I’m not one for moral victories, but today was a good step in the right direction for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins traveled to Buffalo to play the hated rival Buffalo Bills and were 17-point underdogs. The Bills were 4-1 coming off a bye week and have one of the better defenses in the league and came a play away from beating the New England Patriots a few weeks ago. There was no way I felt the Dolphins would be able to have a chance today, but the Dolphins were not only in the game. They should have won the game. They were the better team today, but 2 turnovers cost them. You can debate me if you want, but the Dolphins today were better than the Bills today period anybody who watched the game knows that. However, in the end it comes down to what the scoreboard reads after the final whistle.

Head coach Brian Flores went back to Ryan Fitzpatrick to spark the offense and he did just that. Fitzpatrick constantly moved the ball, put the ball in his play makers hands, and took off and ran with the ball when needed to keep drives alive. Fitzpatrick gives this team the best chance to win. He is a leader with confidence, Moxy, and knows how to lead a young team. He does have his limitations sure and he does commit the costly turnover, like the one when it looked like the Dolphins were going to stretch the lead to 21-9 or at the very least 17-9. He knows how to read defenses, get the ball out quicker, and get the ball to his play makers. He was continually moving the team up and down the field today. I honestly don’t remember a 3 and out today on offense.

The Dolphins offensive line played their best game of the year to date despite playing without their center Daniel Kilgore. They moved Evan Boehm to center and played undrafted rookie Shaq Calhoun at right guard. The offensive line held their own against one of the top fronts in the league. The Bills didn’t generate a consistent pass rush and they did a good job of opening some decent running lanes for Mark Walton on the interior. This offensive line needs more players, but this group today did a good job. They did have their lapses at times like the play before the game changing interception Jordan Philips busted through the line for a 10-yard loss and the Dolphins had a few other negative plays. Maybe the Dolphins have found their combination on the offensive line. Boehm has been a solid addition and the Dolphins need to keep him.

The Dolphins skills players took a step forward today. Walton provided a spark in the running game. Yeah, he had only 66 yards on 14 carries, but it was by far the best running put put of the season and seems to have supplanted Kenyon Drake as the feature back. Preston Williams and DeVante Parker made plays in the passing game. Williams had a bad fumble, but other than that had his best game of the season. Mike Gesicki had a good game and is very quietly starting to become a factor in the passing game. He made a few tough catches and is starting to look like the player they selected in the second round a year ago. The Dolphins need to continue to get production from these guys the last 10 games.

The defense came in shorthanded without two of their best players in Reshad Jones and Xavien Howard. Then on the 2nd play of the game, their first-round pick, Christian Wilkins gets ejected for throwing a punch. The Bills were supposed to expose this shorthanded defense and they did anything, but that. Sure, the Dolphins didn’t force a turnover or come up with the big stop in the second half, but they didn’t give up big plays down the field and in the first half they did force the Bills to settle for field goals. They played a tough game, but in the end, they just didn’t make enough plays. The Dolphins have holes up the wazoo on defense, but they showed fight and when they get Jones and Howard back as well as Wilkins, assuming his head is screwed on straight, they should play better.

I came away looking at positive signs unlike the previous 5 games because the Dolphins have not been in many of their games, Yes, they did have a close game against the Washington Redskins, but they are a train wreck possibly worse than the Dolphins. The Dolphins have to build off on the positives. I think they can win a few games maybe even beat the Bills the next time these two teams play. I came away also thinking the Bills are overrated. They have had the benefit of a soft schedule they haven’t beaten anybody that good. They needed the Jets to choke away a lead, the Tennessee Titans miss 4 field goals, and the Cincinnati Bengals be the Bengals. Yet everybody tips their cap because they almost beat the Patriots well the Patriots beat the Dolphins BADLY in week 2 and if the Bills are really that good, they wouldn’t let a rebuilding team like the Dolphins give them a game in their own stadium.

The season has been painful to watch this year but take some encouraging signs from the loss. Don Shula always said got to get something positive or it’s a total negative experience and that’s the case today.