Coming off the heels of Sunday’s dramatic 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots and taking control of their own playoff destiny, Head Coach Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins now turn their attention to another AFC East rival in the Buffalo Bills.
In an interview with the Finsiders, Coach Philbin said that the team would have to improve from its prior performance against Buffalo.
“We’re going to take a look at obviously what they did the first time. They did some things we need to do a better job of as a defense against them,” said Philbin.
He also explained that they would take a look at Buffalo’s latest four game stretch, one that featured wins over the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars, and a nail-biting 34-31 loss against the Atlanta Falcons three weeks ago.
“Typically what we do is the sample is usually around a four game sample,” Philbin said. “So we’ll take a look at their last four games, and then go back to the ones we already have, probably four or five broken down from early in the season. There will be plenty of plays on tape for us to examine and for us to put together a great plan.”
While the Bills have been eliminated from the playoff picture, Buffalo still boasts the NFL’s most ferocious pass rushing defense, as they lead the league in total sacks with 49 on the season. The Bills feature four players with more than eight sacks on the year, including pass rushing specialists Mario Williams (12.5) and Jerry Hughes (nine), along with interior defenders Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams (both with eight each).
Philbin talked about how he hopes to contain that pass rush and continue the successes of the offensive line from their game against New England, a line that gave quarterback Ryan Tannehill time to make some big plays down the stretch.
“As we watched the film from yesterday I think one of the reasons Ryan (Tannehill) had the success that he had while we did give up some sacks is that he didn’t get hit that often, and he was able to set his feet and follow through.”
“If you give a quarterback ample time, you give him a clean pocket, and you give him a chance to follow through and step into the throw, then it falls on the quarterback,” said Philbin. “Then you got to make the play, you’ve got to make the throw, and nobody’s perfect. But on film there was a lot of those types of plays, and that’s why I think we had the type of production that we did.”
Coming off of Sunday’s win, categorized as one of the biggest Miami victories in recent memory, some would anticipate fear of a possible letdown after such a massive win. Philbin believes that’s just simply not the case for a team that’s had 10 games this year decided by six points or less.
“If that was the case, we would’ve been on empty about back in October. We wouldn’t be standing still,” said Philbin.
“We talked to the guys, we know it was an important game. Every game is important, and certainly this one coming up against the Buffalo Bills is very important. We’ve attempted to approach each and every game the same way. As I’ve said many times, you can’t put together a great 3rd down gameplan for New England, and just an okay one for the Buffalo Bills. You got to get the guys in a consistent way of how they approach the game, and that’s really what we’re working towards.”
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