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Mark Gaughan's Matchup Winners: Miami ganged up on 1st-down runs


Anthony Lynn vs. Vance Joseph

How could the Bills’ offense have been more productive? More play-action passes on first down. Miami entered the game ranked 31st in run defense, allowing 147 yards a game. Its linebackers are soft, and star safety Reshad Jones is out. They had to play eight men in the box. That’s not the preferred scheme of Joseph, who came from Marvin Lewis’ two-deep scheme in Cincinnati. When you play a lot of two-deep, the front seven better be stout vs. the run.

In the first 58 minutes of the game, the Bills ran on 13 of 18 first-down plays. Those 13 runs produced 36 yards, and nine of the runs went for 3 or fewer yards. On the first-down pass plays the first 58 minutes, Tyrod Taylor was 4 of 5 for 101 yards. That included the 67-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin, a perfect play call against a Miami blitz.

Bills OL vs. Miami’s $150M D-line

Miami’s defensive line, playing for contracts that total $150 million, didn’t put up huge statistics. Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and Mario Williams, combined for six tackles and 2.5 sacks. But they had a huge impact.

Suh, Miami’s $19-million-a-year defensive tackle, was double-teamed a ton. He beat John Miller for a key third-down sack at the Miami 39 in the fourth quarter. He beat Miller to create a sack by Jason Jones. Wake had 1.5 sacks and gave right tackle Jordan Mills fits all day. Williams played 32 snaps, by unofficial count. Last week he played only 13 against Pittsburgh. He did OK. He had two tackles, both for loss. On one, LeSean McCoy reversed field directly into his arms. On the other, he was unblocked on a Wildcat run by Mike Gillislee. He put a massive hit on Tyrod Taylor late when Taylor rolled into his direction.

Tyrod Taylor vs. Ryan Tannehill

We remain unsold on Ryan Tannehill. He’s a fine short to intermediate passer. But he doesn’t make enough special plays, and he’s an inaccurate deep passer. He had Kenny Stills open on a deep ball but underthrew it, allowing Corey Graham to break up the pass. His deep TD pass to Stills was an underthrow that the receiver turned into a TD. Tannehill did make an excellent pass on a dead run over the middle to Jarvis Landry on the go-ahead TD drive. Tannehill isn’t bad. He’s just not exceptional enough.

It’s hard to grade Taylor, since he was playing with such a limited receiving corps. His bomb to Marquise Goodwin was a beauty. He made a great step-up to hit LeSean McCoy for 18. He hit Reggie Bush on a pretty third-down slant. But he was under siege all of the fourth quarter.

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