Week 2: Bills vs. Dolphins
The Bills face their second tough test in the first two weeks of the season as they go on the road to face a tough division opponent. The Dolphins are coming off of a tough loss in Pittsburgh but have had an extra three days to prepare for the Bills. They may look at them a bit more closely now because of the near upset in New England last week.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (0-1) vs. Miami (0-1)
||Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf
||Dolphins by 6
||Dolphins lead 50-33-1 (Bills 3-1 in playoffs)
||Miami One game
||Miami 24-23 in Miami (2005)
||Rush (t-30th); Pass (9th); overall (19th)
||Rush (26th); Pass (19th); overall (25th)
||Rush (17th); Pass (24th); overall (27th)
||Rush (29th); Pass (8th); overall (19th)
The Bills have three injuries of note. Matt Bowen is still struggling with a bone bruise in his lower leg that cost him most of training camp. Troy Vincent and Takeo Spikes both hurt hamstrings in the first half against New England. Vincent has been placed on season ending injured reserve. It appears that neither Bowen or Spikes will be ready to play on Sunday as well.
The Dolphins are also a very healthy team. They will be without OG Joe Berger against the Bills because of a foot injury. CB Travis Daniels missed the opener against Pittsburgh with a sprained right ankle but he has a chance at returning against the Bills.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RB Willis McGahee vs. LB Zach Thomas:
The Bills need more consistent production from McGahee and he will after look out for where Thomas is on every play. He is still a solid tackler despite slowing down a bit over the last year or so.
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Chris Chambers:
Clements still has burns from last year's game in Miami where Chambers toasted him all day long. Look for Clements to be out for revenge against Miami's most dangerous weapon.
LDE Aaron Schobel vs. RT L.J. Shelton:
Remember Shelton? The Bills flirted with trading for him two years ago. Now he starts for Miami and draws Schobel who had a monster day last week against New England. He will be counted on to get pressure on Daunte Culpepper to give the young safeties a chance in this game.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Will Allen:
Evans needs to get used to the constant double teams quickly. He has had a week to look at tape and to learn how to find ways to get the ball despite them. Allen is the best corner Miami has and he will shadow him but have help from safeties Travares Tillman and Renaldo Hill.
WR Peerless Price vs. CB Andre Goodman:
If Evans continues to struggle Price needs to make plays on the other side and should have a chance to do so this week. The Dolphins may be without starting corner Daniels once again, if that is the case Price should have a mismatch in coverage with Goodman.
DTs Larry Tripplett and Tim Anderson vs. RB Ronnie Brown:
The Bills were a victim of big holes up the middle last week. If the same thing happens this week Brown will run wild. He is also a big, bruising back who may wear down the Bills smallish defensive line.
SS Donte Whitner vs. TE Randy McMichael:
Whitner acquitted himself well last week against the quality tight ends of the Patriots. He draws another tough assignment this week in McMichael. Whitner needs to keep him at bay since he is a primary target of the passing game.
When The Bills Have The Ball: Look for the Bills to open up the vertical passing game more this week than they did last week. Miami's secondary may be suspect to a big play or two. If they get something going through the air it should open up more draw plays and counter trey running plays that will help keep the smaller defense off the field and keep them from wearing down at the end of the game.
When The Dolphins Have The Ball: After looking at the tape from last week's game against New England they should pound the ball on the ground as much as possible to wear down the defense. The wild card in this theory is their offensive coordinator is Mike Mularkey. He always does the unexpected so they may buck conventional wisdom and use trick plays and the passing game to try to beat the Bills.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
You would think since the Bills came so close to the upset last week they will have the confidence to maybe pull one out this week in Miami. Unfortunately I think they gave the Dolphins a wakeup call and they will be more prepared then the Patriots for the Bills. The Dolphins also need to prove they are a good team after an opening week defeat and have had three extra days to prepare which could provide some interesting plays from Mularkey and co. That is recipe for another Bills loss and maybe a bit of a step back:
Dolphins 23, Bills 13
Season Prediction Record: (1-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (1-0)
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