The big question for Miami Dolphins fans going into Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills was “who the hell are these Miami Dolphins?”
Are these the same Dolphins we saw two weeks ago; who suffered in my opinion as a life long Dolphins fan, one of the worst defeats in Miami Dolphins history? Miami’s defense was so bad that Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes and looked like Joe Montana from the 80s.
Miami’s offensive line was heinous against Tennessee. So much so that the following week, Adam Gase released Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, who started on the line that week. Miami wasn’t done because they also showed Jamil Douglas, a guard, the door as well. Defensive Coordinator, Vance Joseph, didn’t cut Byron Maxwell or Mario Williams.
However, he took his starting cornerback and defensive end to the woodshed. By coming out and saying that they weren’t playing hard enough. That’s right folks, not better or even smarter. Multimillionaires not playing hard enough. Holy cow, in my thirty plus years of watching football, I’ve never seen anything like this before.
Good news, Dolphins fans: it apparently worked. Last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins defense looked dominate, picking off Big Ben twice and shutting down the vaunted Steelers run game. Miami’s O-line, healthy for the first time this season, dominated Pittsburgh’s D-Line. Jay Ajayi rushed for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. He had rushed for 117 yards in five games previous to that Sunday. The much maligned Ryan Tannehill looked serviceable. Tannehill had a turnover free game, which is not the norm.
So, Dolphins fans, who was going to show up on Sunday in Miami? Answer: the latter, thank God. Miami, in the immortal words of the great philosopher Stone Cold Steve Austin, stomped a mud hole in the Buffalo Bills Defense and walked it dry. The highlight of the day being Jay Ajayi breaking a 53-yard run from the Dolphins goal line to the Bills’ side of the field.
Ajayi left footprints on Buffalo defenders all day by becoming the 4th running back in history to rush for two consecutive 200 yard games. A list that includes a Murderer from Brentwood (73, 76), Earl Campbell (80), and Ricky Williams (02). Tannehill had two huge conversions on third down that led to two Dolphins touchdowns, one being a 66 yd strike to Kenny Stills that iced the game.
Ryan, once again, had a turnover free game for the second week in a row. I checked and hell has not frozen over. For the second week in a row, Miami’s Defense got the message by playing hard. Miami’s D held Buffalo running backs to under 70 yards and shutting starting QB Tyrod Taylor down. Taylor threw for meager 221 yards, and most of that in the first half.
Unfortunately, the only black mark was a mental breakdown by the Dolphins D at the end of the game. Multiple Dolphins penalties on Buffalo’s final drive helped give the Bills a late score that let the game look closer that it was. I’ll cover that in a minute. Overall, Adam Gase and Vance Joseph’s game plan has worked. Miami was victorious in a 28 to 25 victory over the Bills. In a game that wasn’t that close.
Here we go guys: good news, bad news time.
Jay Ajayi has rushed for over 418 yards and 3 touchdowns in two weeks. By the way if you didn’t know who Jay Ajayi was two weeks ago, don’t feel bad; nobody else did either.
Ryan Tannehill had a turnover free Sunday for the second week in a row. Thank God.
The Dolphins were trailing at the end of the first half but dominated in the second. That’s coaching, folks. Gase and Joseph’s adjustments at the half are working. They looked like a different team in the second half.
Byron Maxwell had multiple penalties on the Bills final drive that led to a touchdown. One being an unsportsmanlike conduct that led to a first down, when the game should have been over. This can not happen.
My final thought:
When you have a chance to put the Bills away, you do it. I still have Jim Kelly nightmares from the ’90s. Don’t judge me.