Will Critics ‘Billieve’ When The Buffalo Bills Squish The Fish?
The 2023 Miami Dolphins are very good. Any NFL team that can put 70 points on an opposing defense, is something to be reckoned with. However, the Dolphins have their toughest test of the young season on Sunday, the perennial AFC East champion, Buffalo Bills, who some critics seem to forget these days.
These two franchises are two of the best in the NFL this season. The Bills and Dolphins met three times last year, splitting the regular season match-ups. Buffalo survived a crazy 34-31 Wild Card victory over Miami in January. Maybe it was the weird Week 1 loss to the New York Jets but some NFL experts seem to forget that the Bills won 13 games last season and have improved their roster.
Over the last two weeks, the Buffalo Bills have settled into powerful offensive and defensive grooves of their own, pounding the the Las Vegas Raiders 38-10 and the Washington Commanders 37-3. Though they were not 70 point performances, Bills' head coach Sean McDermott knows enough how to build a big lead and hold it, with out embarrassing other professional athletes. I like Dolphins' head coach Mike McDaniel but plenty of NFL head coaches have had the opportunity to defeat opposing teams by 50 but have respect for the players and coaches, working in the same league, not to do that.
On Sunday, McDaniel's offense will face a Sean McDermott-led defense that seems to be just hitting its stride. The Bills' terrorized Washington quarterback Sam McDowell last Sunday, recording nine sacks while holding the Commanders offense to 230 total yards and 3 points on the day. A big question-mark in the Bills' defense was finding a replacement for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who bolted for a big contract in Chicago. Well, Terrel Bernard was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after giving Washington nightmares. That problem seems solved. Tua Tagovailoa will have his work cut out to get the ball off to one of his talented receivers.
On the other side of the ball, McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins will go up against a morphing Buffalo Bills' offense. Running back James Cook is adding a new dimension to offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey's attack. Cook is racking up big chunks of real estate and is currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing. What does a dangerous running back, that can break off a big play, at any time, do for Josh Allen? Well, it gives Allen more time to make decisions in the pocket, therefore, making him more efficient, and yes, dangerous. James Cook is changing Josh Allen and the way the Bills attack defenses. This change is not complete and will only get better.
The Bills' struggles in the playoffs have enabled experts to push them aside to find the next exciting team in the NFL. Through the first three weeks of the season, that team has been the Miami Dolphins. The best way to beat the Dolphins is with a great defense and an offense capable of keeping Tua and his team of weapons on the bench. The Buffalo Bills own that formula and it will be tested Sunday at Highmark Stadium at 1pm.