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Through two weeks of play, it would be impossible to place any other football team ahead of the Buffalo Bills. Not only have they beaten two playoff teams from a year ago, but they’ve done so convincingly, outscoring opponents 72-17 in primetime nonetheless.
Eventually, there’s bound to be disappointment. A team just can’t keep winning like this in the modern NFL.
Does that reality check get served this week as the Rumbling Herd travels to take on the Miami Dolphins? Any time a team takes on a divisional foe, the chance for a trap game always exists.
Yet, labeling a matchup against a 2-0 team doesn’t exactly feel right, either. They’re 2-0 for the first time since 2018, which ironically is the last time the Dolphins beat the Bills. In actuality, this franchise hasn’t been a true threat in decades.
That may finally be changing. The biggest difference from last season to this year is the addition of Tyreek Hill, who Bills Fans know all too well. More on that matchup in a bit. But the Dolphins also have a much more complete roster after finally investing in their offensive line. They top it all off with a defense featuring a capable pass rush and multiple playmakers in the secondary. All in all, the Dolphins are no longer a team that should be overlooked.
Buffalo Bills vs. Dolphins game details, where to watch
- Sunday, September 25, 2022
- Start time: 1:00 PM ET
- TV channel - CBS
- Location - Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL
© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Matchups to watch
- Stefon Diggs & Gabe Davis vs. Xavien Howard
It’s like beating a dead horse, but the Bills have one of the most potent QB-WR connections in the NFL. Allen’s trust in his receivers is unmatched, and their trust in him is reciprocated. Allen consistently gives his big-play receivers chances to haul in 50-50 balls downfield, which both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are very good at.
Diggs has been on another level so far in 2022, coming in at second place in the NFL with 270 receiving yards (14 behind Tyreek Hill), and his four touchdown catches lead the league. He’s not going to slow down this week either, but the one expected to cover him, Miami’s Xavien Howard, has a knack for getting his hands on the ball. Howard comes in at 6-foot-1 and has the size to hang with Buffalo’s receivers. He’s also led the NFL in interceptions twice. Allen may not be as eager to give his pass-catchers a chance if No. 25, a three-time Pro Bowl corner, is on the case.
Opposite of Howard is Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 ranked cornerback through two weeks. Personally, I don’t buy it. There’s no way this undrafted Kader Kohou rookie out of Texas A&M-Commerce is suddenly among the best cornerbacks in football. Look for Allen to test the kid early and often.
- Micah Hyde & Jordan Poyer vs. Tyreek Hill & Jaylen Waddle
Of course, Tyreek Hill should scare every opponent. Only so many players have the speed type that the one known as ‘Cheetah’ has. He ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at his pro day, which places him among the quickest players in football.
Yet, the Bills have always seemingly had his number, as the blazing fast receiver has only caught 17-of-27 targets for 124 receiving yards and no touchdowns in three games against Buffalo.
Oh wait, never mind. The playoffs have been a different story altogether. That’s when Diggs cranks up his production, hauling in 20-of-24 targets for 322 yards and a touchdown in just two playoff matchups.
Alright, whatever, big deal. So we have to stop one guy, easy task. At least we don’t have to deal with Travis Kelce, right? Wrong.
The Dolphins have another 1,000-yard speedster with Jaylen Waddle. He’s been targeted just one less time than Hill has through two games and has tallied 240 yards and three touchdowns on 15 receptions.
If that duo’s not enough to give defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier nightmares, there’s also receiving tight end Mike Gesicki. While he hasn’t been as involved in the offense since they added Hill, his 6-foot-6 size works well to stretch the seams, keeping defenders from keying in on Hill or Waddle.
Basically, the Bills can’t just drop back coverage and hope they don’t get beat deep. That will only open up the underneath routes, where Gesicki and the two speedsters can still do arguably just as much damage over the course of the game.
- Von Miller vs. Terron Armstead
Our last matchup focuses on Miami’s new left tackle, which, since Tua Tagovailoa is a left-handed passer, he’s not considered a ‘blindside protector,’ but that doesn’t matter so much. The modern NFL requires teams to have two good tackles, as pass rushers come from all angles in 2022. Terron Armstead signed a five-year, $75 million contract to join the Dolphins this past offseason. He let up just one sack and committed three penalties for the New Orleans Saints a season ago. A three-time Pro Bowl tackle, he’ll bring his A game against Von Miller this Sunday.
But that’s OK, as Miller appears back to being his best self and is certainly invigorated by the strength of his new teammates in Buffalo. Miller will give Armstead everything he can handle in this matchup. Aside from Armstead? The Dolphins’ front five is vulnerable, so it could be Gregory Rousseau who goes off instead.
© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills vs. Dolphins game prediction
- Last season’s record: Buffalo Bills 11-6, AFC East champions
- Miami Dolphins: 9-8, third place in AFC East
The Dolphins had one of the best games last Sunday by taking down the Baltimore Ravens, with Tagovailoa chucking four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter alone. It sets up what should be a fascinating matchup in Week 3.
Obviously, the Dolphins will be riding a high, and with the renewed excitement surrounding the franchise, the crowd turnout should be much better than usual. Sure, they ended up putting 42 points on the board, but they also had just 14 points through three quarters. This is an offense that’s still figuring things out under first-year coach Mike McDaniel.
They may have fought back after facing early adversity, but that’s not a consistent recipe for success. The Bills have been playing all four quarters, so expect the Bills to squish the Phish once again.
As far as Vegas goes, the Bills are favored by 6.5 points by oddsmakers.
We don’t see things the same. Miami does have the potential to score a lot of points in a hurry, but the Bills do too. We’ll take Buffalo’s experience, not only on the coaching staff but also on the field, and especially at the QB position, over Miami.
Game prediction: Bills 34, Dolphins 17 - Bills victory