Bills DL vs. Miami OL
The Bills are a bad, bad matchup for the Dolphins because Buffalo’s defensive line eats Miami’s offensive line alive. That’s the biggest reason the Bills now have won four of their last five games against Miami. So it went again Sunday. Marcel Dareus whipped Miami rookie right guard Jamil Douglas for two run stuffs and a hurry. Kyle Williams beat him to cause a sack. Dareus beat right guard Dallas Thomas for a sack. Thomas allowed two sacks and four hurries in Buffalo last year. It didn’t help that starting left tackle Branden Albert was out with a sore hamstring. Jerry Hughes abused his replacement, journeyman Jason Fox. Mario Williams gave fits to right tackle Ja’Wuan James. When tight end Jordan Cameron tried to block Mario on a third-down toss sweep, it was laughable. Mario caused a tackle for loss.
Rex Ryan vs. Joe Philbin
Ryan boasts he’s trying to build a bully in Buffalo. It seems Miami’s head coach is trying to build the most finesse team in the league. Yes, Philbin’s horizontal spread offense principles work great in Green Bay. But Aaron Rodgers has a cannon and throws great downfield. Miami has a fine running back in Lamar Miller, who averaged 5.1 yards a carry last year. How about getting him in space? He touched the ball three times in the first half! Miami passed on 71 percent of its plays the first two weeks, fifth most in the league. They passed 75 percent in the first half (24 of 32 plays), playing into the strength of the Bills’ pass rush. Tannehill has ability. But why act like he’s Tom Brady and put 80 percent of the load on his shoulders? Philbin is in trouble in Year Four of his regime.
Greg Roman vs. Kevin Coyle
The Bills’ offensive coordinator got the better of Coyle, the Dolphins’ defensive chief, by drawing up a great plan for the Bills to succeed on first down. Buffalo averaged 8.2 yards a play on 17 first-down plays in the first half. Coyle has dangerous pass rushers in Ndomakong Suh, Cameron Wake, Koa Misi and Olivier Vernon. But they were stuck in the starting blocks by Roman’s offensive script. In the first half, Tyrod Taylor was 6 of 7 passing on first down for 84 yards and one touchdown. Three of his passes were play-action fakes, which froze the rush. Two others were “now” passes (immediate throws to Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy). Another was a deep ball from the shotgun that went to Sammy Watkins for 40 yards. The Dolphins’ defense ranked 20th in points allowed last season. Sunday’s loss didn’t help their chances for improvement.