The news of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being out for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills and Teddy Bridgewater still working his way back from a dislocated right pinky was depressing news for the Dolphins fans. The Dolphins will have to rely on rookie Skylar Thompson to lead the offense Sunday against the hated Bills. Thompson managed the game well on Sunday in a playoff-clinching win against the New York Jets, but the stakes are higher now. 

The reality of this game is that the defense will have to carry the way if the Dolphins are going to have any chance of an upset win Sunday. They will have to come up with game-changing plays, and they will have to get sacks on Josh Allen. The Dolphins haven’t been able to do either of those this season consistently, but they can turn in an effort like that. I know people might think that’s crazy. Here’s why I believe there is a chance that can happen. 

The Dolphins have gotten pressures on quarterbacks, and while they don’t translate into sacks, at some point, the tide must turn, and the Dolphins can get some of those sacks. Jalen Phillips has had a solid season and improved his all-around game. He had seven pressures on Sunday against the Jets, and I know that’s against Joe Flacco and not Allen, but still, it shows he’s capable of it. Bradley Chubb hasn’t exactly lit it up since the Dolphins acquired him, and maybe he is due for a big game. Christian Wilkins and Zach Seiler have pushed the offensive line back consistently this year, so there is some hope. 

On top of that, the Bills’ offensive line isn’t one of their best groups. They tend to struggle against better defensive lines. They don’t run block well, and most of their running success is due to Allen’s threat to run. It’s not like the Bills are an inferior group up front, and it gives reason to think the Dolphins can have success. 

Allen also tends, at times to be reckless with the ball. He fumbles the ball. The Dolphins, in each game this year, have had strip sacks. Allen has also fumbled the ball from snap exchange a handful of times this year. While he tends to extend plays and makes big plays, he also makes bad, unnecessary throws, and the Dolphins must capitalize on that, as it could result in a game-changing play. 

The Dolphins’ defense has underachieved this year, but the talent and matchups are there in certain areas. This is what the Dolphins need to take advantage of during the game and take advantage of their opportunities when they present themselves. Thompson will have to make plays, but the reality is it’s the defense that will have to carry the way for any chance for the Dolphins to win. 

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