The 1-0 Dolphins travel to 1-0 Buffalo Bills. Both teams are coming off wins in games they were expected to lose. This game is huge because the winner gets to jump out to great start in AFC East. Buffalo swept us last year and was the team most directly responsible for the Dolphins not making the playoffs. Buffalo is a beatable team but they definitely are not a team to take lightly. Like I did with the Patriots game last week I wanted to put out the keys I think we need to win the game.
1.) Have our Offensive line get at least a draw against their Defensive Line. Last season the primary reason we lost both games is we matched up pretty much the worst offensive line in team history against a Buffalo D-Line that is one of the best in the league. In particular Ja’wuan James is going to have his hands full going up against Mario Williams. Give the rookie some help and don’t leave him on an island all game against a beast of player.
2.) Push the plays to take the matchups in the 2nd and 3rd level of the Buffalo Defensive. I don’t care what anyone says you do not just replace a Jairus Byrd and Kiko Alonso. I think we will be able to get some favorable matchups with their linebackers and secondary. In Particular getting Charles Clay , Lamar Miller, and Knowshon Mareno out in space against their linebackers will play to our advantage. In other words set up the run with our pass against them not the other way around.
3.) Give Tannehill Some Time. – I don’t expect our line to move their D-Line around like they did against the Patriots. However, I do think we will be able to pass block adequate enough for Tannehill to exploit the mismatches we can make with their secondary trying to cover Hartline, Wallace, Gibson , and Landry.
4.) Get some points on the board. Buffalo has a young quarterback and their #1 WR is a rookie. They are built right now to pound CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. I fully expect them to try to get their talented backs matched up with our injury plagued linebackers. The do not want to have EJ Manuel throwing many attempts with Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan lurking around. If our offense can put get some quick scores on the board, it will force the Bills to throw more. With our pass rushers and D-Backs that is a horrible situation for them.
5.) Be conservative on Punt and Kick Return – Last week Jarvis Landry was pretty much fearless on punt return and I noticed we have Landry and Damien Williams returning kicks. I liked this because we were at home and you know you have to really put points on the board against the Patriots. Ralph Wilson is a difficult place to play and both those players are not going to be familiar with playing there. I would avoid having rookies bring balls out of the end zone and would have Landry typically call for fair catches this game. Buffalo is not built to score a pile of points so make them earn it don’t beat yourself in a hostile environment.
Follow me on Twitter for up to date reactions and predictions. @Gofins4SB