The Miami Dolphins owe the Buffalo Bills one, after losing 19-14 on Thursday Night Football, earlier this season. The Dolphins lost that game, in large part, because they turned the football over 3 times and didn’t create any turnovers. The Dolphins were pushed around by the Bills in that Thursday night loss and were held to just 60 rushing yards in that game. If the Dolphins want to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, they will need to do a better job of protecting the football and running the football.
The Dolphins played well last week in all 3 phases of the game (except for the ugly Brandon Fields fake field goal pass!). They’ll need to play a balanced game this week, establishing their running game against the Bills woeful run defense. If the Dolphins can jump out to an early lead, they can rely on their defense to bring this one home. Here’s our gameplan for what the Dolphins must to do beat the Bills and improve to 7-8 on the season:
Run the Ball Effectively
Last week, Reggie Bush posted a 100+ yard rushing performance, but half of his yards came on one run. If you take that one run out, he averaged just over 2.5 yards per carry. He needs to do better this week. The Bills rank 30th in the NFL against the run and give up an average of 5.1 yards per carry. In the first meeting between these two teams, the Bills shut down the Dolphins running attack and limited them to just 60 yards. With Daniel Thomas out for the remainder of the season, Lamar Miller should get more touches, which I think can only help the team.
Recently, the Dolphins have called a few running plays for Ryan Tannehill in spread-option style formations. I like it because it keeps the defense guessing. Let’s just hope that Sherman doesn’t get too crazy with these runs and keeps them limited to only a few per game. For the Dolphins to improve on their 60 rushing yards in the last game, the offensive line will need to play more physical than they did in November. The Dolphins were pushed around and there were no lanes for the running backs to run through. If the big guys can win the battle up front, it’ll give the Dolphins runners a chance to make defenders miss beyond the line of scrimmage. (cont’d on page 2, click below)