Written by Chad Hahn
On Sunday the Miami Dolphins play host to the well-favored Buffalo Bills.
The Bills come into town trying to bounce back from last week’s devastating loss to the Cleveland Browns 19 to 16. Their record on the season is 6-3 and vying for a wild-card playoff spot. Despite struggling over the last few weeks on offense Coach Sean
McDermott remains confident in Josh Allen’s ability to lead his football team. Josh Allen has steadily improved with his touchdown to interception ratio which on the season is 10 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. The biggest key to the game for the Bills is to get the ball quickly out of Allen’s hands and to utilize his electrifying running ability.
One key matchup will be cornerback Tre’Davious White lining up across the way from the Dolphins number one receiver Devante Parker. Parker has had a very strong season for the Dolphins, leading the team in touchdowns (4), receptions (33), and yards (469). Buffalo's defense is ranked fourth in points allowed, third in yards allowed, third against the pass and seventh against the run this season. On paper, it seems like the bills should be able to handle the Dolphins offense.
As for the Miami Dolphins, they come into this matchup winning their last two games after starting the season 0-7. First, your head coach Brian Flores deserves a lot of credit for his coaching this makeshift roster as it is evident that his coaching has helped player progression of his young Dolphins. Coming into week 11 the Dolphins are the least penalized team in the national football league. One player that has stood out of the last couple weeks is first-year undrafted rookie cornerback Nic Needham. He made play after play last Sunday in a victory in Indianapolis against the Colts.
The same can be said for multiple young Dolphins players. The Dolphins defense is led by second-year linebacker Jerome Baker. Despite having the lack of talent in the secondary they have played extremely well over the last few weeks in spite of losing star cornerback Xavien Howard for the season to injured reserve. This young defense will have a couple of key things to contain if they want to continue their winning streak such as containing running backs Devin Singletary and Frank Gore and keeping a quarterback spy on Josh Allen to limit his running ability. In addition to that, they also need to create a pass rush and get to Josh Allen as if they are able to do that it might open the door for turnovers.
On the offense of side for the Dolphins, there has been steady improvement throughout the season and last week was no exception. Starting Center, Daniel Kilgore returned last Sunday against the Colts and it seemed to calm the rest of the offense of line down. One constant over the past few weeks has been their starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick as shown very good pocket awareness and is getting better timing with the wide receivers on a weekly basis. The Dolphins will once again look to start running back Kalen Ballage even though he is averaging 2 yards a carry on the season. If Ballage continues to average that i’d expect both Patrick Laird and rookie seventh-rounder Myles Gaskin to have expanded roles before running back Mark Walton returns from his four-game suspension.
For the Dolphins to continue their winning streak on Sunday they will have to win the turnover battle and have good quarterback play from Ryan Fitzpatrick. A big part of the quarterback play Is allowing Ryan to have time in the pocket so the Dolphins offensive line will have to step up to give the Dolphins a chance at winning this game.