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*Warning* I'm not sugarcoating or being generous this week. That was a winnable game and there was way too much bad
Devante Parker had himself another game. He brings it every week and is clearly responding to Brian Flores and Chad O'Shea. I'm extending him beyond next year if I'm Miami.
Jakeem Grant, aka Lightning Bug, made plays as a receiver, returner and running back. Yes everyone will point to his kickoff return TD but I think my favorite was his rushing TD. "Why" you ask? As he approached the end zone he made sure to get really low knowing that defenders struggle to tackle him when he is that close to the ground. That is someone knowing what to do in a key situation and I tip my cap to him for that.
Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't great, but he played hard and never quit. He made some good throws and moved the ball despite zero help from the ground game.
The defense. No push from the front seven, shaky tackling and Buffalo's receivers were running wide open. As every analyst has pointed out, they simply were bullied by Buffalo.
The coaches need to give someone other than Kalen Ballage a chance. He's a good soldier, hard runner and got into the end zone, but he just isn't producing enough between the 20s.
Allen Hurns can't fumble in enemy territory and give Buffalo a chance to regain momentum. These turnovers need to stop for a team that his little wiggle room in close games.
This offensive line experiment just isn't working. Yes, some of them play well at times but yesterday was a Grade 1 disaster. Fitzpatrick is going to get hurt before December and there are just no lanes being opened up for the ground game. Jesse Davis needs to go back to guard and Michael Dieter may need to be benched for a game. I can't make a case for any of them to be considered starters for next year.
Buffalo may have themselves a decent QB. Yes, it was the Miami secondary, but Josh Allen is making some big boy throws. He has come along much faster than I ever expected and I'm beginning to wonder if Buffalo is now a playoff-caliber team for the next several years.
Yesterday's game was angering because Miami was capable of winning it. They lost the trench battle and it cost them a step in building more confidence. We know these guys won't all be back getting significant reps next year, but some of them are carving out roles and I want to see victories helping them believe in each other. Miami has a tough road game in Cleveland followed by hosting a talented Philadelphia team. Then the schedule gets pretty soft before closing out with New England (who may be resting starters). I'd like to see them upset either Philly or Cleveland and take care of business versus the cupcakes. Let's get yesterday in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible.