There is a lot of hype and excitement for Sunday’s game between two bitter old rivals, the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. Both teams are 2-0, and this is considered the biggest game for the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium since the 2000 wild card game against the Indianapolis Colts. Wow, that’s a long time. There are a lot of things to like about both teams. Their defense and skill players on offense are the first things that come to mind. Not to mention how Bills quarterback Josh Allen has owned the Dolphins.
For me, this game will come down to the Dolphins’ offensive line and if they can hold up against the Bills’ defensive front. Last year when both teams played in Miami, the Bills defensive front dominated the Dolphins’ offensive line. They hit quarterback Tua Tagovailoa from the first gameplay and eventually knocked him out of the game. I don’t care who you have at running back or wide receiver, the offense starts with the offensive line. The Dolphins haven’t been up to the challenge the last few years, and it’s one of the many reasons the Bills have had the Dolphins’ number.
The Dolphins signed Terron Armstead and Connor Williams to help shore up the offensive line and, so far, have done an excellent job. Armstead is an all-pro and has been a rock at left tackle. The Dolphins signed him for this type of game to go up against defenses like the Bills. Williams has made a nice transition to the Center position. Sure, he’s had minor snapping at first, but it seems to be coming into his own. Liam Eichenberg has found a home at left guard. He doesn’t grade out well with Pro Football weekly grades, but sometimes those are overrated. He hasn’t allowed a sack, and having Armstead next to him seems to have helped him. Robert Hunt has been solid at right guard. With Austin Jackson out for at least the next couple of games, the team has relied on Greg Little at right tackle. I must admit I didn’t think he would make the team because he didn’t exactly overwhelm in training camp or the preseason. Plus, he was inherited from last year and didn’t play because he got hurt, but Little played well last week against the Baltimore Ravens and held his own. The offensive line was truly a reason the Dolphins could come back. They gave Tagovailoa time to throw and opened a few running lanes.
It will be key that the line has another performance like last week. I know Tagovailoa will be key at quarterback, but he tends to make mistakes and presses when he gets pressured. The Dolphins can’t afford to have that happen in this game. The Dolphins’ offensive line doesn’t have to be a top 5-10 in the league, but they need to be at least in the top half if the offense is going to be successful, which is a far cry from last year. The new coaching staff has done an excellent job coaching these guys up and unlike last year looks like they belong. Sunday is a big test, and if they can hold up, the Dolphins will have a chance in their biggest game in two decades.