Takeaways from Dolphins Week 2 Loss To Buffalo
Week 2 presented a clean slate for Miami to right their wrongs and turn this early season around. Last week it was the Dolphins run defense that hurt the team, this time it was the pass defense. The Dolphins made Bills quarterback Josh Allen look like a hall of fame quarterback on Sunday. Allen threw for 417 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions on his way to a 31-28 victory. The Bills are now 2-0 on the season and more importantly 2-0 in the division. As for the Dolphins, they are buried at the bottom of the AFC East and now are forced to play another game on Thursday night against the Jaguars.
This week’s contest looked eerily familiar to the previous one. Miami was badly outplayed but still found themselves with a chance to win. In the first half, the Dolphins defense allowed 249 passing yards and 93 rushing yards totaling 342 yards of offense. The Bills wide receivers were running crossing routes all day long and rattling off big play after big play. On their three scoring series, the Bills had drives of 97, 84, and 73 yards. Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones went down 3 plays into the game with a groin injury and did not return. His presence was missed allowing Stefon Diggs to take full advantage. Diggs caught 8 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown and each time he caught the ball he seemed to be wide open. The Dolphins came into this matchup as the top-ranked pass defense but that will certainly change heading into week 3.
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Jason Sanders connected on a 52-yard field goal to end the first half and bring Miami within 7 points. The Dolphins came out of the locker room a different team and their offense started to rattle off positive plays. Fitzpatrick was great on Sunday and did all he could to earn a win. Fitz was 31/47 for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Dolphins had an incredible drive going and found themselves with a 1stand goal from the 1-yard line late in the 3rdquarter. After a failed running attempt by Jordan Howard, Chan Gailey called three pass plays from the 1-yard line. The Dolphins decided to go for it on fourth down and were stopped after receiver Preston Williams let a perfectly thrown ball go right through his hands. The Dolphins forced a quick punt from the Bills resulting in fantastic starting field position. Miami ended up capitalizing on the opportunity and took its first lead of the season with 10:11 left in the fourth quarter. That lead did not last long when Josh Allen threw his third touchdown of the day with a little less than 6 minutes left in the game. With the Dolphins trailing 24-20 and in need of a touchdown, Miami went three and out and handed the ball, and eventually the game, back to the Bills. Allen, with no turnovers on the day, almost handed Miami a gift. Allen attempted to throw the ball away but cornerback Xavien Howard had a real chance at intercepting the pass. On the very next play, the Bills quarterback connected with John Brown for a 46-yard touchdown, putting the nail in the coffin on Miami’s winning chances.
This Dolphins team is in shambles and you have to wonder if they are any better than 2019’s team that consisted of 48% undrafted free agents. There is no doubt that this Dolphins team is more talented but they are still in the midst of finding themselves. Fans and coaches believed that they could compete this year but it seems as though this is another rebuilding season. Key free-agent additions are simply not showing up. Miami’s best running back is Myles Gaskin, not Jordan Howard or Matt Breida. Miami’s best linebacker is Jerome Baker, not Kyle Van Noy. Miami’s best defensive lineman is Christian Wilkins, not Emmanuel Ogbah or Shaq Lawson. There is absolutely zero pass rush from the defensive line and it allows the quarterback all day to throw. This defense is also doing a very poor job at tackling. The amount of missed tackles in the first two weeks is inexcusable. Something has to change and fast. The Dolphins will be facing a Jaguars team on Thursday night that is 1-1 and playing surprisingly well. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is playing great football and the Jags offense has put up 27 and 30 points in two weeks. Until the Dolphins defense can compete at an NFL level, they will continue to lose. The Dolphins are in danger of dropping to 0-3 on the season and on their way to another top 10 draft pick if they do not correct their mistakes quickly.