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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The Buffalo Bills, coming off a 40-32 lost at home to the New England Patriots, travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins, coming off an extremely disappointing 23-20 lost at Jacksonville. The game is a 4:30 kickoff on CBS.
You don't like to call a game so early in the season a must win, but you also did not anticipate the Dolphins losing on the road to a Jacksonville team that they beat last year in Jacksonville, a game in which the defense really dominated. This year, it was a much different story, as the Dolphins did not register a sack and allowed QB Blake Bortles to have one of his best games as a professional. So far thru 2 games, a defensive unit that many thought would be one of the better units in the NFL has been a HUGE disappointment.
To compound matters, the offense has gotten off to slow starts in both games, and has had not been able to get any type of running game going at all. To make matters worst, an offensive line that has struggled so far will not have OLT Brandon Albert, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Jacksonville game.
Let's take a look at home the team's matchup going into the game.
Miami comes into the game ranked 24th in Total offense, generating 321.0 yards per game. Miami ranks 10th in passing at 263.0 yards per game, but struggle in the run game, averaging only 58.0 yards per game, which ranks 30th. Miami ranks 26th in points scored with an 18.5 point per game average. They face a Buffalo defense that is giving up 405.5 yards per game, which ranks 28th. The Bills are giving up 345.5 yards in the passing game, which ranks 32nd, but they are only giving up 60.0 yards per game rushing, which ranks 2nd in the NFL.
You look at those stats and you see the Bills have given up a TON of yardage in the passing game. Tom Brady went 38-59 for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game against the Bills last week, only being sacked once. It screams to attack the Bills with the pass, but the strength of the Bills defense, it's Front Four goes against a unit that is struggling and once again will not have OLT Brandon Albert in regards to the offensive line. And while the Bills are stout against the run, the Dolphins must attempt to establish SOME type of run game, as they just cannot afford to be one dimensional against this Bills defensive front.
QB Ryan Tannehill looked much better in the Jacksonville game, going 30-44 for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is 52-78 for 585 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. I would suspect Miami will look to get the ball out of Ryan's hands quickly in this game going with the short passing game. He will need to be crisp in this game, with good, quick reads. WR Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Rishard Matthews and DeVante Parker will have to play well. It goes without saying that the offensive line will need to step up there play, and I would suspect the Dolphins will have someone helping OLT Jason Fox, who will be filling in for Albert. RB Lamar Miller and TE Jordan Cameron have been cleared and will play Sunday. Cameron could be a big key in the passing game as well.
Switching to the other side of the ball, Miami comes into the game defensively giving up 372.5 yards per game, ranking 23rd in the NFL. Miami is giving up 230.5 yards a game passing, while giving up 142.0 yards rushing, ranking 27th. Miami is only giving up 16.5 points per game, which ranks 4th in the NFL. They face a Bills offense averaging 345.5 yards per game, ranking 16th in the NFL. They are generating 192.0 yards in the passing game, ranking 28th, but are 2nd in the NFL in rushing at over 153.5 yards per game. Buffalo is scoring 29.5 points per game, ranking 4th in the NFL. Defensively, the number one thing Miami needs to do is STOP or CONTAIN the run game of the Bills, something which they have struggled with so far in 2015. DT Ndamukong Suh has struggled with basics and discipline issues and has been out of position on some plays. And while he has had some issues, he still has drawn double teams, which means Mitchell, Vernon and Wake NEED to start winning one on one battles. With the struggles agains the run, you can believe the Bills will come in wanting to pound the rock with new aquisition RB LeSean McCoy. QB Tyrod Taylor has been solid, completing 37-49 passes for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has also thrown 3 interceptions and has been sacked 8 times, even with his mobility. The Bills have weapons with WR Percy Harvin, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods along with former Dolphin TE Charles Clay.
Point blank, the defensive Front Four for Miami MUST play better, starting with Suh. Maimi has only 1 sack for the season and has been getting gouged in the run game. This must stop and stop now, if the Dolphins want to be the team and defensive unit people thought they would be. The linebackers played better last week, and need to continue that trend. The secondary had their issues last week, as S Walt Aikens got beat on a double move for a big play touchdown. CB Brice McCain struggled in the Jacksonville game as well.
Miami had concerns about the rookie special teams replacements in punter Matt Darr and placekicker Andrew Franks, but they have been solid for Miami so far, and that will need to continue on this game against the Bills.
Miami came into the 2015 with a lot of expectations. After the loss to the Jaquars, you have had a lot of the national media and the fan base state these are the same old Dolphins. The division is MUCH better than it was in 2014, and Miami cannot afford to lose this game at HOME to a Bills team that has given them problems that last few years. Miami did beat the Bills in Miami last year with an OL that was make shift. They will need to repeat that again if they want to maintain those expectations. Big game Miami. Home game. NEED THIS GAME.