So…last week ey…what a week, am I right? Had high hopes, got blown-out, Sparano got fired, but now it’s on to Buffalo. This Sunday at 1pm, our (4-9) Dolphins head north to New York to meet up with the Toronto…err… (5-8) Buffalo Bills. This preview is going to be pretty short considering the last time we faced the Bills we won by 27; then again we also still had a “permanent” head coach.
What to Watch For:
Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:
There’s really not much to mention about the Bill’s offense at this point. Their best offensive player, Fred Jackson, has been shut down for the remainder of the season and their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has plummeted back to earth after his blazing start to the year. The Bills offense still finds themselves ranked 11th in the rush game, but good luck against the Dolphins’ 3rd best rush defense that held LeSean McCoy, whom many consider to be an elite RB, to 38 yards last week. I must say this about the Dolphin defense last week. They played a hell of a game and had extremely little to do with why the Dolphins lost. Holding McCoy to 38 yards and Vick to a 69.9 passer rating should win you a game the majority of the time. The defense really only had one slip-up; on the Jackson blown coverage. This week against the Bills, they will continue to dominate, much like a few weeks ago when they only allowed the Bills to score 2FGs.
Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:
Wow, last weak (yes weak) was worse than pathetic, BUT what they hell do you expect when you lose two starting linemen, one being a pro-bowler, and have to throw in a third stringer that just got on the team a few weeks ago? No S*&+ you are going to lose. We had no threat of a pass and, even though Reggie is laying some lumber, he’s not going to make his own holes against a stacked box. Sorry if I’m being harsh to Buffalo, but do not think that this matchup has anything to do with what they are going to do and is all about how the Phins bounce back. After a pitiful performance, a changing of coach, and the season officially being scraped, do they continue to play hard and get the ship straightened? I have to think so. Nothing has shown me that they wouldn’t and what a perfect matchup to do so. The only thing that would prevent this would be health issues. Will Matt Moore play and, moore (love it) importantly, can we keep him in the upright throwing position? Ehhh?
Two Minute Drill:
Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Circle the Wagons. Get back to what was working before last week. We obviously aren’t ready to play with good teams, but still should blow-out the bad ones.
Bills’ Key to the Game: Let it Snow. Really the only thing I can see helping the Bills end their 6 game losing streak.
Dolphins’ Player to Watch: Karlos Dansby. I had expressed my disappointment with him for weeks, but he has been coming to play recently so I have to give props where props are due.
Bills’ Player to Watch: Steve Johnson. The Dolphin secondary obviously can still get burnt and a slumping Bills team may try to break it with some big plays down the field. Why not?
How it plays out: Not as bad as last time. I can’t see it being as bad as it was in week 11 for a few reasons. 1. In Buffalo. 2. Its late December. 3. The week the Phins are coming off of. 4. Phins are banged up.
Prediction: 20-10 Miami. A very cold and irrelevant game. Playing for 3rd in the AFC East, really the only thing that can be won here is bragging rights…and a worse draft pick.
As always, PhinsUp! -John
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