There’s no unsuitable reply. That’s the very first thing you must know when asking the Miami Dolphins whether or not Sunday’s sport towards Buffalo is an enormous sport. It’s all about private perspective.
It’s attention-grabbing to notice, nevertheless, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel embraces the problem of his head-turning Dolphins (2-0) internet hosting the mighty Bills (2-0) at Hard Rock Stadium. McDaniel stated he’d even inform his workforce to not conceal from utilizing this sport as a measuring stick.
“I think you embrace the fact that they’re a good football team and that there’s one way to be put in the category of good football teams — you beat good football teams,” he stated.
Some of McDaniel’s gamers have opted for the businesslike it’s-just-one-game-among-17 video games method.
“They’re just another team on our schedule,” veteran linebacker Melvin Ingram stated.
The level-headed method has backing amongst gamers.
“They’re all big,” defensive deal with Christian Wilkins stated. “You’ve got to approach it the same way each week because once you start playing that inconsistency game in the NFL, you get showed up for sure.”
McDaniel has a unique technique. He chooses to talk publicly concerning the momentary enormity of this early season matchup, and he’s acquired numerous firm. He acknowledges Sunday is simply 1/seventeenth of the season schedule, and one sixth of the division schedule.
“But it’s also an opportunity for us to see where we’re at and go against the best, which as competitors, our team is very competitive, you bask in that opportunity,” he stated.
So depend McDaniel among the many variety of folks making an enormous deal concerning the Dolphins, who’re using a seven-game dwelling successful streak, dealing with the Bills, who’re using a seven-game successful streak over Miami.
The high-scoring Bills, the two-time defending AFC champs who’ve gained no less than 10 video games every of the previous three seasons, are among the many NFL’s Super Bowl favorites. The Dolphins, who’ve a dynamic new offense and renewed power below McDaniel, turned heads with final week’s stunning 42-38 comeback victory at Baltimore that included an explosive 28-point fourth quarter.
Fans are hyped. Headlines are juiced. An entire bunch of NFL eyes can be fixated on South Florida for this peak at an anticipated Super Bowl contender visiting one of many NFL’s most intriguing groups.
The winner of this early-season battle for AFC East supremacy paves itself a robust path to the playoffs. Teams that begin 3-0 can anticipate to make the playoffs 76% of the time in a 17-game schedule, in accordance with the NFL’s analytics. Teams that begin 2-1, then again, can anticipate to make the playoffs 55% of the time.
But that’s getting forward of issues.
The Bills are hurting defensively.
That’s not an excuse, and nobody will really feel sorry for them as a result of they’ve accidents. The personnel losses, nevertheless, are severe.
All-Pro security Micah Hyde (neck) and defensive tackles Jordan Phillips (hamstring) and Ed Oliver (ankle) will miss the sport together with cornerback Dane Jackson (neck). That’s three starters (Hyde, Oliver and Jackson) and a high reserve.
The personnel losses ought to work closely within the Dolphins’ favor within the passing sport the place quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (seven touchdowns, two interceptions, 116.5 passer ranking, fourth within the NFL) positive aspects a bonus in his efforts to attach with electrifying extensive receivers Tyreek Hill (284 receiving yards, finest in NFL, two landing) and Jaylen Waddle (240 receiving yards, third-best in NFL, three touchdowns).
Of course, the Dolphins are coping with a regarding damage as a result of left deal with Terron Armstead (toe) is questionable.
But Buffalo’s damage issues are extra severe.
The Bills, already with out cornerback Tre’Davious White (knee), will possible begin the rookie duo of cornerbacks Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, which makes the Bills extremely susceptible on the again finish. They’re not a blitz-heavy workforce so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not they use that tactic to generate extra move rush and accommodate for lacking personnel. It could possibly be a extremely dangerous technique contemplating a brief move to Hill or Waddle mixed with a single missed deal with might spell a protracted landing for the Dolphins.
Most possible the Bills will depend on their fear-inducing mixture of quarterback Josh Allen (seven touchdowns, two interceptions, 123.7 passer ranking, second in NFL) and extensive receiver Stefon Diggs (270 receiving yards, second-best in NFL, league-leading 4 touchdowns) as a substitute of fixing their defensive philosophy.
Whatever occurs, the winner Sunday will sit atop the AFC East and have an inside monitor on successful the division. That, if nothing else, makes this an enormous sport.
“It’s exciting,” McDaniel stated, “so we’re going to do our best to prepare and see where we’re at the end of the [game], 4:30 maybe, on Sunday.”