You know it's a regular season game week when we actually get to talk about things other than personnel moves and front office changes. The regular season begins tonight in New Orleans. But for us Dolphin fans, we have a few more days to wait - and a few more opportunities to discuss the season opener in Buffalo.
Today we're going to welcome in Brian Galliford, the manager of SBN's Buffalo Rumblings - by far the best Bills blog on the internet (and I really mean that - the site is awesome). What Brian and I did was each select two key matchups for Sunday's game between the Dolphins and Bills.
Below are Brian's thoughts (followed quickly by my take) on two matchups I selected as absolutely critical to the Dolphins success on Sunday. You can head over to Buffalo Rumblings today to see my thoughts on the two matchups that Brian asked me to break down (and I'll give you a hint - one of them involves a certain new receiver).
Onto Brian's breakdown of the two matchups I asked him about:
Brian: I think Vontae Davis is an immensely skilled player, and as he continues to gain starting experience, there won't be a receiver in the league that he can't perform well against, game in and game out. This week, I think the advantage goes to Evans by a nose; Lee is well-versed in the nuance of the game, is an impeccable route-runner, and can get open on just about any cornerback an opponent throws at him. There will be opportunities for Evans to make plays in this game; as always, it'll come down to whether or not Trent Edwards can get enough time and have the wherewithal to get him the ball. That's a much bigger factor than how well Davis can cover him.
Brian: I still have reservations about whether or not Wake will be a consistent harassment to opponents this year, but he'll almost undoubtedly be consistent against Buffalo - it won't take much. Bell looks to be improved, but the Bills will work Jamon Meredith in on the left side as they continue to work Bell into game shape (off-season knee surgery). Green has been a disaster in pass protection to this point; he really struggles with speed. The Bills will chip with tight ends and running backs, a fact made more nerve-wracking by the fact that Jonathan Stupar and C.J. Spiller aren't particularly efficient blockers. The advantage clearly goes to Wake, but the Bills can slow him down a bit through clever scheming - play-action, misdirections and getting Edwards on the move.
My Quick Thoughts
Like Brian mentions, these two matchups kind of go hand-in-hand. In order to get Evans the ball, Edwards is going to need time in the pocket. We are yet to see Mike Nolan's blitz packages but it's a safe bet to think Wake will be a big part of it. He was a huge pain in the butt for Buffalo last year - racking up 2.5 sacks in their week four meeting. I also think that the attention Wake is going to draw should make things easier for other pass rushers. If the Bills are forced to keep a tight end or running back on Wake's side of the defense, opportunities for others (Koa Misi, Karlos Dansby, and blitzing defensive backs) are going to present themselves. If Edwards can get time, though, I'm obviously worried about Evans - a notorious Dolphins killer. Hopefully the Dolphins can rattle Trent Edwards enough to keep him from getting into a rhythm, particularly with his number one receiver.