The Bills and Dolphins had heartbreaking losses week 2 as both lost games that looked very winnable when the first quarter started. Now both look to bounce back in a big way. The Bills go on the road for the first time after being dominated by the Patriots. They need this win badly.
Bills Run Game
The Bills have had a pretty good running game by sheer carries and with the running threat at QB. Last week against the Pats they had early success running the ball but until the 4th quarter they didn’t run it like they wanted to. This week I expect them to have a heavy emphasis running the ball and bring back the ground and pound. The biggest key will be running away from Suh who despite not being elite so far, still is a major threat in the run game and you have to avoid him. I expect the read-option to finally show up along with reverses to Harvin and Watkins. The Bills will want to use every running option to dominate the time of possession and wear out the Miami front four. Shady looks to be healthier and Karlos “Los” Williams gives the Bills a power option in the red. The Bills will run it at least thirty times and if they could, would run it every down if it worked.
Bills Pass Game
The Bills pass game has been very average. Both weeks the majority of the passes have been ten yards and under with the occasional deep ball. The Patriots developed a gameplan to counter Tyrod Taylor and kept him in the pocket and forced him to win from there where he struggled. So far the Bills have not let Tyrod do what he is most comfortable and use his athleticism in the passing game. This week I expect bootlegs, rollouts and run/pass options to let Tyrod leave the pocket and give him easier reads. I also to expect more designed deep shots as that is a pass Tyrod is very comfortable with. However if they want to have real success, Tyrod will have to throw the intermediate pass and not be afraid to throw it to the middle of the field. If Tyrod can attack the mismatches in the secondary and be more willing to take shots, along with the run game, the Bills should have no trouble moving down the field.
Last week the Bills on defense was atrocious due to poor playcalling and a poor scheme against Tom Brady. This week they face Ryan Tannehill who while isn’t Brady, is still a pretty solid QB. Like last week, if the Bills play off coverage and not blitz, Tannehill will throw quick strikes and have time to attack Bills downfield. Instead they need to return to their week 1 roots and blitz, blitz and blitz some more. Tannehill has a habit of holding the ball too long and by pressuring him constantly, they can force bad decisions and sacks. Landry is the key receiver to stop as he is primarily in the slot and is who Tannehill leans on. Robey or Darby will need to be on him and make it impossible for him to gain separation. The good news is the Dolphins don’t currently have a tight end with Cameron and Simms injured and doubtful to play. Now their starting tight end is someone no one has heard of unless they bring back the Egnew Inferno. This means one of the safeties and Bradham can be used for blitzing and causing havoc.
In the run game, the Dolphins have Lamar Miller who is injured and after that, they don’ have guys who really wow you. Currently they are the third worst in the NFL in rushing and a lot of that is due to the offensive line struggling to create running lanes. Marcell Dareus is back for the Bills and like Suh, he is an excellent run defender. I expect the Dolphins to struggle to run inside and their only success will be either from outside runs or read option keepers by Tannehill. If the Bills front four does what they are supposed to do. The Dolphins will be unable to run and it will be all on Tannehill to win it.
Overall this is a very important game for the Bills. They need this win to get rid of the stink of last week’s loss and they do not need to be 0-2 in the division standings. It will also be a very important game for Rex Ryan to show he is more than just a motivation speaker. The Dolphins will be a tough game as defensively their strength (defensive line) is a huge mismatch against the Bills weakness (offensive line) and could lead to a low scoring offensive struggle. I don’t think either team scores more than 27 and it is going to be a struggle until the end.
Tannehill throws a last second pick six to Nickell Robey.