The Miami Dolphins will host AFC foe Buffalo Bills. Miami defeated AFC East rival New England Patriots in Gillette to go to 1-0, while the Bills were beaten on their home turf by the Pittsburgh Steelers to fall to 0-1. The Bills only scored 16 points in the defeat, which was not like them at all last season. Miami might try to replicate what Pittsburgh did last week. Like Week 1, we will look at three things to watch for, the x-factor on offense and defense, and of course, my prediction on the game. Will Fuller will be OUT with a personal issue, and Preston Williams is QUESTIONABLE.

1.  How Will Miami slow down Josh Allen?

If you are a Miami Dolphins fan, you know it has not been fun for the last two seasons when Sean McDermott, Josh Allen, and the Buffalo Bills come to town. Allen is 5-1 vs. the Dolphins, including a five-game winning streak where the Bills are averaging 30+ points per game over that win streak. Allen has produced 20 touchdowns and four interceptions in those six starts. What Josh Allen does best is pick you apart when trying to blitz. Last season Allen had 18 touchdowns four interceptions when being blitzed. Miami will have to try to find a way to get home with a four-man rush if they are going to have any chance of winning this game.

2. Can the offense take the next step?

Last week against the Patriots, the Dolphins’ offense looked great on two drives, the opening drive and the first drive of 2nd half. Other than that, it was a little rocky. Tua looked good in the RPO, but the Patriots did a good job taking away his first read and the middle of the field, forcing Tua to stand in the pocket and make other reads. The offensive line played well, which is better than I expected, and the play-calling was solid. The Dolphins should try to get more of a running game going, making running the RPO much easier, keeping the linebackers honest. The way this defense can play if the offense can take the next step, the Dolphins could have their eyes on the AFC East crown.

3.  How does run defense look with Raekwon Davis on IR

The middle of the Dolphins defense took a significant hit when Miami placed the 2020 2nd round pick on injured reserve with a knee injury. Raekwon was the big man upfront in the middle that could eat up double teams, stuff up run lanes and even push the middle of the pocket back. With Davis out, look to John Jenkins and Zach Sieler to get more snaps as they look to stop Buffalo’s rushing attack. Buffalo ranked in the bottom half of the league rushing for 1723 yards last year though some of that is helped by Josh Allen. Stopping Allen from running with be a massive task for the front seven as they must keep him contained.

Biggest X-Factor offense: Tua Tagovailoa 

If Miami is going to win this game, it will be on the shoulders of Tagovailoa. Tua will need to show what he did last season in Arizona if Miami will take the cream of the crop of the AFC East. If Tua can outduel Josh Allen and take down the Bills, it would be a massive boost to his confidence and give Miami a three-game head start on the division. On the other side of this, if he does not play well, the doubt from all people who have hated Tua since last year will just grow louder.

Biggest X-Factor Defense: Emmanuel Ogbah

This one was tough for me; it could be Xavien Howard with his matchup on Stefon Diggs or even Jerome Baker if they use him in a spy type of role on Allen, but the biggest X factor to me is Ogbah. Being able to get pressure without blitzing is the key to the game, and right now, the only player who has proven to be able to do that consistently on the Dolphins roster. We saw what happened to Allen last week when Pittsburgh could get home on four-man rushes.

Season Record (1-0) Prediction: Bills (0-1) 31, Dolphins (1-0) 27

This one hurts, and I went back and forth between this and 34-31 Dolphins victory. I can see a Dolphins victory that could set the tone for the season, but the Bills are coming into this game 0-1 and can not afford to fall into a hole in the AFC East. The Bills have Super Bowl hopes, and the first step to that would be to win their division, and there’s rarely ever a must-win game in week two, but this one feels close to it. Ultimately I can see this game coming down to the final drive with the ball in Tua Tagovailoa’s hands with the game on the line.