Here’s a look at how the Miami Dolphins (2-0) and Buffalo Bills (2-0) match up in six key areas ahead of Sunday’s Week 3 game at Hard Rock Stadium (1 p.m., CBS):
When Dolphins Run: Miami ran its ground game to the tune of 4.8 yards per carry in last Sunday’s 42-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens. It didn’t add up to much as there were limited opportunities to play from behind for most of the afternoon — not to mention the Ravens ate up 11 minutes on one first-half drive on which they didn’t even score.
In Week 1, it was Chase Edmonds who got most of the carries against New England. Against Baltimore, it was Raheem Mostert. Who is favored in the workload will depend on the matchup coaches favor. Right tackle Greg Little, who will fill in for Austin Jackson (ankle), had a great block on Edmonds’ 28-yard end run that set up Miami for the winning score vs. the Ravens.
Buffalo, however, to no one’s surprise, has the league’s top-ranked run defense through two weeks, and Bulls running back Derrick Henry shut out the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. With veteran All-Pro Von Miller now anchoring an edge in Buffalo and Greg Russo, Miami’s first-round pick in 2021, on the other side, inside DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips, Buffalo is strong. defensive line. Tremaine Edmonds and Matt Milano at linebacker give the Bulls a strong defensive front. Edge: Bulls
When bills run: South Florida’s trio of Buffalo running backs must be salivating at the thought of scoring a touchdown, especially since none of the trio has scored yet through two blowouts of the Bulls. Devin Singletary (American Heritage-Delray High, FAU) is the starting tailback, but rookies James Cook (Miami Central High) and Zach Moss (Hallandale High) carry the split, so they all stay fresh.
Quarterback Josh Allen is always a threat as well, and has 66 yards on 11 attempts plus one touchdown so far in 2022. Veteran Roger Seefold, a Pro Bowler with the Titans in 2021, was brought in to play strong guard. Left side of the front line to tackle Devon Dawkins.
The Dolphins were solid in run defense outside of the 79-yard touchdown allowed to quarterback Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. Christian Wilkins and Zach Seiler will be counted on for a line of scrimmage along with Jaylen Phillips and Melvin Ingram. Miami already knows it will face a great challenge through the air against Allen. They need to at least keep the bills one dimensional. Edge: Dolphin
When the dolphin passes: Tagovailoa is Earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his all-time best performance. honor after throwing for 469 yards and six touchdowns in leading Miami from a 21-point deficit to a thrilling comeback. After checking in with two touchdowns and two interceptions through three quarters, he was finally able to expose the Ravens’ banged-up secondary with two long touchdowns to Tyreek Hill in veiled coverages and another pair of drives. was
The Bulls are also dealing with injuries to their defensive backs. All-Pro Tre’Davious White has been placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Fellow cornerback Dan Jackson and the elite safety tandem of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are in doubt heading into Sunday. Buffalo, after all, is still second in the league in pass defense through two weeks, even playing up front when opponents can pad their stats late.
You don’t want a bunch of tight end guys in coverage tasked with keeping up with Hill, who finished with 190 receiving yards in Baltimore, and Jalen Waddle, who had 171 and two touchdowns. , which included the game-winner. Buffalo can still rush the passer, though, with Miller and Russo, among others. It will be a challenge for Miami’s offensive tackles as Tyron Armstead is dealing with a toe injury and Greg Little continues to fill in for Austin Jackson on the right side. Edge: even
When bills are passed: Allen has been known to torch the Dolphins, but Miami made strides in that regard in two meetings last year, holding him to passer ratings of 75.2 and 100.2, his first against the Dolphins as a rookie. This is the lowest since it was introduced. Five outings in between saw him post a passer rating above 110. Allen had five interceptions for 21 touchdowns in eight games against Miami as it went on a seven-game winning streak against the division rival.
This season, he has completed 52 of 69 passes (75.4 percent) for 614 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. His top receiver, Stefon Diggs, is having another monster season with 20 receptions for 270 yards and four touchdowns. Gabe Davis was limited earlier this week with an ankle injury, and tight end Dawson Knox (foot) missed Wednesday’s practice.
It’s a bad sign for the Dolphins that cornerback Zevin Howard sat out Wednesday’s practice with a back injury. He accomplished that in a win over the Ravens but didn’t look like himself when he was beaten by Rashod Bateman for a long touchdown and couldn’t catch his touchdown scamper Jackson. The Dolphins should pressure Allen after their blitzes became ineffective against Jackson and the Ravens. Edge: Bulls
Special Teams: Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass bested three field goals and nine extra points. Sam Martin, a punter who is rarely used because the Bills’ offense is so productive, averaged 48.5 yards per punt. Buffalo uses South Florida product Isaiah McKenzie on kick return and Jamison Crowder on punt return.
The Dolphins gave up a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Ravens, so special teams coordinator Danny Crossman is letting his unit do it in practice. Edge: Bulls
Intangibles: Dolphins have the heat and humidity of South Florida in September. They have a day and a half more rest than the Bulls after their last game, a Monday night win while Miami played last Sunday afternoon, plus a trip to Buffalo. The Bills are dealing with several injuries. All that gives the Dolphins an intangible edge heading into the 1 p.m. kickoff under the sun at Hard Rock Stadium.
But then you also remember that the Bulls outscored their first two opponents, including the defending Super Bowl champions at home, by a combined 55 points. And Buffalo has a seven-game winning streak in the rivalry. Edge: Dolphin
prediction: Bills 27, Dolphins 20
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