Dolphins at Bills
It’s hard to tell what’s going on with Miami right now. Two weeks ago against the Colts, the ‘phins’ offence let the defence down big-time with its inability to sustain drives. The Colts’ offence kept getting the ball, to the tune of an almost 10 minute advantage in time of possession, and Andrew Luck put it up 48 times, completing 30 for over 400 yards. Last week against the Titans, the Dolphins’ offence was even more offensive. Not content to be merely ineffective, its four turnovers made things easy for the Titans by providing short fields (Tennessee opened the scoring with a 28-yard TD drive and had FG drives of four and two yards) and defensive points (a 49-yard INT return for a TD put the Titans up 21-0). Forced to open up the offence early, Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions. The fact that Titans’ QB Jake Locker only completed 9 passes (which, when you think about it, is only 6 more than Tannehill completed to Titans’ players), and that the Titans’ offence still managed to have the ball for over 6 minutes more than the Dolphins speaks volumes as to how Miami gift-wrapped this one for Tennessee.
Sometimes, the best cure for a struggling offence is for it to play a bad defence. Enter the Bills, who have struggled on defence all season. It wasn’t supposed to be this way; Buffalo was expected to be improved on defence, especially after making a big splash in free-agency by signing Mario Williams, who has produced more excuses than big plays (among his excuses has been that he is hurt—meanwhile, JJ Watt is starring for Williams’s former team in Houston despite wearing a huge brace after dislocating his elbow in the preseason). The Bills’ offence is talented, and is capable of putting up points, but has been inconsistent.
So, it all comes down to the Dolphins’ offence versus the Bills’ defence: the resistible force meets the movable object. Another bad game by Tannehill, Reggie Bush, and associates will give Ryan Fitzpatrick, CJ Spiller, and co. ample opportunities to put up points against another tired Dolphins’ defence. However, if the Dolphins can avoid turnovers and move the ball effectively, it will allow their defence to shut down the dangerous Spiller.
It’s a puzzler. Conventional wisdom says that Miami, travelling to Buffalo on a short week, loses. I say that a strong running game allows Tannehill to relax and bounce back with an effective, unspectacular game. Winner: Dolphins