The Miami Dolphins Pulled Off A Big Win Against A Tough Conference Opponent In Week Two, Can They Pull It Off Two Weeks In A Row?
After completely stunning the Ravens in Baltimore last Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will encounter their toughest test so far in this early season this coming weekend. It’s no secret that Miami Dolphin fans have had this date circled since the schedule was released in May. The Buffalo Bills dismantled the Dolphins in Week Two last season, beating them in Miami 35-0. It was a rough day in Miami Gardens, the suffering was tangible walking through the crowd.
The Halloween bout wasn’t much prettier on the Fins’ end, but it was a much more competitive match-up than earlier in the season, ending 26-11. It doesn’t help that the Bills’ offense is led by MVP front-runner Josh Allen, either. Allen has looked nearly flawless this season so far, picking up right where he left off after their loss to Kansas City in the AFC Divisional game. In the first two weeks of the season, he’s posted the following stats:
- 75.4 completion percentage
- 614 Passing Yards
- 7 Touchdowns, 2 interceptions
- 123.7 Passer Rating
So far, Josh Allen has the league on watch and that is terrible news for a division rival in the Miami Dolphins. However, the differences between this year’s Dolphins roster and last years are almost as noticeable as Josh Allen’s numbers now compared to his first two years in the league. It would be dumb to say it’s a sure thing that they’ll hold their own, as Buffalo has clearly had the Dolphins’ number out-scoring them 117-37 in their last three matchups. That’s rough and going to be on the minds of Dolphin fans everywhere going into Sunday.
Can Tua Continue To Show He’s The Franchise Quarterback The Miami Dolphins Have Been Praying For?
A big difference between this year and last is the play of young Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. In the Week Two matchup in 2021, Tagovailoa was injured on the second drive at Hard Rock, and the entire team, and stadium for that matter were deflated for the rest of the afternoon.
With an improved offensive line, and a much, much better coaching staff, Tua put things together last weekend in an improbable fourth-quarter comeback. He started the 2022 campaign off equally as hot statistically as Allen, and it has football fans in shambles, curious if he can maintain this high level of play that has him posting these stats this season so far:
71 completion percentage
739 Passing Yards (1st in NFL)
7 Touchdowns, 2 interceptions
116.5 passer rating
Sound familiar? Mike Greenberg said, “Lamar Jackson played like an MVP today (Sunday), and somehow Tua Tagovailoa outplayed him.” Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa have nearly identical numbers, and only one will be brought up in MVP talks. It’s only Week Two, so I won’t demand respect for Tua, yet. But we have an incredible matchup in store for us this weekend and it could be the start of the next division quarterback rivalry that resembles Jim Kelly and Dan Marino duking it out twice a year.
In A League Full Of Superstars, Sunday’s Matchup Features The Three Top Receivers In Receiving Yards
The wide receivers featured in this game are trending up, though two were already at the top of the league. The NFL’s top three receivers in receiving yards are Tyreek Hill, Stephon Diggs, and Jaylen Waddle, in that order. Hill had 190 yards and two scores, both in the fourth quarter against the Ravens.
Waddle had his best day as a pro hauling in two touchdowns himself, including the game-winner in the Dolphins’ comeback. Stephon Diggs will look to take advantage of the Dolphins’ injury-plagued secondary and take over the number one spot from Hill. Diggs leads the league in receiving touchdowns and the Dolphin’s defense will have to do much better this week than last to prevent him from reaching pay dirt.
The Miami Dolphins Defense Fell Apart Last Week, Can They Rebound This Week?
The Bills’ defense has been stout upfront only allowing a league-low 66 yards per game on the ground and leading the league in sacks while being one of the least likely teams to blitz the opposing quarterback. If the Miami Dolphins want to come out of Sunday victorious, they’re going to have to find a way to expose them with their zone running game and contain Josh Allen on defense.
The Miami Dolphins’ defense looked decent in week one as if they were going to pick up where they left off last season. Lamar Jackson, however, had his way with the Fins’ defense whether it be with his legs, or through the air. Which is concerning considering Josh Allen tends to use his legs to force defenders to decide before he lofts it over their head for a touchdown.
The Miami secondary will need to be at the top of their game this week. The Dolphins’ defensive line will also have to get after it this week, as the last two weeks they have been abysmal at pressuring the quarterback, ranking 31st in the league in that category.
This week will dictate how the rest of the season will play out for the AFC East, and the AFC as a whole. It could be the biggest game played yet this year with playoff seating at stake, and that is insane to say considering it’s only Week Three. The main key to victory this week for the Miami Dolphins will be to play solid football in all three phases, and not have to play comeback kings two weeks in a row. The Buffalo Bills are simply too good of a football team to fall behind early, in a huge divisional matchup.
Last week I wrote how the Miami Dolphins could begin to change the narrative with a win against Baltimore, but this week is the week to put the league on notice with a huge win that would change the way the Dolphins are viewed as a professional football team.
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