man, T.J. Watt did not disappoint against a potential playoff rival coming up with 2 sacks and 5 QB pressures. That guy is relentless.
The first loss early in the season last year to the Bills was Josh Allen shredding us for 415 yards and 4 TD’s, 153 yards to WR Stefon Diggs and 1 TD in a 31-28 loss. The 2nd meeting which happened to have been the last game of the season was worse. We were playing for a playoff berth and the Bills were just trying to get out of the game healthy enough for the playoff game. Most of their starters were pulled at the half, and yet that first half was a demoralizing 28-6 in favor of the Bills. Sadly, it was equally as bad after the 2nd and 3rd stringers came in for Buffalo as the Bills crushed our Dolphins 56-26. An embarrassing day all around for our team, leading to many fans questioning the QB Tua Tagovailoa and our team in general. An ugly day for sure.
There’s no question we must be more competitive against the Bills this season. If we’re going to be a real playoff contender, we can’t allow our division rival to walk all over us. They’re a very tough team to defend, they have talent at the WR position, a pretty good O-line, and they have a QB that is dangerous in the pocket, and outside the pocket and can run the ball as well. Taking a bad loss to the Steelers will have the Bills even more focused, and HC Sean McDermott is a good, hard nosed coach.
As for our team, a recent development I just heard on NFL Radio is that HC Brian Flores when speaking of WR Will Fuller’s availability for Sunday’s game, said Will Fuller will NOT be available this week due to personal reasons and is unsure if he will return this season. That’s a crazy big surprise, and no doubt damaging to the Dolphins offense. Fuller, a speedy veteran receiver who can take the top off the defense may now be off the squad. One thing we all discussed here is that we do have solid depth, and maybe Preston Williams all of a sudden becomes much more valuable. Not sure how ready he is, but someone will have to line up opposite DeVante Parker. It might be Jaylen Waddle, which would then put WR Albert Wilson in the slot, which is something he’s certainly done before here in MIA. Still, this is an upsetting bit of news.
This past week, rookie QB Mac Jones avoided sacks yet held on to the ball as long as he could and often found a receiver while just about to get hit. We have to do better with Josh Allen because he will make you pay like Jones did and worse. Guys like Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley will find a way to get open eventually so we have to actually get to the QB Sunday. Devin Singletary doesn’t worry me that much but we have sometimes struggled in the run game defense but not so much against Buffalo. I think if we’re going to have problems it will be with Josh Allen and the passing game or Josh Allen breaking off some big runs against us. Here’s hoping for a good solid game all around and a Dolphins victory that puts us 2 games ahead of the Bills!