Bills looking for fourth straight win over Dolphins
The Buffalo Bills have won five of their past six games against the Dolphins and travel to Miami in Week 2 looking to extend the stretch of dominance over their AFC East rivals.
Buffalo (1-0) quarterback Josh Allen, despite losing two fumbles, threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions in last week’s 27-17 win over the New York Jets. The third-year QB finished 33 for 46 while also rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown.
“It has to be a healthy balance every week (between the run and pass) and that’s something we always take seriously,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said.
In two wins over the Dolphins last season, Allen threw for a combined 458 yards and five touchdowns without an interception while rushing for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The Dolphins (0-1) had trouble containing another dual-threat quarterback last week in a 21-11 loss to New England, giving up 230 yards combined and two rushing touchdowns to Cam Newton. Miami also yielded 217 rushing yards in the game.
Miami is hoping for an impact game from pass rusher Shaq Lawson, who recorded 16.5 sacks over the past four seasons with Buffalo, as well as end Emmanuel Ogbah, cornerback Byron Jones and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores believes the Bills present an even greater challenge due to their depth of talented receivers, which could be tested if John Brown can’t play Sunday. Brown missed practice Wednesday with a foot injury.
Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for 86 yards in his Buffalo debut, but Brown still had the most targets (10) and finished with 70 yards on six catches and a touchdown. Brown totaled 14 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s two games against Miami, including a nine-catch, 137-yard, two-touchdown performance at Hard Rock Stadium.
“When you’ve got two outstanding receivers on the perimeter, it’s hard to load up on the run game,” Flores said. “They do a good job really in all areas — the tight ends, the backs, the scheme. I don’t think it will be just all run, or quarterback runs or all pass.”
The Dolphins have two familiar faces to the Bills in starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey — Buffalo’s head coach from 2010-2012.
Fitzpatrick, who started 53 games for the Bills from 2009-12, threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in Week 1, prompting speculation as to when the Dolphins might turn to rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
“I think he never really got in a great rhythm,” Dolphins quarterbacks coach Robby Brown said. “He had some good things that he did really well. We have some things that we can improve upon. That’s the way it is every game, but we just need to try to get in a rhythm and get it going.”
The Dolphins may be without receiver DeVante Parker, who injured his hamstring in the third quarter last week and was limited in practice Wednesday. Also, Roberts was placed in concussion protocol this week.
Safety Clayton Fejedelem (pectoral), receiver Jakeem Grant (calf), cornerbacks Jones (Achilles) and Xavien Howard (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday.
For Buffalo, linebackers Matt Milano (hamstring), Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder) and Del’Shawn Phillips (quadriceps) did not practice Wednesday. Tyrel Dodson (neck) and quarterback Jake Fromm (non-injury) were limited.
“It sounds like they’re both (Milano and Edmunds) going to be back, hopefully for this ballgame, but if we don’t get both, hopefully we’ll get one back because they are vitally important to the success of our defense,” Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said.
–Field Level Media