The Miami Dolphins (2-7) are riding a two-game winning streak and will turn their attention towards an AFC East rival Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Sunday will mark the 91st time Miami will face the Buffalo Bills (5-4) in the regular season, and the Dolphins will face Bills team that have lost there last two football games by a combined score of 71-18 (New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys). The Dolphins are finding ways to create big plays on offense and the continued pressure on opposing quarterbacks has finally resulted in defensive turnovers! Here’s what I believe are the keys to victory on Sunday.
1) Stop The Run – Maybe I went too far saying stop the run, but at least slow down the running game would be acceptable on Sunday. Bills running back Fred Jackson has been a beast this season leading the NFL with 917 yards, and he’s also been effective catching the football out of the backfield (1,309 yards ranks first in the league in yards from scrimmage). Jackson is also among the league leaders in first downs (second with 51 total behind Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy with 69), which means the Bills offense is running directly through number 22! The Dolphins front seven must have there best game of the season, and contain the Buffalo playmaker. Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett have stepped up there game over the last three weeks, and have been first or second on the team in total tackles during that stretch. They will need to continue to tackle well and limit the yards after first contact. Safety Yeremiah Bell must also come down from his secondary spot and add support against the running attack.
2) Stay Aggressive On Offense – Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has used multiple formation in recent weeks to get everybody more involved in the offense. By doing this, players like running back Reggie Bush (multiple plus 20 yard plays over the last three weeks) and tight end Anthony Fasano (five receptions and two touchdowns in last two games) have been able to showcase there talents. Just take a look at the room wide receiver Brandon Marshall has seen since the playmakers around him have been more of a presence in the offense! Quarterback Matt Moore has grown into a player playing with confidence and seems to have everything under control. The red zone and third down issues have gone away because the Dolphins have been able to execute and spread the football around. Make no mistake, this offense moves through Marshall, but players like rookie Charles Clay and Brian Hartline will beat you when you least expect it!
3) Fast Start– The Dolphins are feeling better about themselves as of late, but it’s imperative that they have a fast start on Sunday. The Bills are coming into this match-up exposed on both sides of the football, and facing an early deficit would only enhance the chances of victory. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown five interceptions over the last two weeks and facing a defense that has been putting pressure on the pocket (eight sacks in the last two games, five versus Kansas City and three against Washington). If the Dolphins can give there home crown something to cheer about early, it just might be three in a row for Miami!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.